Phytology is a great botanical project opening our minds to plants which are commonly labelled as weeds. Their website explains that the project “brings artists and botanists together to explore the medicinal properties of plants that are common to derelict urban environments… (and) aims to challenge ideas of use, value, resilience and the function of wildness within our urban ecosystem”.

The team (including Dr. Peter Giovannini, the International Projects Officer for Kew Royal Botanic Gardens) are busily preparing for the opening of a medicinal field in late April at the Bethnal Green site. Visitors will be able to explore the field, learn about the plants and harvest them for medicine and food. Here are a few of the plants that will be found on site.

Wild Garlic, which can be used:

  • As treatment of colds and bronchitis1
  • As treatment for indigestion and as anthelminthic1
  • Can reduce high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levelsPhytology

Marsh Mallow:

  • It is often used to treat bronchitis1 and sore throat
  • Decoction of the Marsh Mallow roots is traditionally used for pharyngitis
  • The leaves are used for urinary tract infectionsPhytology

St Johns Wart:

  • Minor wounds and burns
  • Symptomatic relief of mild gastrointestinal problems
  • The treatment of anxiety, low mood, and ‘to strengthen the nerves



  • To treat fevers
  • To treat skin disease and wounds
  • To treat digestive complaints
  • In Arabian countries is used as anti-scorbutic, diuretic, and antispasmodic


Illustrations by Talya Baldwin. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.