Growing opportunities with Botany Club

Ingelia White (far left) and the Botany Club present Chancellor Doug Dykstra with a $3,000 donation

Ingelia White (far left) and the Botany Club present Chancellor Doug Dykstra with a $3,000 donation.

Dr. Ingelia White and the Botany Club presented a $3,000 donation to WCC Chancellor Doug Dykstra during a ceremony April 13 to help support the college’s Agripharmatech Program.

The club raised funds by selling products they learned how to make in the Botany 205 course on medicinal plants.

“These are all natural products,” said White. “Their uses have already been proven.” There has been no formal advertisement, but they have received orders from people on the mainland, as far as Alaska and Washington D.C.

You can order directly from Dr. White or one of her students during school events such as Ho’olaulea, the Bon Dance, Welcome Back events and club events. After you decide on a purchase, they will put in your order for your product to be made.

As part of a UH Foundation fund, the money will be used for student scholarships, research internships and student travel to scientific conferences on the mainland and internationally. “They carry Windward’s name with them to places like Singapore and Ecuador,” said Dykstra. “It gets students aware of the entrepreneurial potential that is provided to them.”

Many of the students involved in the Agripharmatech Program spoke about how this was going to help them start a business in the future.

“I got into this program because me and my cousin wanted to start a business together,” said a student. “I’ll use the knowledge I learned here to make products.”

Botany 205 is a capstone class for the ethnopharmacognosy specialization of the Agripharmatech Program here at WCC. The students each semester study a different plant and learn the nutraceutical values of the plant.

One of the plants they studied was the Spanish Needle, from which they made a tooth cleaning powder. Research done by the program has shown an average of 22 percent lower bacterial colony presence in the mouth of users compared to when they just used regular toothpaste to brush their teeth.

The research findings are published in a book produced by the college and sold in the WCC bookstore. Also in the book are recipes for products the students learned how to produce, including items such as tea, lollipops and soap —all of which have medicinal benefits.

by Jonathan Blais, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter