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The Green Pharmacy: New Discoveries in Herbal Remedies for Common Diseases and Conditions from the World's Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs Hardcover – January, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 507 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (January 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875963161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875963167
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There's still a lot to learn about the healing power of plants, James Duke points out, but what we do know is already prodigious. Much of that knowledge is gathered in The Green Pharmacy, an A-to-Z guide to that relies on plant-based medicines to cure what ails us. Between the listings, Duke crams personal anecdotes from a lifetime of studying herbs, berries, and bark. For example, he relates how he worried about telling a pregnant niece that ginger could help alleviate her morning sickness because he'd learned from a pharmacologist that ginger could also induce miscarriage. Then he solved the mystery: he'd recommended ginger tea, which contains about 250 milligrams of ginger. The Chinese, he learned, use about 80 times that much to end pregnancies--another testimony to the amazing versatility of these natural medicines.

From Library Journal

Very readable and fun, The Green Pharmacy is the culmination of the author's 30 years of studying and using herbs. In an interesting mix of folklore and science, Duke, a botanist and authority on healing herbs, describes treatment protocols for over 120 health conditions. Although there is frequent reference to experts and studies, including up-to-date findings from the German Commission E monographs, no accurate references or bibliography are provided. Nonetheless, based on the author's credentials, this is recommended for larger collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

JAMES A. DUKE, PHD, held several posts in his more than three decades with the US Department of Agriculture, including chief of the Medicinal Plant Resources Laboratory. He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular books, including the bestseller The Green Pharmacy, and is on the board of advisors for Prevention. He resides in Fulton, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

I am very pleased with the information contained in this book.
A. Olivia Rodriguez
This is the book I recommend to friends who want to know which herbs to use-- it's a great read & a great reference!
Linda Copeland
The Index has herbs etc..listed also in alphabetical order with page numbers for location.
J.L. Populist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

186 of 186 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Since I began making and using herbal remedies in 1980 I have been very concerned at the lack of reliable information. Pop and self-help books on herbalism suffer from excessive vagueness (if they are conservative and the author is trying hard to avoid lawsuits) or irresponsible promulgation of superstition (if the author is clumsy, credulous, or ignorant). On the other hand, publications dealing with formal studies of bioactive compounds of plants tend to be inaccessible to the public. There have been very few books that I (as a Ph.D. student in botany as well as a bit of an herbalist) feel comfortable in recommending. This one is at the top of the list.
Nobody can beat James Duke at comfortable pop-level communication combined with solid, informed good judgement. In this book he gives practical preparation and dosage suggestions -- something the too-careful books don't do. He also provides clear, definite cautions on drug interactions and side-effects.
My only criticism of Duke's book is that he may be a bit too confident when he suggests combining several herbs at once to treat some conditions. Folklore and formal studies may provide reasonable dosage guides for individual herbs. But no single folklore or ancient system encompasses, at once, medicinal plants of South America, China, and Europe. Combining herbs that have not been traditonally used, nor clinically tested, in such combination, is not something I would advise to a general audience.
Nevertheless I rate this book very highly. I don't know how many copies of the previous edition I bought to give to people: teenagers, undergraduate college students, my old hippy friends, my father, doctors, and various people who ask me about medical botany.
We all owe Duke a great deal for his tremendous work and his true desire to help others. EVERYONE, without exception, who is interested in medical botany from a practical standpoint, should have this book.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Erin on October 26, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Green Pharmacy should be owned by any herbalist, naturopath, homeopath, or student of natural remedies. It truly is a great resource for information, and Duke does write in an agreeable manner that almost always sits well with the reader.

His knowledge and expertise in the fields of research come across loud and clear without him having to pronounce it boldly. Reading the back of the book and seeing his credentials was almost as enjoyable as reading the book itself. Much of the text is taken over with research, combined with his own uses, things he's heard, seen, and believe.

I do actually have a fault of two, and I see from the other opinions around here I may be in the minority. I have to credit Henrietta Kress for this, though, as she said it first and I realized I agreed with her but it had never clicked with me before. One of those things you can't put your finger on:

([...])

""I have the 1997 edition of this. It's a book written by a researcher, not by a practitioner, and it shows in some of the herbal recommendations. Don't trust it, get one of the books written by a practitioner instead."" (End Quote)

You know, she's right in a way. I always found it strange that throughout the book he mainly suggests soups, pills bought, standardized pills, etc. He never gives many personal experiences with something other than a single remedy used as a food addition. This is not saying this book is not worth it - far from it - but it is bringing up the valid point.

Also, there is another thing that DOES bug me is the "make your own medicine" section. A few pages long, so not actually a section, but you get my drift. For tinctures he says to let it sit about a week and then strain. A week? Every other source states 2 weeks minimum.
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a very informative book, but it did not give me the answers I was looking for. The recipies for health given in the book rely mostly on the use of fresh herbs. I'm not an accomplished gardener nor do I have access to the varities of herbs mentioned here. I was looking for a book that gives dosages of dried herb in pill form, as you find in drugstores. This type of information is not found here. It is an excellent book for letting you know what type of herb to use for an ailment, but does not give much information on how much to take, how many times a day, and so forth. As I know that just because a remedy is herbal it does not always mean that it is safe, I feel I require more dosage information before experimenting.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I never knew how many over the counter medicines could be replaced by safer, herbal alternatives. This book is easy to read and has a great index where you can look up various ailments. The index takes you right to the page where it lists the herbs that can help you. The book also provides many different herbs that can be used for one ailment so you can have more options available to you. It also says how the herb is used and prepared. Excellent book for someone that wants to have well-rounded health-care. I can attest to some of those remedies in the book, they do work!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Doc Dave on November 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are a lot of books similar to this one, with alphabetically arranged diseases and symptoms for sections, followed by passages on the kinds of herbs that might be helpful, and why. Of all the ones I've seen, this one is my favorite. Duke has a very engaging writing style, and the book is well suited for browsing or reading cover to cover. He seems appropriately cautious in some of the suggestions he makes, but I agree with other reviewers concerns that this is not always the case. I cannot speak from the perspective of an MD or an herbalist, because I am neither of those. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't try a lot of the potential remedies presented in this book, and I disagree with some of the suggestions contained in it. Nevertheless, there is plenty of information that I did agree with and overall I'd say this book is wonderful to read and learn from. Duke's experience and authority on the subject matter is very impressive, and that is reflected very well in this book.
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