Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea (foxglove)

This is a recently created section located next to the Financial Plant Section. It hosts species that have been used for medicinal purposes in the course of human history. It is well documented that although contemporary medicine has made considerable progress, 75% of the global population still relies on local plants for traditional medicine. In the Western civilized world about 7000 pharmaceutical preparations on the market are of plant origin; yet the active compounds used for their production are extracted from only 100 plant species. In the US, where chemical synthesis dominates the pharmaceutical industry, 25% of the pharmaceuticals are based on plant-derived chemicals. Therefore this newly created section seems to be of great interest.

Some of the outstanding plants of this section are: The «magic» Mandragora autumnalis (mandrake), Hypericum perforatum (common St John’s wort), the well known source of cardiological medicines Digitalis purpurea (foxglove), the «flower of the dead» Calendula officinalis (marigold), Salvia officinalis, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Ruta chalepensis, Chamomilla recutita (chamomile), Origanum majorana, Angelica archangelica, Ephedra foeminea, Lavandula angustifolia (lavander), Ricinus communis (castor-oil plant), Valeriana officinalis (valerian), Artemisia absinthium (wormwood), Zingiber officinalis and the endemic species of Crete Origanum dictamnus. Each of these species has certain uses in medicine. Most of them produce active compounds recently brought to high levels of interest