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Medicinal Plant Garden

Submitted by on July 24, 2010 – 2:55 amNo Comment

DigitalisThe Indiana Medical History Museum, 3045 Vermont Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, offers guided tours of its Medicinal Plant Garden at 11 a.m. each Saturday through September. A Master Gardener will take visitors through the garden describing the plants and their traditional uses as home remedies (that’s digitalis in the photo). Note: Garden tours are free, and don’t include a tour of the building.

The Medicinal Plant Garden was created and is maintained by Purdue Master Gardeners of Marion County. The garden features over 90 different medicinal plants, including trees, shrubs, and vines as well as annuals and herbaceous species. Nearly half of the specimens are Native American medicinal plants, while others originated in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Each plant is accompanied by signage stating its origin, what parts had medicinal uses, and what some of those uses were. Common and scientific names are given. More extensive information about the plants and about herbal medicinal preparation in general is available in an illustrated Guide to the Medicinal Plant Garden (download here).

Plants, of course, were the original source of medicine. For example, aspirin (acetyl-salicylic acid) had its beginnings from a compound that occurs naturally in willow trees (Salix alba) and in the herbaceous perennial European Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria).

(Photo credit: SXC.hu)

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