A head start

Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

Chelsea Physic Gar­den was founded in 1673 by the Wor­ship­ful So­ci­ety of Apothe­caries in or­der to train ap­pren­tices in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and ap­pli­ca­tion of liv­ing medic­i­nal plants. In its early days, only the com­mon snow­drop, Galan­thus ni­valis, would have been in cul­ti­va­tion and not yet noted for its medic­i­nal prop­er­ties. In more re­cent times, how­ever, the pres­ence of the al­ka­loid galan­thamine has been iden­ti­fied in the species and is used in the devel­op­ment of medicines for treat­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease, jus­ti­fy­ing the pres­ence of snow­drops in the Physic Gar­den’s Neu­rol­ogy Bed.

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