National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine

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National Geographic Books, 2008 - Health & Fitness - 415 pages
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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 thousands of years 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.

With 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
AlfalfaBilberry
12
HEALING PLANTS OF AFRICA
42
BitterleafCastor Bean 50
78
CatnipCommon Privet 88
116
CranberryEvening Primrose
126
EyebrightGuarana
164
Happy TreeLicorice
202
HEALING PLANTS OF NORTHAMERICA
270
Partridge BerryRhodiola
278
RosemaryTea
316
Tea TreeYohimbe 3 54
354
Glossary
384
Contributors
400
Additional Reading
414
Copyright

LobeliaParsley
240

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About the author (2008)

Steven Foster is the best-selling author of Tyler’s Honest Herbal and the award-winning 101 Medicinal Herbs. He is a photographer, consultant, and lecturer with three decades of experience in the herbal field.

Rebecca L. Johnson has authored more than 60 books for adults and children on diverse scientific subjects ranging from polar exploration to climate change and has received national awards from Scientific American and the National Teachers Association.

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