Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine

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National Geographic Books, 2006 - Health & Fitness - 416 pages
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'The essence of all beings is Earth. The essence of the Earth is Water. The essence of Water is Plants. The Essence of plants is the human being...' - Chandogya Upanishad, I.i.2 For millennia, humans have looked to nature for remedies to ailments great and small. Long before formal science enabled us to take a systematic approach to medicine, healers used plants to alleviate pain, ease the symptoms of dozens of diseases, and treat complaints of every kind. And today, countless people still use medicinal plants, whether in traditional roles or as building blocks for new research and innovative drugs. Featuring 350 full-color photographs, botanical drawings, and maps, this accessible, fact-filled book is based on the work of renowned botanical experts and presents alphabetically arranged, beautifully illustrated entries for hundreds of plants touted for millennia to soothe, even heal. Each is clearly described, with full details of its physical appearance and medicinal uses; its origins and geographic distribution, how it's harvested and used in conventional and alternative medicine, a range map; and more. It's also a fascinating medical chronicle filled with informative sidebars on everything from ancient folklore to the latest research. Readers learn how aspirin evolved from a concoction of willow bark to the familiar white pill of today, how the foxglove's flowery beauty contributes to the potent heart drug digitalis, and how many other now common treatments have deep historical and cultural roots. It's a journey that starts many centuries ago in remote places like the Amazon rain forest, where shamans practiced their powerful curative magic of plants, and leads to the high-tech pharmaceutical labs of today's scientists working to discover new plant-based drugs that can be used effectively to treat diseases major and minor alike, from cancer to the common cold.
  

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Desk reference to nature's medicine

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As interest in and usage of medicinal plants increase among the public, so, too, does the need for a factual, assessable source for lay readers. Herbalist Foster (101 Medicinal Herbs: An Illustrated ... Read full review

Contents

How To Use This Book
6
Healing Plants of Africa
42
BitterleafCastor Bean
80
CatnipCommon Privet 88
116
CranberryEvening Primrose 126
154
Healing Plants of Europe
194
Healing Plants of India
232
Healing Plants of North America
270
Healing Plants of the Middle East
308
Healing Plants of Oceania
352
Glossary
384
Contributors
400
Additional Reading
414
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Herbalist, author, photographer, conservationist, and researcher, Steven Foster is renowned for his extensive work with Echinacea. He is the co-author of "Herbal Emissaries" and the "Peterson" "Field Guide to Medicinal Plants," and author of "Herbal Bounty-The Gentle Art of Herb Culture," Special Publications Editor for the American Botanical Council (Austin, Texas), and Associate Editor of "Herbalgram,

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