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New Mexico State University

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Herbalist To Speak at NMSU in April

LAS CRUCES -- Steven Foster, an internationally known herbalist, will give free public lectures on medicinal plants April 5 and 8 at New Mexico State University as part of the Distinguished Visiting Professor program.


Foster has written a number of books and field guides, including "Herbs for Your Health" and "Herbal Renaissance: Growing, Using and Understanding Herbs in the Modern World." He is considered an authority on echinacea, the top-selling medicinal herb in the United States. He has compiled a library of 30,000 stock photos of medicinal plants that have been published in leading magazines.

Foster serves on the scientific advisory board for the American Botanical Council, based in Austin, Texas. He is president of Steven Foster Group Inc., a consulting firm specializing in medicinal and aromatic plants.

"I am thrilled that someone of Steven's caliber will be visiting us," said Connie Falk, an agricultural economist with NMSU's Agricultural Experiment Station who has done research on the potential of growing herbs in New Mexico. "I think his public lectures will be of interest to folks from all over the state."

On April 5 at 7 p.m. in NMSU's Gerald Thomas Hall auditorium, Foster will present a lecture titled "From Folk Medicine to Phytomedicine: The Evolution of Medicinal Plants in the Modern World." On April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gerald Thomas Hall auditorium, his talk will be on "Separating Myth and Reality: Herbal Medicines that Work". Foster will show his slides of herbs at both public lectures.

During his visit, Foster also will consult with NMSU faculty and students in the biology, anthropology, agricultural economics and agronomy and horticulture departments. Faculty from NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences nominated Foster for NMSU's Distinguished Visiting Professor program.

Foster began his career as an herbalist in 1974 with the United Society of Shakers in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, where he established three acres of production herb gardens and managed 1,700 acres of commercial harvest of wild botanicals. He managed the production, packaging and marketing of more than 70 products at the nation's oldest herb business, which dates back to 1799.

For more information about Foster's visit, call Falk at (505) 646-4731 or send an e-mail to cfalk@nmsu.edu. If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in these meetings, please call the contact person for the event two weeks in advance.