Pharmacists contribute to Welsh national botanic garden
The National Botanic Garden of Wales, which includes a developing exhibit containing substantial donations from two Welsh pharmacists, was officially opened by the Prince of Wales on July 21. The donations are included in a display dedicated to the Meddygon Myddfai (Physicians of Myddfai), which is set in a 300-year-old barn. Mr Richard Thomas, of Anglesey, donated the Victorian mahogany and glass interior of his former pharmacy, while Mr
Terry Turner, from Cardiff, provided half of his personal collection of pharmaceutical antiques. The exhibit is sponsored by Roche.
Mr Turner told The Journal on July 18 that a major theme of the botanic garden was the relationship between plants and health.
When he arrived, Prince Charles first port of call was the Meddygon Myddfai exhibit and spoke at some length to Mr Turner and to Mr Thomas. Mr Turner showed the prince how to roll pills and was asked by Prince Charles to send him some more information on the Myddfai physicians.
The exhibit, which is not yet complete due to part of the barn being occupied by nesting swallows, will highlight the work of the physicians set in a world-wide context of traditional healing. There is also to be a garden containing herbs that were grown and used by the physicians.
One of the science themes of the garden is to be an ethnobotanical study of native Welsh plants in the search for novel pharmaceutical products. The manuscripts of the Physicians of Myddfai are to be used to provide clues as to which species might be worth investigating. Initially, the programme will be aimed at chemicals closely related to compounds from tropical plants that have anti-HIV and anti-tumour activity.
A feature of the 568 acre botanic garden, which has been open to the public since May, is a 100 metres by 60 metres oval glasshouse - the largest single-span glasshouse in the world.
Terry Turner (left) explains pill rolling to the Prince of Wales
Information on the Physicians of Myddfai can be found on the internet at www.gardenofwales.org.uk/features.htm and at www.hiraeth.com/alan/misc/gott-nov97/myddfai.html.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is at Middleton Hall, Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical JournalURI: 20002394