Apothecary Garden

The Butler University Apothecary Garden makes an exciting destination for anyone who would like to learn more about the fascinating world of healing plants. Today, herbal medicine has truly become part of our everyday world, and herbal medicines are available in every drug store.  At the Apothecary Garden you can view firsthand the plants from which leaves, flowers, and roots are now taken for use in capsules at your local pharmacy.  See what St. John’s wort looks like, for instance.  Descriptive labels make it easy for you to get to know over 30 medicinal plants from all over the world.

The Apothecary Garden reflects medicinal plant traditions spanning both continents and centuries.  The section of the garden nearest the Holcomb Building features plants of traditional Chinese medicine.  Near Robertson Hall to the north are herbs used in Native American and Western European herbal healing traditions. The gardens also include plants containing widely used for prescribed medicines, such as aspirin and digoxn.  The methylated form of aspirin, known to us as oil of wintergreen, is found in the lovely native groundcover of the same name.  Digoxn, a heart stimulant, is found in foxglove.  There are many more plants which have proven beneficial, including echinacea, a powerful immune system stimulant, and St. John’s wort, an antidepressant.  It appears that such plants contain a range of compounds which work together to restore health.