The Herbario Medicinal is the natural heir to the first registry of medicinal plants in Mexico, dating from 1552. European missionaries had early on begun collecting information and describing the healing plants used in the Americas.
Even despite this 500 years of knowledge, most of today’s medicines are made by chemical synthesis. But the world of medical knowledge from traditional therapists, healers, herbalists, and midwives, is based on a number of medicinal plants still providing natural and sometimes more effective treatments.
The Herbario is in the basement of the convention building of the National Medical Center, in the colonia Doctores. Exhibitions are updated and thorough. Dedicated to the scientific study of the indigenous plants of the Mexican territory, it’s an astounding collection. Of particular interest to scientists, botanists, and pharmacists, the general public is welcome, too. As many of the plants and herbs on display are still available, and even in wide use, the Herbario is sometimes a first stop for those with an interest in the field.
The largest herbarium in the Americas, the collection circulates nearly 14,000 different botanical samples. The Herbario is also convenient to the rest of the Centro Medico complex, and a short walk from the Metro Centro Medico.