CNN dubbed ethnobotanist and explorer Chris Kilham "the Indiana Jones of plant medicine," which conjures images of exotic jungles and mysterious places — and that's the appropriate mental imagery. Kilham has traveled the world in search of beneficial plants that Western medicine either doesn't know about or has forgotten. These adventures have been documented in two Medicine Trail documentaries, as well as a series of books. Kilham's goal is medical knowledge, but he also teaches a message of conservation; if the wild places are plowed under for parking lots, there goes the holistic pharmacy. The Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution dedicated to plant science and conservation, commemorates its 150th year with a Global Garden speaker series, which Kilham kicks off with an eco-friendly bang. Kilham discusses the many benefits — known and yet-to-be-discovered — of plant-based medicines at 2 and 7 p.m. today at the garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-9400 or www.mobot.org). Tickets are $10 to $15.
Thu., March 26, 2009