The Research Center for Natural Sciences (RCNS) launched the “Guidebook to Plant Screening: Phytochemical and Biological (UST Press, 2004)” last February 17 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC).

Funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the revised guidebook (first ed. 1980) was edited by Professor Emeritus Beatrice Q. Guevarra, Ph. D. It provides updated procedures in plant screening and is divided into four sections——Botany, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Phytochemical, and Microbiological. .

The guidebook emphasizes a back-to-nature movement in the use of plants as herbal medicines with properly tested efficacy in treating illness. It also discusses ethical issues and considerations in plant collection and screening policies on research involving animals.

The guidebook is helpful for undergraduate and graduate students in experimenting with plant materials because the methods are simple and utilize simple apparatuses. Jefferson O. Evalarosa

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