KU Researchers Take a Fresh Look at Old Medicine

Release Date: 
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kansas Alumni, Issue 4, 2011.

The 80-odd souls huddled under a canopy at KU’s Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden are looking for something that’s in short supply on this patch of prime Kansas River bottomland: shade. Open fields separate the river from the rumpled hills north of Lawrence, and the rich topsoil deposited by centuries of flooding is what soil scientists call Class I. This was Kansa Indian land, and the riparian bands of forest that once shadowed the riverbanks two miles south and west may have extended this far into the prairie at one time, but the cropland swells that roll toward every horizon now grow mostly corn and beans. Hours earlier, a thunderstorm packing 70-mile-per-hour winds strafed the county, felling trees and cutting power. But as a Saturday tour gets underway, skies are clear and the June sun already, at 10 in the morning, burns black-skillet hot.

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