Medicinal Garden Launches

Posted on March 19, 2012 by Erin Grajek

September 23, 2011

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. is collaborating with D’Youville College School of Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, part of Catholic Health, to create indoor and outdoor Medicinal Gardens at the Botanical Gardens. To celebrate this collaboration and the beginning of work on the gardens, the three organizations will host a reception to launch the indoor collection and highlight plans for the outdoor garden on Wednesday, October 5 at 4:00pm.

The reception will include live demonstrations from D’Youville College School of Pharmacy faculty and staff, information sessions with a representative from the Seneca Nation of Indians, question and answer sessions with Botanical Gardens’ docents and gardeners, an information table from the Western New York affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a display of medicinal plants that honor October as National Pharmacy Month and Cancer Prevention Month, sketches and site tours of the future outdoor Medicinal Garden and future educational components of these Gardens.

A Medicinal Garden reflects one of the fundamental uses of plants - for medicine and healing. Many healing plants are found in the Rainforests and have helped to sustain centuries of traditional preparation of medicines. Through scientific research, thousands of medical compounds are derived from plants to help fight human ailments. Medicinal Gardens at the Botanical Gardens will provide visitors with a better understanding of the importance of medicinal plants, how they are used in traditional, herbal and modern medicines and further strengthen their awareness of the interdependence between humans and plants.

The indoor Medicinal Garden will start as a collection of cancer fighting plants in honor of National Pharmacy Month and Cancer Prevention Month. This small Medicinal Garden will be the start to a large collection of indoor, tropical plants that are used for medicinal purposes. The collection of cancer fighting plants include;

  • Turmeric - which studies have demonstrated potential anti-cancer properties and is undergoing further research as potential chemotherapy drug
  • Pacific Yew - which was used to create Paclitaxel that has been approved by the FDA for treatment of various cancers
  • Madagascar Periwinkle - was used to create the FDA approved drugs Vinblastine and Vincristine for treatment of brain tumors, Hodgkins Disease, lymphomas and testicular cancer
  • Ginseng - which studies have demonstrated potential anti-cancer properties, based on traditional Chinese herbal medicine and is undergoing further research as potential chemotherapy drug
  • Saw Palmetto - studies have demonstrated potential anti-cancer properties and is undergoing further research as potential chemotherapy drug and is licensed in Europe
  • Bitter Melon - studies have demonstrated potential anti-cancer properties, especially in breast cancer and is undergoing further research as potential chemotherapy drug
  • Cayenne Pepper - studies have demonstrated potential anti-cancer properties used to topically to alleviate some chemotherapy and radiation related adverse effects and is undergoing further research as a potential chemotherapy drug
  • May Apple - was used to create FDA approved drugs Etoposide and Teniposide which are currently used in treatment of leukemia, lung cancer and testicular cancer
  • Camptoheca acuminate - was used to create FDA approved drugs Irinotecan and Topotecan and is used for treatment of cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer

The indoor Medicinal Garden will continue to expand and plans to highlight different groupings of plants throughout the year are in place. In 2012, the outdoor Medicinal Garden will be designed to educate the public about medicinal plants and create a beautiful place for spiritual healing, meditation and reflection.

The indoor and outdoor Medicinal Gardens will be included in Botanical Gardens admission and will be open 10am-5pm Monday-Sunday according to the Botanical Gardens schedule. Tickets can be purchased at the door and prices vary according to the time of year.

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