Museum of Medicine
School of Medicine, University of Crete

Areas of Interest / From herbs to medicines


Medicinal plants hold a special place in the history of cultures. The way of studying and exploiting plants over the centuries was based on the special relationship of man with nature, the biochemical interaction of humans and plants as well as the holding perceptions of health and disease.

Our country, due to its favorable climate and geographical location, has developed a particularly rich flora that has been used extensively. There are quite a few native and endemic plants that today’s science documents as medicinal. As far as Crete is concerned, several of the medicinal plants of the island's flora, imported from historical or early historical times, have been incorporated into the natural environment.

The relationship between herbs and medicines within the wider cultural spectrum has a plethora of references. Starting from mythology we attempt to design attractive routes and at the same time highlight the cultural profile of plants that have a long history of use in therapeutics. The therapeutic knowledge and practices acquired by man living in nature, survived and evolved over time. This knowledge is currently being exploited by biomedical research.

Folk remedies are also a milestone in this journey. At the same time, plants become songs, dances and hymns accompanying the pleasant and unpleasant moments of our popular culture. Enchantments and folk remedies mark a tradition that seeks healing in nature and its powers. Science comes to disprove or confirm these historical references. In the same context, short stories of plants with references to mythology, folk medicine and modern Pharmacology, "dark" stories of herbs which in small doses are medicines, while in large doses are poisons, as well as herb-substances associated with addiction and dependence are highlighted through relevant activities.

Medicinal plants have been a source of inspiration for artists of all ages. By studying the historical path of plants, we seek records of their use from the art of prehistorical times to modern art. Minoan naturalistic art and its symbolism is an important chapter in this field.

The Museum of Medicine highlights in many ways the thematic perspective "from herbs to medicines" through:
  • Educational activities and educational programmes aimed at raising students' awareness of a valuable heritage and knowledge that runs through the ages
  • One-day conferences, events and seminars
  • Tours and experiential activities

Contact
2810 39 4518
daily, 10:00 - 14:00

School of Medicine
University of Crete
2208 ΤΚ 71003
Voutes, Heraklion Crete, GR