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Safety Nets for Medicinal Plants


One of the priority actions of BGCI's 5 year plan (2013 – 2018) is to assess the conservation status of medicinal plants to inform prioritised conservation efforts. To do this we will work with the IUCN/SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group and botanic gardens around the world.


Botanic gardens support the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants in the following ways:  

  • Working with communities to document and use indigenous knowledge
  • Educating on the value and uses of sustainably harvested medicinal plants
  • Collecting and developing gene pools of wild stock plants
  • Research to discover and investigate medicinal plant properties
  • Using collections to support local initiatives in primary healthcare, particularly in developing countries
  • Using collections to support screening programmes for pharmaceutical companies, in accordance with guidelines on access and benefit sharing, and to assay the value and safety of particular medicines
  • Improving the agronomy of cultivated medicinal plants
  • Cultivating medicinal plants, to tackle unsustainable harvest and improve ease of harvest
  • Practice of horticultural therapy, using plants and gardening to treat mental and physical disorders
  • Educating end consumers and supporting standard setting for medicinal plant production

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.


Medicinal Plants - Nature Palace Foundation, Uganda
NFP in Uganda are involved in a project with BGCI of strengthening community collaboration through joint strategic planning with a focus of cultivating essential medicinal plants for income and health promotion at household level. Download this PDF to find out more.
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.