The roots of modern drugs are in medicinal plants, with rich cultural traditions ranging from Africa to the Amazon. These traditions hold promise for the future as well. Botanical medicines are more accessible to many populations living in remote parts of the world, and may still provide valuable insights for more effective drugs. Now a scholarly collection of research, Handbook of Medicinal Plants, brings together the illustrious past of botanical medicines and its hopeful future.
Dr. Alain Touwaide and Emanuela Appetiti of the Smithsonian Institution, principal investigators of Earthwatch's Medicinal Plants of Antiquity project, contribute two chapters to Handbook of Medicinal Plants. Touwaide expounds on the use of medicinal plants by healers and physicians in ancient and medieval Mediterranean cultures, drawing from historic texts that Earthwatch volunteers are helping to document. Appetiti records her research on the use of traditional medicines by Australian Aborigines. With other contributors on subjects ranging from ancient Chinese medicines to breakthroughs in treating heart disease with phytochemicals, Handbook of Medicinal Plants has something for anyone interested in the future of botanical medicine.
Handbook of Medicinal Plants. Zohara Yaniv and Uriel Bachrach, (eds.). Food Products Press, 2005.