How the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is creating natural beauty products with Herbal Essences
ABC News(LONDON) — Nestled halfway between Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is the “leading global institution for plant science and plant research,” according to Sandra Botterell, a spokesperson for gardens.
The garden has 2 million visitors a year and is home base for 300 scientists working in over 100 countries. The sprawling park along the River Thames is also home to 19,000 different species of plants.
Its Millennium Seed Bank preserves vegetation from all over the world in case of catastrophe or climate change.
The ties between the garden and the royal family run deep: In the 18th century, the Kew Palace was a summer cottage for plants enthusiast King George, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children.
Modern royals are no stranger to the gardens either.
“I can remember when Diana came and opened the Princess of Wales Conservatory here,” Monique Simmonds, a Kew scientist, said. “It was really one of the big events we had. And she was also interested in plants.”
Prince Charles is also a frequent royal patron of Kew.
“Prince of Wales has actually been into this laboratory,” Simmonds said. “He’s walked around … talked to the scientists.”
The research done by Kew scientists has a wide-reaching impact.
“Our research on amino sugars led to drugs that have developed for cancer, for HIV and for treating diabetes,” Simmonds said.
In addition to their research in the medical field, Kew scientists are also incorporating their expertise in developing beauty products rooted in plant science.
“Good Morning America” sponsor Herbal Essences is now the first global hair care brand to be endorsed by Kew.
“There are pure plant extracts in the shampoos and they’ve been authenticated by Kew scientists,” Botterell said.
Simmonds added that the work they do is “contributing to the natural ingredients from plants that are in Herbal Essences shampoos.”
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