Popular Wisdom and Scientific Knowledge


Laurisilva is a true repository of plants used for multiple purposes. Aromatic and medicinal plants are found in the indigenous vegetation providing Madeiran people with means to cure their maladies, skillfully sought and applied when necessary.


Manuel de Nóbrega, priest and botanist, shares his in-depth knowledge about medicinal plants. From the Nun’s Valley, we also talked to Maria de Sá, who shared some herbs folks use to make tea for healing. The video also features the botanists Francisco Fernandes and Raimundo Quintal.

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This collection is a property of Priest Manuel Nóbrega who, with specialized knowledge of the Madeira Botanical Gardencreated a herbarium of cryptogamic plants. Local plants are exhibited in frames and you are given the opportunity to learn about the ethnobotany of Madeira island.


If you have the chance to go to Calheta, visit the small village of Prazeres, where it can be found his long life work at the Priest Manuel Nóbrega Museum and Prazeres Community Herbarium

While in Prazeres, visit Quinta Pedagógica, a farmhouse including areas of vegetable cultivation, facilities for making herbal teas and jams, and a tea house where you can also buy and taste some of the farm’s products.

  • The reception centre, which is responsible for organising and promoting the Ecological park activities, is located on Regional highway 103. Many schools, companies and the general population are actively involved in nature conservation and recovery at the park, especially in the reforestation process.
  • In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Madeira stands out for its climate and therapeutic effects. As of the second half of the eighteenth century, Madeira becomes a resort of therapeutic ends, using the preventive qualities of its climate to cure tuberculosis.