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Herbal Medicine of the American Southwest Paperback – January 5, 2006

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Paperback, January 5, 2006
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Editorial Reviews


The plant monographs are a combination of folk medicine, well-researched scientific findings, and conclusions found in the latest scientific journals. The bibliography is arranged clearly and neatly. I particularly like the way in which the author lists references separately for each plant, making it easy and accessible for the reader who may choose to do further research on an individual plant. The author s photography is also commendable. Included in this compilation are 252 excellent color photos, which will make field identification of the plants nearly effortless. As an extra special bonus, the book is additionally illustrated with mesmerizing watercolor prints painted by Frank S. Rose, a veteran artist and signature member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild and Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. -- HerbalGram, 2007

Kane explains how to dry the plants and to make teas and tinctures. He includes a glossary, an extensive bibliography -- Book News, Spring 2006

Kane, an herbalist, operates the Tucson Clinic of Botanical Medicine where he uses medicinal plants in his private practice. -- Albuquerque Journal, January 15, 2006

The author has a functional belief in self-healing; the approach here is to offer nonpharmaceutical alternatives to standard medical therapeutics -- The Bloomsbury Review, January/February 2006

As a working model of a modern herbal, the value of this book transcends both the limits of its geographic scope and its focus on nondomestic plant species. It should be of interest to lay readers and scientists alike, consumers and practitioners of herbal medicine, ethnobotanists, pharmacognosists, policy-makers, regulators and those interested in the utilization of wild medicinal plant species. -- Phytomedicine, 2006

Succinct practical indications and usage profiles of over 200 mostly SW desert plants by a herbalist who walks his talk. -- --Jonathan Treasure's Herbal Bookworm, April 2006

About the Author

Active in the field for over 20 years, Charles Kane continues to write, teach, and see patients. Committed to helping people through the usage of medicinal plants, he is well regarded for his no nonsense approach in a field known for the opposite. Kane has also written Herbal Medicine: Trends and Traditions. He is a veteran of the war on terrorism and lives in southern Arizona.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Lincoln Town Press; First edition (January 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977133303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977133307
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,187,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Considered a leading authority on edible and medicinal plants, Charles W. Kane has been teaching herbal medicine though a variety of university, trade, and independent institutions for more than two decades. As a respected clinician, wildcrafter, and formulator, his herbal proficiency is derived from experience and sensible deduction. His titles, considered the go-to resources for no-nonsense medicinal plant application, are cataloged from Harvard's botany library to holistic teaching schools across the country. His books include Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest, Herbal Medicine: Trends and Traditions, Sonoran Desert Food Plants, Southern California Food Plants, and Wild Edible Plants of Texas (2/2016).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Marimac on February 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This work by Charles Kane is an extremely helpful book to have for any level herbalist. I have been studying, using and now, teaching herbal medicine for 20 years and I refer to this book often for Sonoran and southern Utah herbs.

Mr. Kane's work is not only accurate (not to be taken for granted in herb books), it is also very well organized and user friendly. He comes from an experienced, hands-on perspective, rather than an academic, theoretical one. He seems like the kind of herbalist who definitely gets dirt under his fingernails!

My one complaint is the book does not cover plants above 5000' in the American southwest. It is a very 'deserty' compilation and is ideal for people in the Tucson-Phoenix region. For those of you looking for a high elevation herbal, get Michael Moore's work. For anyone else, get 3 of Kane's books- one for the house, one for the vehicle and one for a friend. You won't be sorry!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My scores are based on the usefulness of this book for foraging medicinal plants.
Overall rating: 4 stars
Number of plants: 3 stars
Treatment lists: 4 stars
Treatment details: 3 stars
Picture types: color photographs, color paintings
Plant identification: 3 stars
Who will find it useful: novice to expert herbalists, homeschoolers, medical professionals, preparedness & self-sufficient folks, chemists

Notes: The best thing about this book is its easy-to-understand explanations of how the chemistry of the plants interact with the body and how to extrapolate these effects to other plants containing similar chemicals. The author's writing style is very colorful and engaging yet also very clear and his medical background adds a high level trustworthiness to his words. The book covers plant treatments for many common complaints and illnesses such as skin rashes, cramping, arthritis, stomach issues, insomnia and other day-to-day aliments. Unfortunately it lacks a good cross-reference between aliment and plant cure, but the book is so pleasant to read that reading it cover-to-cover isn't a chore.
This is the most science-based herbal book I've read, but you don't need a science background to understand it. However, since I am a chemist I find this book to be my most trusted herbal reference guide. His footnoting and and reference lists are second to none. While the plants he writes about are mainly found in the arid southwest, the biochemical interactions of these plants can be applied to other plants found throughout North America. His glossary is also more comprehensive than that of most other medicinal herb books.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Herbal Medicine Of The American Southwest: A Guide To The Identification, Collection, Preparation, And Use Of Medicinal And Edible Plants Of The Southwestern United States by practicing herbalist Charles W. Kane (Tucson Clinic of Botanical Medicine) and featuring elegant and accurate illustrations by Frank S. Rose is the "user-friendly" and easy to use guide perfect for exactly what is described in the title. Herbal Medicine Of The American Southwest informs the reader of how to find the plant, how to prepare it, what it can be used for, what side effects may occur, and what resources might be necessary to further define the plant, giving the overall book a very definitive and notable study of the plants it features. Herbal Medicine Of The American Southwest is highly recommended to all naturalists living in the southwest of America, as well as organic studies students, however especially recommended to all inhabitants of the featured area.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Maria Schneider on October 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent reference book. It is a little dry and the pictures were all in the center rather than with the plant descriptions. I'm sure that was done to save on printing costs--the pictures are on high glossy paper and there are photos as well as phenomenal drawings by Frank Rose. The photos and drawings are probably the best I've ever seen in this type of book. Instead of cross-referencing the pictures to the descriptions the photos are alphabetized making making finding the picture very easy.

The book is well-written and an excellent reference especially for anyone living in the southwest. When the author does tell personal stories about experiences with the plants, (finding them or using them) they are very good. I wish more of these personal notes were in the book because they were enjoyable, but I suppose there was only so much paper.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By dori mondon on February 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book specifically FOR the color photographs - we live in the southwest and it's of course much easier to identify a plant if you can already see it in a color photograph (many of the books we'd looked at were black and white drawings or photographs).

The added bonus is that it is chock full of information and a nice, easy-to-read format - just enough information for the budding herbalist, while just enough science to appease those with a lot more experience. Happy to have this one in my library and would highly recommend it to anyone living in the American Southwest with an interest in herbal medicines.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By GFBAKER on March 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Charles Kane is not your average herbalist. Throw away dated notions of what an herbalist is, what one should look like, and that they are all flakes, hippies, or long haired New Age types. Charlie is NONE of those things... but he is an armed forces Vet, a back country woodsman, a good marksman, and an OUTSTANDING herbalist and teacher. He studied under the late Michael Moore, but evolved into an herbalist of his own; with his own values, and a non flowery, non New Age, non hippy practice.

The book is outstanding and will stand the test of time. Very highly recommended for students and the curious, as well as those looking for an accurate indigenous plant guide of the Southwest.
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