Passionate about gardening, Marjorie G. Rosen collects plants and has served on the Friends and Foundation Board of the Royal Botanic Garden. Marjorie G. Rosen currently volunteers with the New York Botanical Garden.
With one-fourth of drugs in the United States derived from plants, an ongoing horticultural exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx focuses on plants and trees that are known for their medicinal qualities. The “Wild Medicine in the Tropics” display borrows two dozen specimens from the permanent collection of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, an antique greenhouse located within the New York Botanical Garden.
One of the plants featured is the cacao plant, which contains chemicals that dilate blood vessels in ways that improve blood flow and dull nerve sensitivity. Containing an antioxidant concentration double that of red wine and three times that of green tea, cacao is particularly rich in the phenolic compound gallic acid and in the flavonoid epicatechin.
Gallic acid is used in the treatment of internal hemorrhages and diabetes and helps reduce albumin in the urine, which is associated with kidney disease. Enabling the body to effectively process nitric oxide, the flavonoids are associated with improved heart health and lower blood pressure.