National University faculty member, Lorinda Sorensen, ND, MSAc, recently won the American Botanical Council’s photo contest. Her winning photo is featured in the 2015 fall issue of Herbalgram magazine (issue #107, pg. 80), the official publication of the American Botanical Council.
The contest required a photo of a plant with medicinal or ethno-botanical uses. Dr. Sorensen’s photo, taken of a specimen growing in National University’s herbal garden, captures an Althaea officinalis, otherwise known as marshmallow. The marshmallow plant has been used as a traditional treatment for cough, inflammation, and sore throat for over 2000 years.
Because of its sticky juice, it was used in France in the 1800s to create a unique confectionary. Later, marshmallow juice was replaced by egg whites and gelatin to create the sweets we now know as “marshmallows.”
“I have taken photos of herbs on and off since learning herbs in naturopathic medical school,” says Dr. Sorensen. “My mother gave me a Nikon camera for Christmas, so lately I’ve been doing more photography.” Dr. Sorensen frequently uses her own photos for classes she teaches in the naturopathic medicine program at National University.
For winning the contest, Dr. Sorensen received a prize of a complimentary annual professional membership to the American Botanical Council in addition to the publication of her photo. You can often find more of her photos posted on Facebook pages for the NUHS Naturopathic Medical Student’s Association or the NUHS Botanical Garden Project.