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BGCI Continues with Medicinal Plant Conservation

Our new project, ‘Botanical Safety Nets for Medicinal Plants’ aims to conserve threatened medicinal plants used for primary healthcare in developing countries. The work will initially focus on identifying and recording key threatened medicinal plant species held in botanic garden collections, thus facilitating effective prioritisation for medicinal plant conservation and sustainable utilisation programmes.

Latter stages of the project will include detailed consultation with botanic gardens worldwide and an assessment of current medicinal plant conservation work underway and the potential for skill-sharing.

Panax quinquefolius

Wild Panax quinquefolius, 4 year old plant.
Ginseng (Panax spp.) is one of the most widely known medicinal herbs in the world, renowned for improving physical and mental performance. Some Panax species are threatened due to over-harvesting in the wild.
Image © US Fish and Wildlife

Training workshops will raise awareness of the importance of conserving medicinal plant species and the significant contribution that botanic gardens can make.

Case studies, best practice and priority conservation programmes will be identified and promoted via a report and action plan, available to a wide range of end-users from botanic garden professionals to the public.

It is hoped that this exciting project will help strengthen links between conservation bodies and create an enabling environment for the successful global co-ordination of medicinal plant conservation.

If you would like any further information about this project, or if you have any input that you feel would be beneficial, please do not hesitate to contact Belinda Hawkins at

Plants for Life: Medicinal Plants Under Threat

BGCI has published the findings of a year-long investigation into the state of medicinal plants around the world.


CITES and Medicinal Plants Study: A Summary of Findings

BGCI is working to link plant conservation with improvements in human well-being through a new project for threatened medicinal species to help ensure on-going access to vital plant resources. Medicinal plant displays are popular features in gardens, who also contribute research and other services.


Chinese Herbal Medicine
This book does not debate the value of Eastern or Western medicine but brings together Chinese herbal lore and Western scientific methods in a current, comprehensive treatise on the pharmacology of Chinese herbs. Covering 473 herbs, it records everything from the chemistry to the history of each.
Zulu Medicinal Plants
This inventory of nearly 1000 plants used in Zulu traditional medicine is based on a survey dating from the late-19th century to the present.