Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum opened its 2015 membership year with a talk at the Wayne Public Library on, “Medicinal Plants of the Civil War” given by Dr. Lesley Parness. Dr. Parness is Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission and president of the Garden State Gardens Consortium.
Dr. Parness quoted General Ulysseys S. Grant as saying, “I will not move my army without onions.” This reflects the importance of plants in treating the sick and wounded during the Civil War. “The books known as Medicinal Botanies revolutionized plant-based medicine of the period and brought about the rise of today’s giant pharmaceutical companies,” she said. The illustrated texts, used by physicians in both the Union and Confederate armies, described the properties, uses, preparation and administration of a wide variety of plants. Continue reading →