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Cambridge University Botanic Garden was developed by John Stevens Henslow, mentor of Charles Darwin, and it was opened to the public in 1846. Many of the garden’s plants have traditional uses as medicines, foods, dyes, building materials, writing tools and textiles. Today, plants remain an important source of materia medica. In the 30 years prior to 2010, nearly 50% of new drugs originated in the natural world, many from plants, and of the 252 drugs which the World Health Organization has designated as essential, 11% come directly from flowering plants. Close to 80% of these plant-based drugs are used to treat similar conditions to those treated by the same plants in traditional medicine.
Read more about the in-depth history and application of plant and horticultural sciences to medical research at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.