A garden of medicinal plants

A garden of medicinal plants


By Henry Oakeley, Jane Knowles, Michael de Swiet and Anthony Dayan

A garden of medicinal plants describes 50 plants from the Medicinal Garden at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) that are sources of ancient and modern medicines.

It outlines their uses, discovery, history, mythology and the illnesses they treat or cause, sourced from the earliest herbals to modern pharmacopoeias and medical journals. The book presents over 100 photos and woodcuts and brief biographies of the medical authors of past millennia.

The modern references have been omitted from the book due to space considerations but are available online.


  • The history of the garden
  • Plants from the beginning of time
  • Plants illustrating the doctrines of signatures and humours
  • Plants with an association with the College
  • Plants from the College's Pharmacopoeia Londinensis (1618)
  • Plants that were milestones in the discovery of medicines
  • Poisonous plants which have changed the world
  • More poisonous plants, uses and abuses
  • Herbal medicines
  • Plants for treating cancer
  • Plants as sources of modern medicines

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