Medicinal Garden

Artist  Marjolein Bastin
Painted  2010
Medium  Watercolor
Subject Location  Netherlands

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Artist Notes

This could be a page from a century-old book about the healing powers of herbs that can be found in the garden of the abbey. But instead it is lungwort from my own garden and it is almost blooming.

Its scientific name comes from the Latin word “pulmones” which means lungs. During the early sixteenth century people believed in the Doctrine of Signatures which essentially stood for the proposition that plants look like the disease that it will cure. The stained leaves of lungwort resemble a diseased lung, and so it was thought to help against coughing, sore throats, bronchitis and tuberculosis. It is true that the leaves contain hydrated silica, tannic acid, saponins and minerals…

Even now not all medications come from a chemical factory. Thirty percent still comes from nature! To this day new plant species are discovered – although it is also true that unfortunately some go extinct before they are carefully examined. Those species now extinct will never return. It resembles a beaded necklace, you just can’t remove one of the beads. The beads…the necklace…that is biodiversity.

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