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Folklore and Medicinal Plants: Folk Medicine; The Art and Science.
by Richard P. Steiner, Editor. American Chemical Society, 1155 Sixteenth St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. 1986. 223 pp. Softcover $12.95. ISBN: 0-8412-0946-4. Hardcover $22.95. ISBN: 0-8412-0939-1.

One doesn't often think of the American Chemical Society as a major publisher for books on medicinal plants, but here's a sleeper in the medicinal plant book realm. Published in 1986, the book is a collection of fourteen excellent review articles on various aspects of natural products research. Papers include: "Aztec Sources of Some Mexican Folk Medicine," "Zuni Indian Medicine: Folklore or Pharmacology, Science of Sorcery," "Ayurveda: The Traditional Medicine of India," "Fijian Medicinal Plants," "Medicinal Plants of Papua New Guinea," "Australian Medicinal Plants," "Plants used in African Traditional Medicine," "Antithrombotic Agent of Garlic: A Lesson from 5,000 Years of Folk Medicine," "Scientific Basis of the Therapeutic Effects of Ginseng," "Anticancer Chinese Drugs: Structure-Activity Relationships," "Some Recent Biochemical Characterizations of Chinese Herbal Preparations," "Bioactive Compounds from Three Chinese Medicinal Plants," "Zingiberaceous Plants," and "Alkaloid Components of Zizyphus Plants."

The book also includes both an author and subject index. Half of the text provides excellent overviews of the scientific basis for the successful use of medicinal plants by non-industrial cultures. The other half covers the components and pharmacology of specific plants or plant groups. This is an exceptional collection of papers providing a scientific basis for the folkloric application of medicinal plants from around the world of interest to the scientist and non-scientist alike.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.