Created By: Old Cowtown Museum
The Herb Area in the Industrial District of Old Cowtown Museum represents the natural bounty on the prairie for healing and culinary uses.
Healing by herbs is a time-honored tradition. This activity is the root of modern pharmacology. Immigrants such as the Wolf family from Germany brought their herbal lore and craft to America. They combined this knowledge by learning about local herbs from Native Americans, though they believed that the spirit of the plant heals rather than the plant itself. The Shakers were one of the first groups to organize the mass cultivation and sale of herbs and seeds. Their example of profit through harvesting and selling herbs and seeds, rather than using herbs to care for their individual health, lead others to consider wildcrafting the harvesting of herbs. Settlers such as the Wolf family, part of the westward expansion, looked for cash crops to supplement their income. The towns drugstore nearby would be the logical choice to sell the raw material for medicinal products, herbs. If you visit the drug store you will see many of the same herbs preserved.
The native plants grown in this area are maintained by Kansas State Research and Extension Master Gardeners of Sedgwick County.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Old Cowtown Museum Tour