The Natural Health Service

From the Dark Ages (AD500) to the NHS (1948)

Our wonderful National Health Service (NHS) is just over 70 years old. So what did people do in the Dark Ages, over a thousand years ago, when they got ill? They used whatever nature provided in the plants that grew around them and a risky process called “trial and error”.
In Old English “wort” meant “plant” and plants were often named after the illnesses they were used to treat. We’re growing some of these plants here. Guess what these were used for:

Sneezewort — Feverfew — Lousewort (Betony) — Woundwort — Self-heal
Motherwort — Heart’s ease — Wormfern — Hart’s tongue — Soapwort

Wild plants still provide many materials for scientists to make new medicines. So we’ve made an arch from willow (used in the past to make aspirins) to represent the health giving properties of nature. Perhaps you could add a rainbow to show our special appreciation for the NHS and care workers in modern times?

WARNING. Do not take, eat or suck any of the plants growing in this planter. The National Health Service (NHS) does not prescribe herbal medicines because there is insufficient evidence that they work and they may have dangerous side effects.