Oral Medicine and Pharmacognosy Research (OMPR) Laboratory

Medical Anthropology and Pharmacognostic Research

Humans discovered through personal experimentation that numerous plants and plant-based products, when placed into the oral cavity, had the capacity to deliver diverse secondary metabolites and thereby elicit a variety of stimulant, medicinal, and hallucinogenic effects.

All historical and world systems of health care advocate plant remedies and/or pharmacognostic derivatives for health and healing. All systems of health care including allopathic/bio-science, Arabic, Ayurveda, Chinese, ethnopharmacology, Judeo-Christian anointing, Native American Indian healing ceremonies, naturopathic, osteopathic, Far-eastern philosophies, and shamanism advocate botanical preparations for the medicinal, mental, and the physical amelioration of pain and disease. Oral and maxillofacial pains, inflammations, and associated pathologies have been documented since the beginning of recorded human history, and the use of plant materials for the relief of these disorders has paralleled this health care need.

Medical anthropology and pharmacognostic research continuously affirms the presence of medicinal compounds in natural products including plants. Contemporary neurobiological and pathophysiologic research has illuminated numerous mechanisms, actions, and mammalian peripheral and CNS receptors responsive to plant-based and other natural compounds. Consequently, theories have emerged that propose a co-evolutionary relationship and functionality between natural products and the various mammalian cell membrane channels, receptors, and tissues.

Our laboratory continues to conduct medical anthropology and ethnopharmacology research associated with plants and other natural products used for oral medicine conditions, pains and pathologies. We leverage classical and portable spectroscopic technologies based on various forms of directed energies (i.e. Raman and FT-IR Spectroscopy) for biometric and pharmacognostic studies.

Department Heads

Richard Monahan, DDS, MS
Department Head

Susan Lloyd, MA
Assistant to Department Head