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Release:  Oct. 22, 1999

UI Medical Museum features herbal medicine exhibition

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A new exhibition on herbal plants and their healing powers is featured at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics’ Medical Museum.

"Nature’s Pharmacy: Ancient Knowledge, Modern Medicine," features 25 displays of plants used for medicinal benefit in the past and present, according to Adrienne Drapkin, director of the museum. The exhibition describes their origins, historical uses in healing and ritual, current uses and areas of study, and the warnings surrounding each.

The museum focuses on plants ranging from ginseng to garlic and gives special attention to the plants’ usage in past societies’ rituals as well as in developing countries today. In many of these countries, Western medicines are in short supply or too expensive so medicine made from plants is relied upon, Drapkin said.

The exhibition, which will run through August 2000, is a collaborative effort involving the museum, the UI Herbarium and other university departments that make up the UI Collections Coalition.

The exhibition is free and open to the public during museum hours, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. in Gallery B. The museum is located on the eighth floor of the John Colloton Pavilion in the UI Hospitals and Clinics. For more information, call 356-7106 or visit its website at