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The Green Pharmacy Anti-Aging Prescriptions: Herbs, Foods, and Natural Formulas to Keep You Young Hardcover – May 11, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The title may be a bit misleading: while there are plenty of anti-aging ideas presented here, Anti-Aaging Prescriptions also contains chapters devoted to the more general topics of pain relief, weight loss, and insomnia. Written with lots of personal advice from James Duke (who has a Ph.D., not an M.D.), you'll find recipes for everything from mouthwash to skin cream, along with recommendations for following a "Paleolithic" diet and getting plenty of exercise. To Duke, "Paleolithic" means lots of raw-plant food and steady exercise, so really it's just a fun term for what we already know: eating vegetables and grains and working up a sweat are good for us.

The number of herbs mentioned in this book may be overwhelming if you read it cover to cover, so start with the specific sections that you find of particular interest. The table of contents is laid out very specifically, so you can turn right to the section on angina, joint pain, bunions, impotence, or whatever health issue you're looking to improve. Duke has anywhere from 5 to 20 suggested herbs or supplements for any condition, along with the best way of growing or buying that herb and the proper dosage and method of application. Some herbs, such as ephedra, are known to be potentially dangerous, and Duke does an excellent job cautioning users to follow proper dosages as carefully as you would any prescription medicine. He writes with plenty of personal experience and includes interesting anecdotes, but his discussions of particular studies tend to be on the vague side--he may tell you the positive results, but not mention the year the study was published, or who conducted it. Still, anecdotal evidence is enough proof for most of us, and Dr. Duke's upbeat tone, wealth of information, and specific recipes may be just what the doctor ordered. --Jill Lightner

From the Inside Flap

The Green Pharmacy Anti-Aging Prescriptions

On one recent Fourth of July, Peggy and I skipped the manmade fireworks. Instead, we pulled a few lawn chairs past our gazebo into the Garden of Youth to watch nature's own pyrotechnics, the cosmic dance of the evening primrose blossoms and the hawk moths.... We felt calm and peaceful. We felt alive. Rejuvenated. Young.

--From chapter 1

For Dr. Jim Duke, even gazing at the blossoms of his favorite herb can be an anti-aging activity. His passion for medicinal plants is understandable: They help him feel and look younger than his 72 years.

Dr. Duke is convinced that almost all plants contain compounds that can slow aging and minimize its effects on the body and mind. In The Green Pharmacy Anti-Aging Prescriptions, he identifies the herbs and foods that he believes deliver on the promise of lifelong youth.

Some of these plants are familiar, like ginkgo for a sharp memory and garlic for...well, just about anything. Others are just beginning to attract attention, like pigweed to strengthen bones and astragalus to boost the immune system.

While Dr. Duke specializes in medicinal plants, he firmly believes that a healthy diet and regular exercise must round out any anti-aging plan. That's why this book combines herbal preventives and treatments with nutritional recommendations and lifestyle strategies.

But Dr. Duke isn't advocating a formal anti-aging "program" or "regimen." He's giving you choices, so you can develop your own anti-aging plan, based on your unique needs and concerns.

By taking the right herbs, eating the right foods, and making some minor lifestyle adjustments, you can stay healthy and maintain your youthful zest for life. Getting older has never felt so good!

James A. Duke, Ph.D., is the author of several books on the healing power of plants, including the bestseller The Green Pharmacy (more than one million copies in print). He 0retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1995, after serving as chief of the Medicinal Plant Resources Laboratory. He remains active in ReNuPeru, a medicinal herb garden in the Peruvian Amazon that's maintained by the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research. His own garden is on a 6-acre farmette in Fulton, Maryland, where he lives with his wife, Peggy.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (May 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579541984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579541989
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on August 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I thought I would be the 50th person to write a "testimonial" for THE GREEN PHARMACY -- ANTI-AGING PRESCRIPTIONS by James Duke, but it turns out no one has written a review to date. This is a big surprise for me because Dr. Duke's book is wonderful.
Dr. Duke (he has a Ph.D.) retired from the USDA where he worked as Chief of the Medicinal Plant Resources Laboratory for years. In retirement (he's age 72), he remains active in ReNuPeru, a medicinl herb garden in the Peruvian Amazon maintained by the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research. In other words, he has credentials in plant pharmaecology recognized by the U.S. Government.
Dr. Duke owns a six-acre farmette in Fulton Maryland where he raises medicinal/food plants. I discovered Duke in a book on herbalist gardens entitled, THE HERBALIST'S GARDEN, by Shatoiya and Richard de la Tour. Both books (Duke and de la Tour) were reviewed by a local garden expert in the Washington Post. The Post article and the de la Tour book contain beautiful photographs of Duke's garden but alas he has included no photographs in his own book (why I gave it 4 stars).
I've been growing and using herbs for over forty years (I drank Camomile tea and ate bean and barley soup in the 1960s), and I own a number of books on this subject. Dr. Duke's book on "anti-aging prescriptions" appeals to me because 1) I am older and the book meets my immediate needs, 2) the book is laid out by ailment or "challenge" not by herb. In othr words, I don't have to hunt for salient information.
For example, if you're worried about cracking and peeling skin you can turn to Section 22. 'Smooth Skin' and read about the various approaches, techniques, etc. you might use to improve your skin's health.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a professional academic biologist with a background in nursing and biomedical research, I highly commend and even more highly recommend Dr. Duke's book. He is a first rate ethnobotanist. This book, and his ohters, should be far better-known and read. Not does does he give sage advice (so to speak) about herbals, he presents a great approach to life and growing older. Read, consider his line of reasoning, and absorb the larger messages in the books. Then, if you're like me you'll eat better, be more suspicious of standard medical answers and and more open to trying herbal approaches that are frequently safer, and sometimes more effective.

I am a skeptic by profession as is Dr. Duke!), but slowly I've tried many of his suggestions. The results? Over the past two years, as I implemented his advice step-by-step, I found my high blood pressure dropping and needing fewer Rx medications; my type II diabetes is under truly superb control; and my blood lipid levels have been termed "all I could ask for " by my excellent family doctor. And one by one, Rx meds are being discontinued. Oh yes - regular use of turmeric and ginger have all but eliminated my pain from osteoarthritis, better than glucosamine ever did. But be prepared to give these trials a few months to see results.

Dr. Duke is the "real thing" and a wise counsel. Bravo, doctor, bravo!

If you're still a doubter after reading these reviews, read Medical Nemesis by Ivan Illich. Then read Dr. Duke. Modern medicine is still pretty primitive.
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Format: Hardcover
This extensive and voluminous work reveals nature's goldmine that can help us live a healthy life and explains how to maintain youthful looks and combat disease through the use of the right supplements and foods.
Part One: Beautiful Benefits From The Garden Of Youth, deals with phyto-pharmacy, in other words the miracle substances found in fruits, vegetables and herbs. The author explains the concept of the miracle sevens, i.e. the 7 best beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices.
Part Two: Natural Strategies That Stop The Clock, contains chapters on amongst others, the best herbs for staying young, easy breathing (including the Broncho-Buster Tea), cancer prevention, digestion, energy, a healthy heart, immunity, mental sharpness and smooth skin.
Part Three: Fighting The Enemies That Age You points out harmful habits and substances and provides remedies for specific problems and diseases like arthritis, fatigue, hair loss, blood pressure problems, diabetes, cholesterol, varicose veins, insomnia and more.
Anti-Ageing Prescriptions is an excellent guide to longevity by means of medicinal plants and their anti-ageing compounds. It also includes lifestyle strategies and recipes for making 76 elixirs. There is a Consumer's Guide To Self-Care, divided into sections for herbs, essential oils and supplements. The book concludes with a bibliography, resources list and index.
I recommend Anti-Ageing Prescriptions along with Renewal by Timothy J. Smith, Stopping The Clock by Ronald Klatz and Robert Goldman, Forever Ageless by Rothenburg and The Superhormone Promise by William Regelson and Carol Colman. The collected wisdom of these works will light the way to a longer, happier life.
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First, this book is not just for those who "don't want to grow old" (although, don't we all?). Remember, a large part of "growing old" is the aches and pains and illnesses we associate with old age. If we learn how to take much better care of ourselves, though, many of those problems won't show up, or are only transient, and quickly vanquished. The author talks about various illnesses, some of the things that cause them (and might be eliminated from your environment), and various plants that might help, as well as a recipe or two in each section, incorporating the herbs discussed. You won't become a superman or woman, and your improvement probably won't even show up overnight, but it will happen gradually and safely, if you follow the instructions in the book (even too much water intake can kill you!). This is a good and instructive read and if you are interested in having more control over your own health, at least look at the book and see if it could help.
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