The Medicinal Collection

The south-west corner of the Botanic Garden is home to a modern medicinal plant collection. Here you will find eight beds, each growing plants with a connection to a medicine used to treat the following types of disease or illness:

  • Cardiology (heart complaints)
  • Oncology (cancer and cell-proliferation)
  • Infectious Diseases (viruses and parasites)
  • Gastreoenterology (alimentary tract and metabolism)
  • Dermatology (skin complaints)
  • Haematology (blood typing and disorders)
  • Neurology (nervous system and anaesthesia)
  • Pulmonology (lungs and airways)

The plants growing in these beds contain many different natural products, and fall into at least one of the following categories:

  • Directly suitable for use as a drug
  • Synthetically modifiable to provide a clinically suitable drug
  • Starting point for a drug-discovery programme

If you would like to read more about these plants, you might like to purchase the book written to accompany this plant collection.




Mandragora officinarum

Oxford Sparks joined Dr Chris Thorogood in the Botanic Garden for a re-enactment of an ancient technique to safely harvest a shrieking mandrake....with a dog!