The Healing Power of Plants
Fact or Fiction? Medicine Hunters Past Remedies Home Grown Places to Go Plant Profiles
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Perry Davis' Vegetable Pain Killer
© Museum of Health Care at Kingston

Canadian First Nations' Use of Healing Plants

Nitsitapiisinni - Stories and Spaces: Exploring Kainai Plants and Culture
A class of grade-four children from the Aahsaopi School in Southern Alberta explore the land and the medicinal properties and historic uses of plants by interviewing elders and hearing their stories. The site also contains over 40 complete digitized books and teacher planning resources and links.

Traditional Plant Use in the Hazeltons
This site looks at the ways the Gitxsan and Wet'suwet'en Nations use the plants available in their home in northwestern British Columbia. It includes a section use of plants as medicines.

Native American Ethnobotany
A searchable database of products, including medicines, derived from plants by the First Nations of North America, maintained by Dearborn College, Michigan.

Canadian Settlers' Use of Healing Plants

Folk Medicine
A charming presentation of drawings and descriptions of traditional plant remedies used in Newfoundland created by Mr. Rodgers' Grade 5 class at Vanier Elementary School in St. John's

Folk Medicine
This entry in the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada's on-line encyclopaedia includes some examples of plants used for healing in Mennonite communities.

Cures and Quackery: The Rise of Patent Medicines
This on-line exhibit created by The McCord Museum includes information about some of the remedies popular in 19th-century Canada, many of which included plant extracts.

Plant Cultures: Exploring Plants and People – Medicine
This on-line exhibit created by Kew Gardens explores the use of plants in three traditional systems of medicine: Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani. All originated in Asia but are now also practiced in Canada.

Historic Books and Herbals On-line

Rare Books from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library
This site presents over 70 completely digitized historic illustrated works on botany, including many herbals and volumes about medicinal plants.

Southwest School of Botanical Medicine
This site contains an extensive on-line library of plant images and complete historic texts, mostly North American & including many volumes relating to Eclectic and Thompsonian medicine.

A Modern Herbal
The on-line version of M. Grieve's herbal, first published in 1931.

Current Research

CAMline is a Canadian evidence-based website about complementary and alternative medicine for both health-care professionals and the public. It includes sections on current research and Canadian regulations for many of today's most widely-used herbal medications.

Medicinal Plant Gardens and Gardening

For Canadian gardens to visit in person or on-line, see Places to Go

The Chelsea Physic Garden
This garden in London, England was originally founded in 1673 to help train apothecaries' apprentices in plant identification, and still grows medicinal plants.

University of Washington's Medicinal Herb Garden
A virtual tour, with medium-resolution images of many of the medicinal plants grown there.

University of Rhode Island Medicinal Plant Garden
The site contains a partial list of plants grown and some of their historical or current uses. Many plant descriptions are also linked to photographs.

Growing Medicinal Plants as Crops

Growing Herbs for the Medicine Chest
A report from Statistics Canada about the role of medicinal plants in Canadian agriculture. An accompanying teacher's unit can be found at

Conservation of Medicinal Plants

Medicinal Plant Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union
This site contains general information about the importance of conserving medicinal plants worldwide and profiles of medicinal plant species native to Canada/North America considered to be at risk.

United Plant Savers
Site of a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving wild medicinal plants in Canada and the US.

Canadian Government Regulations

The Natural Health Products Directorate
Site of the federal government agency that oversees implementation of the new Natural Health Products Regulations and manages other natural health products issues.

Medical Marijuana
Health Canada's site on the medical marijuana access regulations and program.


No Easy Answers: The Commercialization of Traditional Medicinal Plants
An on-line learning unit from the University of Victoria which examines some of the ethical issues surrounding the commercialization of traditional medicinal plants, with examples and case studies from British Columbia.

Native Plants and First Nations: How can we create research that is equitable, sustainable and beneficial to all?
The report of a two-day workshop in British Columbia that brought together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants to begin to discuss this issue.

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