Monday, April 5, 2010

Herbman Garden Project Teaches People about Medicinal Properties of Herbs and Cultural Uses

Have you heard about the Medicinal Herbman? We're just learning about it too! The Herbman varies in size and travels widely; he is always stretched out on the ground, which is how he teaches people about the herbs he grows.

Intrigued? The Medicinal Herbman is a project that uses a large, human body-shaped garden to teach people about the medicinal properties of herbs and their cultural uses. The Medicinal Herbman is part of the Medicinal Herbman Cafe Project from Earthscape, a Japanese landscape design team, which also includes an herbal cafe. The Herbman and the cafe travel to different locations as part of their goal to teach the public about herbs.

"In order to help illustrate herbs’ healing properties, the Earthscape team designs Herbman’s body as a map of herbs for treating specific bodily ailments," according to HerbalEGram. "When the project visited the Echigo-Tsumari region of Japan, for example, Geranium thunbergii, which is thought to aid digestion, was planted in the stomach area and Chinese mugwort (Artemisia argyi), which is thought to relieve shoulder stiffness, was planted in the shoulder area, said Nozomi Kobayashi, Earthscape’s public relations director (e-mail, February 22, 2010)."

The Medicinal Herbman Cafe Project visited three locations during the 2009 calendar year, and all of the proceeds from the Medicinal Herbman's cafe are used to build playgrounds and schoolyards in developing countries. According to the project's website, "Herbman in thinking about his next destination as he prepares for his trip in the early spring."

To learn more about this herbal medicine education project, check out the full-length article by the ABC's HerbalEGram, "Traveling Medicinal Herbman Garden Project," here:

Learn more from the Medicinal Herbaman Cafe Project website here:

Image (c) 2010 Medicinal Herbman Cafe Project:

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