The Garden

A physic (pronounced ‘fizz-ic’) garden is a garden where each plant growing has the power to heal as a medicine or to keep you healthy.

Grounded in the science of how each plant works, throughout the physic garden find over 700 plants each with information signboards. These show not only the traditional and modern plant medicine use, but also the science and active ingredients, as well as the folklore and magic that bring each plant to life!

This physic garden features plants that enhance our mind, with special collections of science-backed plants to improve memory, mood, sleep and more.

Our Story

Dilston Physic Garden first began in the early 1990’s, was opened to the public in 2005 and established as a charity primarily for educational purposes in 2007 and now has a great deal to offer visitors from near and far and in the local community.

It is the inspired creation of the curator and prominent UK neuroscientist Professor emeritus Elaine Perry. The Physic Garden team’s pioneering scientific research showed that traditional plant medicines, like European sage improve memory, focus and attention. To take part in our clinical studies into safe plant medicine for enhancing the mind, email

Did You Know?

50% of mainstream medical drugs over the past 30 years have come from plants. Aspirin is derived from white willow bark, pain-relieving morphine from the opium poppy, the memory supporting Alzheimer’s drug galantamine from snowsdrop and daffodil bulbs and the anticancer drug taxol from yew. Whole plant medicine contains more than one active chemical that work together to have their effect, often producing few if any side-effects. Plant medicine is used by over 80% of the world today to treat common ailments. In the UK, National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) trained medical herbalists are trained just like GPs to treat many common conditions.

Whole plant medicines are used today to effectively treat everything from anxiety and insomnia to IBS and skin conditions. At the physic garden beside each plant find its traditional use in plant medicine, its science such as lab tests (in vitro = ‘test tube’; in vivo = lab model), clinical trials, active chemicals & medical drugs that come from the plant; find also the all-important folklore that bring each plant to life! Though some plants are toxic (so identifying your plant is crucial), some are also foodstuffs, acting as preventative medicine maintaining and boosting your health to help prevent disease – a vital reason for our five-a-day to include a medicinal herb or two!

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