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Understanding Medicinal Plants: Their Chemistry and Therapeutic Action Paperback – July 2, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0789015525 ISBN-10: 0789015528 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (July 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789015528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789015525
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"I ENTHUSIASTICALLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO PROFESSIONAL AND BUDDING ETHNOBOTANISTS." -- Luis D. Gomez-P, PhD, Professor of Ethnobiology, Duke University Undergraduate Program; Scientific Director, La Selva & Las Cruces Biological Stations, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rican National Academy of Sciences

"THIS BOOK IS REALLY MUCH MORE THAN ITS TITLE IMPLIES." -- Daniel M. Perrine, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Loyola College in Maryland --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Guy F. Airey on February 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Bryan A Hanson, PhD, hits a homerun with this book. This is one of the most organized books on medicinal plants you will ever find to date. It actually rivals some of the texts on pharmacognosy currently in use today. Sprinkling in inorganic, organic, and medicinal chemistry, he finds methods of explaining modern chemical concepts which can be easily grasped with little effort. The index is an excellent listing of Lewis structures through subjects such as, secondary metalbolism. On whatever level you want to explore and/or enrich your understanding of some quite complex biochemical subjects, Dr. Hanson has it. At first, I thought the text might be a little brief to cover all that he attempts. However, I found that was an error on my part, as he is quite good at bridging subjects and explaining concepts for all those interested in these topics. He covers subjects that can be hard to find in many modern textbooks, especially those used in colleges around the country. The end book glossary is an excellent idea and very complete. However, one of my favorite subjects he entertains is that of chapter 5 where he explains topics such as lipid and ROS-damaged membranes. Few chemist-authors will step up and explain in detail subjects such as these. He does so quite well. Any true medicinal chemist or layman, if given a chance to peruse a copy, will find this a truly knowledgeable book and would have to purchase it. It is that well written. I'm not in the habit of giving scores to books and/or articles, but this is a 10+ on my list for anyone interested in biochem or medicinal chemistry. The research possiblities alone would make this a "must have" for any personal library. Great book by a great author; hope to see more of his work. guyairey CBP studies
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
The weighty price tag of Understanding Medicinal Plants: Their Chemistry And Therapeutic Action may limit acquisition to college-level specialty collections, but any holding with a solid emphasis on medicine will want this: undergrads in pharmacy, medical students, and more will find in-depth details on the chemistry, biology, plant physiology and pharmacology of medicinal plants, making it an important reference for any chemistry course or study of healing herbs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Antoniou on June 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, comprising 7 Chapters, is intended (as explicitly stated by the author) for nonscientists, and it indeed offers sound basic knowledge due to the author's scientific background. It, however, still remains immature in organisation and matter. Main reasons are the following.
The first three Chapters, being an INTRODUCTION to basic Chemistry, are too extended. Especially Chapter 3 is unnecessarily heavy (41 full pages) with details a nonscientist would exactly omit (electrons, orbitals etc), and featured with the Periodic Table of Elements, which is the ONLY Table in the book. So, Chapter 3 could be eliminated, and its last 10-12 pages added to Chapter 2.
Then comes Chapter 4, the gravitation centre of the book, describing the primary and secondary plant substances (metabolites) used as medicines, bearing instead the pompous title "A Structural Lexicon of Medicinally Important Chemical Families Found in Plants", and comprising 35 full pages. Short, and without any table showing (in example) which plants possess which active substances. Another shortage at this point is the entire lack of the metabolic pathways leading to these substances in the living plant.
Chapter 5 exhibits inappropriate organisation, as the Isolation and Identification of plant substances constitute a unity, but their antioxidant action (which is the only action described) does not fit here, it rather should be added to the following Chapter 6 which deals with the actions, however also in short.
And finally, Chapter 7 presents Case Studies, but only with two plants, Ayahuasca (a plant mixture) and Ginkgo, along with plants affecting the cell cycle (in cancer).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jgaldamez on November 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Understanding Medicinal Plants: their chemistry and therapeutic action"
by Bryan A. Hanson, PhD

Bryan A. Hanson has taught at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana since1986. He teaches biochemistry, organic chemistry, and a non -science majors "science" class. He obtained his bachelor's degree in biochemistry at California State University, Los Angeles and his PhD in chemistry from UCLA. Hanson did two years of postdoctoral work under Jim White at the Oregon State University. Areas of interest to Bryan Hanson include medicinal plants, natural products, and chemical ecology.

Understanding Medicinal Plants was written primarily with non-science majors in mind however it provides enough detail on chemical and biological processes to be used by first year undergrad students in any area such as chemistry, biology, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry etc. This book was intended to help students grasp a better understanding of chemistry and biology as it applies to the life of any and every student. Though the subject of this book itself is quite complex Hanson does an excellent job of breaking it down in a way that uses just enough detail to know more than the average person. Right away Hanson is not only able to get but also keep our attention as the reader. His style of writing, casual and conversational, makes it an exceptionally easy and clear read, not necessarily because of the contents, which can be intimidating, but rather in his comforting and friendly approach to his writing. The way that the book was formatted also helps a great deal, allowing each topic to transition clearly, with just enough details to gain new knowledge but not too much to overwhelm the reader.

Chapter 1. Introduction
This first chapter provides the ultimate goal of the book.
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