Skip to product information
1 of 12

The Medicinal Heart Limited Edition Print A2

The Medicinal Heart Limited Edition Print A2

Hand signed, giclée print on 310 gsm Museum Heritage acid-free paper, meeting the highest museum quality archival standards.

Size is A2 (420 x 594mm or 16.5 x 23.4 inches).

This is a limited edition with only 200 available. If you would like this framed please e-mail me to organise.

Shipping is usually within 1 week and sent next day special delivery, tracked and signed for. The art is carefully packed in a solid cardboard tube and wrapped in glassine acid-free paper.

If you would like this item framed in a solid oak, glass fronted frame with a custom made mount (see photo and video of me holding an example), then please select this option at checkout for an additional £60. Please allow additional time for dispatch as the mounts are made to order and frames ordered as required.

COLLECTION - if you are local to Hitchin and would prefer to collect, please send me a direct message.

Care Advice

Please keep the print out of direct sunlight and frame under acrylic or glass protection to avoid deterioration in pigments.

Please make sure your hands are clean and remove the print carefully from the packaging.


Description of the piece

This exquisite piece of botanical art has a deeper story with the roots amassing into a network of anatomically accurate coronary arteries. The plants erupting from this meshwork all have origins for modern prescription cardiac medications. 

Papaver somniferum are the poppies bursting out of each edge of the heart. Most widely known for producing opiates, these wonderful botanicals have also been used to make Verapamil, a blood pressure medication as well as an angina treatment.

Second from the right is Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), which has been used to produce an important emergency drug called atropine for treating slow heart rates. It is also used in ophthalmology as drops to dilate pupils. It was first referred to as bella donna in herbals back in 1558. There is a myth that its name was born from beautiful Italian ladies dilating their pupils, but this only appears in texts from 1867.  It is in fact likely to be named after bella (wars) and donna (gifts) both plural neuter nouns in latin – a poison bringing the gifts of war, namely death! 

Salix alba (white willow) is third from the right. The ancient Egyptians used to chew willow bark as pain relief. It was later purified into salicin and then acetylsalicylic acid which is what we now know as aspirin, with many uses but mainly known for its prevention of heart attacks. 

The central beautiful botanical of digitalis purpurea is probably the most recognisable medicinal botanical. More commonly known as foxgloves, many are aware that it is used to make digoxin, a treatment for the irregular heartbeat of atrial fibrillation. To the left of this is Rauvolfia serpentina, a plant with beautiful white flowers native to India. A purified extract from this plant's roots can be used to make the blood pressure medication, reserpine. 

Second from the left, is Visnaga daucoides. This is an umbellifer, also known as Toothpick Bishop’s weed and is in the same family as cow parsley. The fruits from this plant make Khella, which was used for centuries to treat renal colic (pain from kidney stones). In 1945 a pharmacologist from Cairo, called Anrep, noticed his assistants’ angina improved whilst taking Khellin for renal colic. Amiodarone was discovered whilst searching for the active ingredients in Khellin. This drug is still used today to treat cardiac arrhythmias. Other precursors found in Khellin have made nifedipine which treats high blood pressure and angina. Sodium cromoglicate and nedocromil sodium are drugs used to treat asthma and hayfever, which are also derived from this wonderful plant. 

Regular price £160.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £160.00 GBP
Sale Sold out
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.
View full details