Medicinal Plant Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Welcome to the Medicinal Plant Program (MPP) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Medicinal Plant Program is a consortium of faculty and staff at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is a part of the Department of Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences. The program conducts education, research, and outreach related to all aspects of medicinal plants.


The Medicinal Plant Program has both undergraduate and graduate courses of study. Currently, a variety of courses are offered through the Program, encompassing the identification, production, use, manufacturing, and the marketing of herbal plants and products. These courses provide a well rounded view of the various disciplines related to medicinal plants.


Current research in the Medicinal Plant Program is focused on the basic plant science necessary to establish specific medicinal plants as cultivated crops and to improve current medicinal plant production practices.

MPP facilities include research laboratories with the equipment for essential oil extraction, plant monitoring, biological screening, constituent analysis, and tissue culture production. Gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy services are available for compound identification and quantification. Fields, greenhouses, and environmentally controlled chambers are available for growth of plant materials. The MPP has professional contacts throughout the world and can furnish both local and international service.


The MPP hosts presentations by local farmers, herbalists and researchers, local school enrichment programs, and the annual HerbFest celebration. The Program also publishes the Journal of Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants , and has produced several guides for growing medicinal and aromatic plants. We also collaborate with other colleges, schools, companies and organizations to provide research internships and real world experiences for students who want more hands-on learning with medicinal plants.

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The MPP is a member of:

Medicinal Plant Working Group

American Herbal Products Association

Herbal Community of Central Massachusetts

MPP faculty and staff maintain memberships in several professional organizations including:

American Botanical Council
American Society for Horticultural Science
Herb Society of America
International Society for Horticultural Science

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