In his earthy, conversational, humorous and incredibly knowledgeable way, Duke led us on a tour of the plants in his garden that are mentioned in The Bible. He welcomed us to smell, touch, and sometimes taste the various species as he told us stories about his experiences with them, and what he knew about their active components and healing properties.
Last weekend, I had the great good fortune of attending a medicinal herb walk/talk with James Duke. The talk was sponsored by Tai Sophia Institute (a wellness school offering graduate degree programs in acupuncture, herbal medicine and applied healing arts) and took place at Duke’s Green Farmacy, his own private gardens with over 150 medicinal plants.
During his long and auspicious career, Duke has worked to study and catalog the myriad chemical constituents of plants. One tremendous resource is the Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases that he helped create for the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture. You can search the database to find the chemicals and activities of various plants, as well as their medicinal uses. You just need to enter in the plant’s scientific name.