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This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan. New York, NY: Penguin Press; 2021. Hardcover, 288 pages. ISBN: 9780593296905. $28.00.

Bestselling author Michael Pollan focuses on three plant-based substances in This Is Your Mind on Plants: opium, caffeine, and mescaline. With two of these substances highly regulated or banned and one commonplace and socially acceptable, Pollan dives into the nuances of what is, or is not, considered a “drug” and how humans interact with psychoactive plants and their derivatives. The text is a blend of history, science, and memoir, as Pollan describes his own experiences with each substance and its history in the United States and internationally. The ways that humans have used plants in the past and present to change consciousness — whether to induce calm, stimulate attention, or alter mental perception — are ingrained in many cultural practices and defy simple, binary categorization, Pollan explains.

Parsley: Herb of the Year™ 2021 by Gert Coleman, ed. Jacksonville, FL: International Herb Association; 2021. Softcover, 249 pages. ISBN: 9780578822419. $21.95.

The International Herb Association designated parsley (Petroselinum crispum, Apiaceae) as its Herb of the Year™ for 2021 and produced this text that celebrates this valuable and versatile herb. This compilation of essays covers various topics: botany and cultivation, history and harvest, lore, recipes, and medicinal uses. The text also includes illustrations, photos, and poetry that take parsley beyond a garnish and explore the plant’s use in other culinary and medicinal applications.

The Ecology of Herbal Medicine: A Guide to Plants and Living Landscapes of the American Southwest by Dara Saville. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press; 2021. Softcover, 312 pages. ISBN: 9780826362179. $24.95.

The Ecology of Herbal Medicine explores medicinal plants of the southwestern United States through the lens of sustainability and preservation. Dara Saville, executive director of the nonprofit Yerba Mansa Project and founder of Albuquerque Herbalism, writes about the ecological relationships between medicinal plants and their environment and how knowledge of this relationship can increase the understanding of the plants’ medicinal properties. This connection also informs her approach to using medicinal plants and preserving their natural habitats, which can improve the health of both humans and the planet.

Aquatic Plants: Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Applications by Namrita Lall, ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2021. Hardcover, 366 pages. ISBN: 9781138368118. $200.00.

Aquatic Plants includes descriptions of popular aquatic plants found across the globe. With contributions from an international array of authors, this book describes the distributions, ethnobotanical uses, genome sequencing, chemical compounds, and biological activities of these plants and addresses their cultivation and sustainability. The book also includes full-color illustrations and photographs. These plant profiles are a valuable resource for academics conducting research on aquatic plants and for professionals in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries who are interested in the potential therapeutic applications of these plants and their sustainable use.