This weekend, I went to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, where they have a special exhibit called "Wild Medicine." It features healing plants from around the world and will be ending soon, on September 8th. I highly recommend catching it if you can.
The exhibit is beautiful and packed full of trivia that treads into the realm of relevance. For example: What chemical is found in Jaborandi leaves? (Hint: it's used to treat Sjogren's syndrome.) It's refreshing to learn and directly see the natural sources of medicines ranging from atropine to ephedrine to paclitaxel to quinine.
It was a enjoyable experience, with maybe only one flaw:
Those interested in traveling abroad and surviving jungles will learn about tropical plants, such as the tropical blueberry, whose toxicity is directly proportional to its altitude (this plant is being studied in hopes of treating COPD by reducing inflammation). By the way, for the restless, the chemical in Jaborandi leaves is pilocarpine.
Aside from the "Wild Medicine" exhibit, there were many other sights to enjoy, including the "Italian Renaissance Garden," a re-creation of the Botanical Garden of Padua and the "Four Seasons" sculptures by American artist Philip Haas.
Disclaimer: I wish. I receive no monetary compensation from the NYBG.