This course looks at the use of herbs in medicine through history. Topics include the use of herbs in ancient civilisations, early medieval Britain, monasteries and Arab scholars, rivalry between surgeons, physicians and herbalists, Paracelsus, Culpeper, herbal texts and physic gardens. Later subjects from the 1800s and 1900s:- new herbal movements mainly from the US, the beginnings of modern pharmacy, the fall and rise of interest in herbalism and big Pharma's involvement with herbs. We will look at some of the important plants along the way. The final week we will discuss medicinal herbs and herbalists in Britain today. No previous knowledge assumed. The course is mainly about the Western herbal tradition.