posted on: 04/29/2009 - 10:27pm by Cosmos
My interest in trees should come as no surprise to anyone, but there is one arboretum (a.k.a., tree garden) in Balboa Park that particularly encourages my bladder control. The Trees for Health Garden, located near Balboa Drive and Quince Street, features dozens of tree varieties with unique medicinal properties to promote awareness of the value of these remarkable healing plants.
A number in front of each tree corresponds to a descriptive listing in the guide book available at the garden’s entry kiosk or in the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Favoring native, Mediterranean, tropical, and subtropical varieties, the garden includes trees used in traditional healing practices around the world (Mulberry, Jujube, Coffee Berry), as well as those prized for their nutritional properties (Pecan, Bay Laurel, and Pomegranate) and commercial applications (Tea Tree, Willow, Allspice).
While some of the names sound quite tasty, I was especially excited to discover that some trees, such as the African Sausage and African Walnut, even find their way into modern pharmaceuticals. Being a happy dog, my favorite, however, is the Happy Tree. Native to China, it produces a natural alkaloid (camptothecin), which has been used as a cancer treatment.
The Trees for Health Garden offers a scenic detour loop off of Park Trails #1 and #2, as just about any time of year something is in bloom.