Plants for breathing: Medicinal Garden tour
Royal College of Physicians Medicinal Garden

Coinciding with the exhibition 'Catch your breath' at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), join a tour of the medicinal garden led by experts to explore and learn about plants and their properties that have been used throughout history to aid breathing and alleviate symptoms of breathlessness.

Free but pre-booking is required. Book tickets

RCP Medicinal Garden

'Catch your Breath'

Free temporary exhibition open 2 April – 20 September 2019

Drawing on art, philosophy, anthropology, medical history and literature, this new exhibition combines research from the Life of Breath project with artist commissions and objects from the RCP collections and beyond, to show that breathing is so much more than a bodily function.

From a baby’s first cries to a dying gasp, breath is an ever-present companion on the journey through life.  Breathing isn’t just a biological process; it enables us to communicate, to speak, to create music. It can have deep cultural and spiritual meaning.  It can be a marker of both health and illness.

Catch your breath reflects on the ways people experience breath and breathlessness and how doctors have diagnosed and treated the diseases which cause the symptom. Working with artists, patients and doctors, we hope to raise awareness of breathlessness and to tackle the stigma that surrounds it.

This is a collaborative exhibition developed in partnership with Culture Durham, the Palace Green Library, the Life of Breath Project and University of Bristol. The Life of Breath project is supported by the Wellcome Trust.


Medicinal Garden

RCP Medicinal Garden

The Royal College of Physicians' garden contains over 1,100 plants, all with links to medicine. The myriad stories they tell come from diverse cultures, different countries and from every age in recorded history.

The garden has been beautifully designed and is a wonderfully calm space in the centre of London. The real joy of the garden is in its unique and bespoke collections of plants that offer living examples of the history of medicine from the era of the pyramids of Egypt to today’s life-saving prescription drugs.


This tour will involve around 90 minutes of walking around the garden and standing. There are ramps in the garden and gentle slopes which are wheelchair accessible. There is seating in the garden and folding stools available in the Treasures Room on the LG floor.  If you would like to discuss access or have any questions please email:

For accessibility information can be found on the RCP website.