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[Perspectives] The herbarium sheet

Despite the power of synthetic chemistry, medicine still needs the natural products of plants. Plants are important as potential sources of new drugs. In the past they provided the raw materials for therapeutics. Using the correct kind of plant was important, since plants can poison as well as heal. But the species was also important. One common way of recording their identity and establishing permanent preserved specimens was with the herbarium sheet. This simple piece of paper held the dried and pressed plants parts, which could then be labelled with the name and place of origin.