University of Charleston

Cover of BookA Guide to the Toxicology of Select Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern North America Published by UC Professors.

Charleston, WV, September 1, 2020 – Rebecca S. Linger, Ph.D. and Dennis K. Flaherty, Ph.D., Professors from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, have published A Guide to the Toxicology of Select Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern North America, a treatise on the toxicology of medicinal plants that grow in our area.

“The use of medicinal plants is quite widespread in Appalachia,” Dr. Linger states, “I regularly hear from my former students that their pharmacy patients are asking them about the use of medicinal plants and extracts.”

This new book covers the medicinal properties of select Appalachian plants that can cause serious health problems if overused. The book also gives a layperson’s level explanation of how the plant components interact with the body. “We wanted to create a ‘cautionary tale,” where folks could fully understand how these plants affect their wellbeing,” explains Dr. Flaherty.

The information in this book has been synthesized from a wide variety of science-based sources and provides the reader with current, concise information. In addition to educating the weekend forager, this book is a useful resource for Poison Control Centers, physicians, academics, students, herbalists, and regulatory agencies.

The book is available at Taylor Books, the WV Marketplace at the Capital Market, the Kanawha State Forest Gift Shop, and on

Dr. Linger is a Professor at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. She is a Medicinal Chemist who has research interests in the ethnobotany of Appalachian plants. She is a well-known regional speaker on edible and medicinal plants and is a West Virginia Master Naturalist. Dr. Linger has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on topics related to medicinal chemistry. This is her first book.

Dr. Flaherty is a retired Associate Professor at the University of Charleston. He has over 30 years of experience in the field of toxicology, immunotoxicology and risk assessment. He is the author/editor of three reference books on immunotoxicology or risk assessment and has published the textbook “Immunology for Pharmacy.” This is Dr. Flaherty’s fifth book. He has published over 50 peer reviewed research articles and authored ten book chapters. Dr. Flaherty is also an inventor and holds eight technology patents.