From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–An update of Mother Natures Pharmacy: Potent Plant Medicines
(Facts on File, 1998). Like the earlier edition, it introduces readers to the history of ethnobotany and includes a few stories about plant hunters adventures in exotic locales. Key figures include well-known scientists such as Louis Pasteur and Paul Ehrlich and lesser-known but equally important botanists such as Leonhard Rauwolf and Richard Schultes. Fifteen chapters provide a comprehensive overview of important events in the search for natural medicines, vitamins, and hormones. Two chapters deal with the plant-based discoveries of quinine and curare. Later chapters discuss the U.S. governments role in supporting natural cures, including the recent creation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and highlight recent trends, such as bioprospecting for natural materials in animal and fish sources. This volume will instill in readers an appreciation of native remedies and health beliefs, provide them an understanding of the need for biodiversity, and, most importantly, underscore the promise of natural medicines, especially for diseases for which modern pharmaceutical treatments have failed or are no longer useful because of drug resistances.–Caroline Geck, Kean University, Union, NJ
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Gr. 8-11. In this revision of Mother Nature's Pharmacy
(1998), the authors have expanded their solid introduction to the science and history of plant remedies. The book retains succinct chapters that introduce plants' medicinal properties, pioneers who hunted for sources and applications for botanical treatments, and the ways phytochemical nutrients prevent disease. New to this edition are chapters about recent research, including investigation into animal sources for medicine; the impact of field research on native peoples; and the federal regulation of herb and plant supplements. Despite the fascinating stories of exploration and discovery, the text is somewhat dry, and the format, which includes a few grainy black-and-white photos, is lackluster. However, the compelling topic, numerous examples, and the substantial glossary and resource lists make this a good choice to support research and debate projects. Other recent entries in the Science and Society series cover air pollution, genetics, and agribusiness. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved