The Garden of the Simples

The Garden of the Simples in the Middle Ages was the place for the cultivation of medicinal plants; in fact, in medieval terminology, the active principles that were obtained directly from Nature were named “simples”. To obtain the healing principles (active principles) the plants were subjected to various treatments in the laboratory called officina and this explains why medicinal plants are also called officinal plants and herbs.

Our Garden of the Simples is located in the Research Area of Rome 1 and was established thanks to the interest of some of us in the healing principles extracted from medicinal plants. The Garden was created plant after plant and flowerbed after flowerbed, and is still evolving; hence it is not built according to a specific rationale, but the effect, especially in late spring, is pleasant and it is a point of attraction also for wildlife, including porcupines, badgers and wild boars, whose presence, although occasionally contrasts our work, enriches biodiversity. There is also a small pond under construction.

Our Garden should become soon the opportunity of exchanges with other Gardens of the Simples and of collaborations focused on the biological activity of the compounds we extract from plants.

The collection of our Garden of the Simples can be found at the Biomemory Project archives at this link