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Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres with Timothy L. Sawyer, Jr. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press; 2005.170 pp., softcover, contents, bibliography, 23 halftones, 1 illustration, index. $14.95. ISBN 0-8263-3640-X.

Chronicles Torres’ travel to the Mexican town of Espinazo and his spiritual, life-changing experiences there. Introduces some of the major figures in the folk healing tradition, such as El Niño Fidencio and Teresita, Saint of Cabora, and discusses some of the plants used in curanderismo, the traditional Hispanic healing practice.

Medicinal Herbs: A Compendium. Beatrice Gehrmann, Wolf-Geral Kock, Claus O. Tschirch, and Helmut Brinkmann. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press; 2005. 228 pp., profile structure, abbreviations, keys, English-Latin and Latin-English list of herbs, bibliography. $29.95 softcover, ISBN 0-7890-2531-0. $39.95 hardcover. ISBN 0-7890-2530-2.

Very short profiles of about 200 medicinal plants. Includes comments concerning application, herbal tea preparations, contraindications, adverse effects, and drug interactions.

Concise Handbook of Psychoactive Herbs: Medicinal Herbs for Treating Psychological and Neurological Problems. Marcello Spinella, PhD. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press; 2005. 288 pp., contents, tables, illustrations, glossary, bibliography. $24.95 softcover, ISBN 0-7890-1858-6. $39.95 hardcover, ISBN 0-7890-1857-8.

Explores various types of psychoactive herbs including stimulant, cognition-enhancing, sedative and anti-anxiety, herbs for mental illnesses, herbal analgesics, hallucinogens, and cannabis. Discusses how they work, how they affect the brain, mental state and behavior of the user, levels of efficacy, and their safety.

Edible Wild Plants and Herbs: A Pocket Guide. Alan M. Cvancara. Camden, ME: Ragged Mountain Press; 2001. 109 pp., softcover, contents, books for further reading. $10.95. ISBN 0-07-136827-2.

Arranged by season of use within categories of forest, grassland, desert, tundra, freshwater shore, and seacoast plants, this pocket guide provides concise, easy-to-understand details to identify and use 50 common plants and herbs. Includes tips for finding water, nutrition information, and how to recognize common poisonous plants.

Herbal Diplomats: The Contribution of Early American Nurses (1830-1860) to Nineteenth-Century Health Care Reform and the Botanical Medical Movement. Martha M. Libster, PhD, RN. West Lafayette, IN: Golden Apple Publications; 2004. 384 pp., hardcover, contents, bibliography, index, 16 botanical color inserts. $37.00. ISBN 0-9755018-0-1.

Explores the healing and caring role of American women nurses during the Botanical Medical Movement of the early and mid-19th century. Highlights the contributions of nurses in three religious communities: Shaker infirmary/community nurses, Latter-day Saint (Mormon) pioneer nurses and midwives, and Daughters of Charity hospital nurses. Reveals the autonomy, herbal expertise, and cultural diplomacy of women nurses of the period.

The Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America: Facsimile of the first edition (1820). Madison, WI: American Institute of the History of Pharmacy; 2005. 272 pp., softcover, $15.00 AIHP members, $25.00 non-members. ISBN 0-931292-41-7.

Previously found only in a few libraries or on microfilm or in the libraries of a few lucky botanical book collectors, this facsimile provides a window on pharmacy and medicine of the past. The monographs of the first USP are in both Latin and English, and provide long lists of simples and preparations that contain a fascinating mixture of botanical, mineral, and animal drugs, many of which remain official in the present day. Historical introduction discusses the founding of the USP.

Plants of Haida Gwaii. Nancy Turner, PhD. Winlaw, BC: Sono Nis Press; 2004. 264 pp., hardcover, contents, references, appendices, index by English and Latin names, index by Haida plant names, 200+ color and b/w photographs and illustrations. $38.95. ISBN 1-55039-144-5.

Haida Gwaii is the traditional name of a group of islands, sometimes called the Queen Charlottes, off the coast of British Columbia. Written in cooperation with the indigenous people of the islands, the Haida, this is a detailed and insightful record of the uses and importance to the Haida of over 150 species of native plants. This beautiful and informative book explains the knowledge and understanding that enable the Haida to use the resources of the islands sustainably from one generation to the next for thousands of years.

The Healing Power of Chinese Herbs and Medicinal Recipes. Joseph P Hou, PhD, and Youyu Jin, MD. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press; 2005. 812 pp., contents, appendices, glossary, bibliography, index, line drawings. $69.95 softcover. ISBN 0-7890-2202-8. $115.95 hardcover. ISBN 0-7890-2201-X.

Clearly explains the basics of Chinese phytomedicine and describes in detail the therapeutic properties and use of medicinal herbs and herbal recipes. Eleven sections covering various types of herbs (tonic, analgesic, tranquilizers, etc.) address the therapeutic applications, dosages, precautions, and modern research on 138 of the most popular medicinal herbs. Also presents 101 of the most frequently prescribed master recipes by famous ancient physicians, including origin, ingredients, actions, indications, and modern clinical uses.

Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. John K Chen, PhD, PharmD, OMD, LAc, and Tina T. Chen, MS, LAc. City of Industry, CA: Art of Medicine Press; 2001. 1266 pp., hardcover, contents, 10 appendices, bibliographies of historical and contemporary texts, glossary, index, 1150 color and b/w photographs of plant material, line drawings, chemical structure diagrams. $89.95. ISBN 0-9740635-0-9.

In-depth monographs on 670 herbs detail traditional uses, combinations, dosages, cautions, and contraindications. Comprehensive descriptions of pharmacological effects, clinical studies, and research. Addresses herb-drug interactions, safety index, toxicology, and symptoms and treatments of overdosage.