Most young people find botany a dull study. So it is, as taught from the text-books in the schools; but study it yourself in the fields and woods, and you will find it a source of perennial delight - John Burroughs


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Big Pharma's Real Roots

Take two infusions of willow bark and call me in the morning.

Centuries before Big Pharma and the big headaches of health-care reform, botanists worked hand in (garden) glove with physicians to return the wan and wasted to rosy good health. So visitors will learn at "Wild Medicine," the new multipart show at the New York Botanical Garden.

The stem of Ephedra, for example, was used to relieve asthma symptoms, coughs, colds and allergies. Take that, Benadryl. The root of Ashwagandha was prescribed to fight stress. The roots, leaves and berries of Belladonna worked as an analgesic and—sometimes rather too well—as a sedative. As for that willow bark, it contains Salicin, a chemical…

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Last Updated : Sunday, March 22, 2020