Oct 16, 201309:00 AMPoint of View

Killer Herbs

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Benjamin Rush Medicinal Garden. Planting plan and remedies.

Courtesy The College of Physicians

You might be inclined to think of the Garden as a quaint curiosity. Yet Evi Numen, exhibitions manager at the College, says that medicinal plants are “actually becoming more relevant...bio-molecular science is used to extract elements...nano particles.”

Unfortunately, countless opportunities for medical discovery have already been lost forever as plant biodiversity diminishes globally, crushed by environmental degradation and industrial forces. Extraordinary preservation capacity (4.5 million different seed samples) built into the Global Seed Vault attempts to counter these threats to biodiversity by storing duplicate seeds from over one hundred countries on a frozen island in Norwegian territory.

Courtesy Mari Tefre/Svalbard Globale Seed Vault

Marigold medicine 

Courtesy Joseph G. Brin © 2013

Our common ignorance of the natural origin of all manner of things is a dubious hallmark of modern civilization. Therefore the Benjamin Rush Medicinal Garden's bounty of near sixty plants, used to legitimately treat a host of ailments, is eye opening. A visit here inspires a more intelligent and intimate connection to the natural world.

Benjamin Rush Medicinal Plant Garden, outpost of medicinal plant biodiversity

Courtesy The College of Physicians

 

 

Joseph G. Brin is an architect, fine artist and writer based in Philadelphia, PA.

Answer to Jack O' Lantern mystery: Inflated decoration in lobby of The College of Physicians reflected in glass-framed Rush portrait.

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