Advanced Course

Health properties of natural products

Advanced Course in Health properties of natural products, coordinated by prof. Mario Dell’Agli, which reached its fourth edition in the academic year 2023-2024, aims to provide professional preparation in the sector of the use and production of medicinal and medicinal plants and products of natural origin for health and therapeutic.

Interest in using medicinal plants and natural products to promote human health has grown significantly in recent years. The biological and pharmacological properties of medicinal and medicinal plants and their derivatives, the use of which is consolidated in many traditional medicines and provides numerous ideas for modern research, are increasingly being studied to evaluate their efficacy, as well as the safety of use.

Knowledge of the botanical and phytochemical characteristics of medicinal plants, their pharmacological activity and that of the products deriving from them, as well as possible interactions and undesirable effects, are the basis of their rational use in the health and therapeutic fields and of the formulation of products safe and effective.

Based on the merit ranking, three scholarships will be assigned to fully cover the registration fee.

The deadline to register is 18/12/2023, the announcement with all the information is available at this link.

Registrations by 12/18/2023 for this LINK

Objectives of the course

Bringing the academic world closer to that of industrial production is part of the aim of the specialization course and, for this reason, the involvement of important companies in the sector is foreseen, in order to deepen the methodologies for transforming vegetable raw materials into healthy products.

The educational program of the course, which is delivered in e-learning mode with distance lessons, provides for the deepening of knowledge relating to the phytochemical and pharmacological characteristics of medicinal plants and products of natural origin. Supplementary notions will be provided regarding the pathology and the possible interactions between the same products of natural origin, drugs and foods.

The topics covered in the course are linked to various professional and productive sectors. Among these are the health professions (pharmacist, doctor-surgeon, nutritional biologist, biotechnologist), the professional figures who in various capacities work in pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of food supplements, as well as in the normative-regulatory, information and dissemination field of knowledge in the field of phytotherapy and products of natural origin.

Who is it for?

The course is intended for graduates in Herbal Sciences and Technologies, Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology, Medicine and Surgery, Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Nutrition and Food and other degree classes pertaining to the health professions.

Method of carrying out

The advanced course will take place on Friday and Saturday, lessons will begin on January 12th and end on March 9th 2024. The training course is divided into 88 hours of distance learning (with online teaching materials made available to the students) and a final test. A total of: 11 ECTS credits will be awarded to the set of teaching activities.


The lessons are held by professors from the University of Milan and other Italian universities, as well as by professionals who work in companies in the sector of production of food supplements and health products of plant origin.

Organizational secretariat and contacts

Dr. Marco Angarano
Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences ‘Rodolfo Paoletti’ Via Balzaretti, 9 – 20133 Milan – Italy
Email: – Tel. +39 02 50318408

Topics covered

  • Medicinal, medicinal and aromatic plants as ingredients of health products, characteristics of drugs, areas of use.
  • Secondary metabolism in medicinal plants: roles and interactions with the environment.
  • The cultivation of medicinal plants. – Phytocomplex and variability factors of herbal drugs.
  • Extraction techniques and preparations obtainable from medicinal plants and vegetable drugs. Standardization and titration of extracts.
  • Phytochemistry – Chemical constituents of herbal drugs.
  • Quality controls of herbal drugs.
  • Identification of plant substances with DNA barcoding.
  • Formulation of herbal products and plant-based medicines.
  • Safe use of products of natural origin; drug and food interactions; phytovigilance. –
  • Regulations and legislation of the herbal sector.
  • Ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology
  • Traditional medicines: Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Essential oils and aromatherapy.
  • Medicinal plants for the central nervous system: stimulating tonics.
  • Medicinal plants for the CNS: antidepressants and sleep inducers.
  • Medicinal plants for the CNS: brain aging and neurodegeneration.
  • Adaptogenic and immunomodulatory herbs.
  • Antiviral and antibacterial herbs.
  • Medicinal plants for the cardiovascular system and disorders of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
  • Medicinal plants for pain and inflammation.
  • Medicinal plants for the respiratory system.
  • Medicinal plants for the urinary system and reproductive system.
  • Medicinal plants for the gastrointestinal system and the hepato-biliary system.
  • Medicinal plants for the skin.
  • Medicinal plants in the pediatric age group.
  • Medicinal plants for the elderly.
  • Medicinal plants in pregnancy and lactation.
  • Generalities of the intestinal microbiota, probiotics and prebiotics.
  • Discussion forum on company experiences.