From Library Journal
This is the second edition of Chevallier's The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants (LJ 12/96). Although the title has changed, the format and contents are substantially the same. Careful comparison of the two editions, though, reveals that the text of the second edition has been revised to reflect the latest herbal research and includes some herbs not mentioned in the earlier book, such as cat's claw. The new edition also addresses the issues of quality control and the safe use of herbal remedies. But as with the original, initial and final chapters address the development of herbal medicine, world herbal traditions, and home remedies. Sandwiched between this material is an alphabetical listing by Latin name of 550 of the most commonly used individual herbs. One hundred key plants are given a full-page spread outlining their habitat and cultivation, related species, key constituents and actions, research, traditional and current uses, parts used, key preparations, and self-help uses. In a separate alphabetical list, an additional 450 plants are covered in less detail. A fine bibliography and index complete the book. As with all DK publications, the encyclopedia is lavishly illustrated with high-quality color captioned photographs and focus boxes. Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (1998) is a similar title directed to a different audience. Although the Rodale book addresses briefly the medicinal uses of the listed herbs, there is a much stronger emphasis on the horticultural and culinary aspects. Deni Bown's Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses (1995) is more comprehensive, covering over 1000 herbs, but has less information regarding their medicinal use. Therefore, the new Chevallier volume remains a top choice for a library reference on the medicinal use of herbs for the public, although North American practitioners will find it lacking in the coverage of regional herbs. Recommended for both public and academic libraries. Mary Stout, Pima Community Coll., Tucson, AR
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH, is an experienced medical herbalist and Senior Lecturer in Herbal Medicine at Middlesex University. He runs a busy private practice in London and is involved in clinical and laboratory research in herbal medicine. He is a past president of the National Institute of Medicinal Herbalists, and author of several other books on herbal medicine, including Hypericum: The Natural Antidepressant and More and Flaxseed.