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Green Pharmacy: The History and Evolution of Western Herbal Medicine Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0892817276 ISBN-10: 0892817275 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press; 3 edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892817275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892817276
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Well researched, highly readable, and ultimately entertaining." (Yoga Journal)

"This meticulously referenced, captivating book is guaranteed to hold surprises even for those who consider themselves well-informed on the topic." (Napra Review, Vol. 9, No. 2)

"Here are the highs and lows, the compassion and the competition and the pain and the joys of 2000 plus years of western herbal medicine. Well-written and extensive." (American Herb Association)

"Probably the most definitive history of the origin and development of herbal medicine in the West . . . should be required reading for every herbalist, pharmacist, physician, and regulatory official." (HerbalGram)

"A modern classic that can be consulted by all of those interested in getting a keener insight into the trials and tribulations, the pitfalls and rewards, and the history and future of drug therapy from nature." (From the foreword by Norman R. Farnsworth, Professor of Pharmocognosy, University of Illinois Medica)

"A history of grass-roots medicine, researched to the point where those of us who have dabbled in the subject are left feeling embarrassed at the wealth of source material that we left unread." (Brian Inglis, The New Scientist)

"To congratulate Barbara Griggs is not only a pleasure but a duty, for she has given us a useful tool, the need of which has been felt but hitherto never filled." (Richard Evans Schultes, Jeffrey Professor of Biology and Director of the Botanical Museum (emeritus))

About the Author

Barbara Griggs, a renowned journalist and researcher in the field of herbalism, is also the author of The Green Witch Herbal. She lives in London. 

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It covers an incredible amount of history, presented in a very easy to read and engaging style.
Fox
Barbara Griggs is an excellent writer, and she has given a clear and sobering account of mankind's relationship with medicinal plants from pre-history.
Lady Fancifull
This book is a must read for every one, not only interested in herbal medicine, but any kind of profession related to medicine.
Fari Sabet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By George W. Fisk on October 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
The sick and suffering in the USA who are appalled by current high prices for their medication will be amazed to learn this struggle has been unceasing throughout human history. Barbara Griggs describes how for many centuries inexpensive herbal remedies were fostered by women who were unable to afford the costly medicines or services of established doctors. For current times, the author explains,"The quiet revolution which is gradually bringing plants back to centre-stage is patient rather than doctor-driven. It is patients who may be bankrupted by the cost of medical treatment, if they are not lucky enough to be clients of a generous national health service"pg.369 An outraged public is making this a major concern of the presidential election. To intelligently deal with our current medical dilemma, read and absorb this studiously prepared history of ways of healing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "westnet" on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Green Pharmacy is one of the best books to read on the history of Herbalism and its connections to medical treatments. I liked it because it clearly explains how the principal constituent when isolated for conventional medicinal purposes, can cause harmful side effects. The book reveals that using herbs as a whole plant is more beneficial. A very educational book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By naturopathicnd on April 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful easy read about the history of western herbalism. It is very thorough without becoming dry or overbearing, and is written in a very pleasant style.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christina Paul VINE VOICE on September 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ms. Van Der Zee has written a book that is quite fascinating! For me this particular book was required reading, but Im actually glad that it was because I learned a great deal about the history of herbal and general medicine throughout the millenia. The history and facts are interesting and higly readable. Ms. Van Der Zee makes you want to keep reading. Green Pharmacy is a book that is not only a "must read" but a definite "must own".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fari Sabet on March 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for every one, not only interested in herbal medicine, but any kind of profession related to medicine. It explains in detail where the aggressiveness and ignorance of todays medicine comes from and it gives a clear understanding of where todays battles with diseases, cure all medicines and the hidden folk medicine emerged from and that we have tampered with the same problems for several hundreds of years.
This book finally gives me an understanding of that what seems to be latent in the human persona, is to find that one quick fix and that one miracle drug that immediately cures the problem and that applies to conventional as alternative alike (of course not all). Wonderful reading, I truly enjoyed it and learned tons and this book should be read in the schools. Thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Barbara Griggs is described on the back cover of the book as a "renowned journalist and researcher in the field of herbalism."

She wrote in the Introduction to this 1981 book, "In the mid-1970s, when I began to work on this book there was already a widespread and genuine revival of public interest in that medicine which we call herbal... How did it happen that almost from one century the next, medicinal plants were officially consigned to near-oblivion? What were the professional, or economic, or social forces that brought this about? ... could it be that we are neglecting a therapeutic resource of immense potential? These were some of the questions that arose in my mind as I read my way into the subject: I have tried to answer them in this book... I am also aware that this book risks being read as a wholesale attack on the medical profession, although this was far from my intention."

Here are some additional quotations from the book:

"In the grave of Neanderthal man, in a cave in Iraq, grains of flower pollens were found thickly scattered in the soil surrounding his bones... the pollens were identified as coming from eight different genera of flowering plants ... Of these eight species, seven are still used for medicine in dozens of different ways by the local people." (Pg. 5)
"(Samuel) Thomson's simplicity of theory - 'cold ... is the cause of all disease' - earned him the contemptuous scorn of the Regulars, who dismissed him as an illiterate empiric." (Pg. 165)
"By 1813 homeopathy had become a force to be reckoned with in Germany - homeopaths were highly successful at treating the typhoid fever that Napoleon's tattered remnant of an army brought back with them from Moscow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lady Fancifull on May 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has an interest in the development of medicine, philosophy of healing, or the politics of who is allowed to heal and why, cannot help but be uplifted and angered by this book.

Barbara Griggs is an excellent writer, and she has given a clear and sobering account of mankind's relationship with medicinal plants from pre-history. She looks at developments of a philosophy of healing, and charts the unfortunate history of conflicts between those who sought to empower their patients, and to demystify healing (often a female tradition) and those who sought to make a lot of money out of 'healing'. This latter group had a vested interest in making 'healing' something which only they could 'do' for someone else, and therefore the methods of healing had to be difficult, rare, costly - and often downright dangerous.

She contrasts the philosophy of herbalists such as Nicholas Culpeper and his use of 'simples' with apothecaries who were using a whole range of far flung exotic substances, often engaged in 'heroic' practices such as bleeding, purging, cupping etc.

There is a sobering account of the outlawing of herbal treatment in the UK during part of the twentieth century - and of course many many parallels to be drawn between the earlier conflicts between 'wise women/'witch' herbal practitioners and 'educated' professionals with often some pretty newfangled, untried remedies - and the modern conflicts between herbal medicines and the big pharmaceutical giants.

Parallels suggested themselves between the vilifying of herbal practitioners by the 'professionals' with their new 'mainstream' use of mercury and arsenic in large (not homeopathic doses) in the 17th/18th century which often killed the patient, and, today's big pharma.
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