The San Diego Botanical Garden will create a national collection of medicinal plants

North County Attractions Encinitas
The San Diego Botanical Garden reopened this week, but there are new rules and limitations. Photo credit: @sdbgarden, via Twitter

The San Diego Botanical Garden received a $384,000 grant from the Conrad Prebys Foundation to open a National Herbal Medicine Collection.

Over the next year, the garden and collaborators at the Salk Institute will establish what is expected to become a premier model for the conservation and conservation of economical plants and the development of herbal medicines.

The collection will focus on species used in Western medicine from ancient times to the present, indigenous medicinal plants, and Southwestern medicinal plants, with an emphasis on San Diego flora.

“The Conrad Prebys Foundation is thrilled to fund this project, as it supports our vision to build a stronger, healthier San Diego through an innovative and collaborative approach,” said Erin Decker, Director of Grants.

“This national plant collection and consortium forms a cutting-edge model that will contribute to both environmental conservation and economic development goals by studying and developing plant-based solutions,” Decker said.

The consortium, which will include local universities, research institutes and Indian tribes, hopes to cultivate at least 500 medicinal plants, while developing protocols to optimize drug discovery from the collection.

“In the coming months, we will organize a San Diego-based consortium of scientists and stakeholders from plant biology institutions, drug development researchers, and experts in traditional uses of medicinal plants,” Ari said. Novy, president and CEO of the garden.

Novy said plans include creating a public herbal garden to teach the more than 200,000 children and adults who visit each year about growing, using and learning about medicinal flora.

Established in 1970, the San Diego Botanical Garden is a 37-acre natural setting in Encinitas with four miles of trails and nearly 5,300 species and varieties of plants.

Alvin J. Chase