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Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Great Lakes Region.
This is an interesting and slightly unusual book insofar as it is written by a physician (Doctor of Osteopathy) who has a Master's degree in Botany -- an unusual combination that applies to very few physicians in the U.S. This book covers approximately 100 plants that are native or naturalized to the Great Lakes Region. Each plant is provided with a brief one-page monograph and black and white line drawing. The monographs include the Latin name, plant family, and common name. The herbs are sequenced alphabetically by Latin name. The monographs include a brief botanical description, some general information, natural habitat, season of availability for harvesting, preparation techniques, medical terminology (which includes the plant's primary actions as determined by ethnobotanical use and/or modern scientific research), related diseases and symptoms that relate to the actions discussed in the previous section, poisonous aspects, information on the biology and edibility of the pla nt, chemistry and pharmacognosy information, and the author's personal experimentation with the plant. Fortunately, the author has provided fairly authoritative references for information throughout the brief monographs. As a physician therefore interested in the medicinal aspects of these herbs, the author provides extensive backpage material in the indices. He has written over 50 pages of tables in which specific physiological actions of herbs are presented with a list of each herb which has been documented for that particular action. Such actions include respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems as general headers; then they are broken down into headache, nervous complaints, asthma, pulmonary problems, colic, indigestion, liver, diarrhea, fever, etc. In each table the author presents the common name in the first column, the Latin name in the second, and then a series of symbols which indicate whether the plants are found in the forest, fields and open areas, streams, wet areas, and bogs and which season the plants can be collected. Finally, each of these useful tables contains the page number where the plant monograph is found in the text so the reader can refer to additional information on each botanical. The author also presents convenient glossaries of botanical and medical terms, cross-references of common and Latin names, and two tables of cross-references of common names-Latin names and Latin names-common names. The book contains a fairly decent bibliography of authoritative references as well as an index. Unfortunately, dosage information is not given, thereby requiring the potential user to refer elsewhere in the event that he or she intends using an herb medicinally, or using this material as a reference book. Understandably, this type of specificity is difficult as dosages vary depending upon the type of preparation and the intended use. After all, this particular publication is not intended as a manual for self-medication. Otherwise, this is a useful book, especially for anyone interested in collecting ethonobotanical and medical data on the plants of the Great Lakes. Article copyright American Botanical Council. ~~~~~~~~ By Mark Blumenthal">by Thomas A. Naegele, D.O. 1996. Davis Burg, MI: Wilderness Adventure Books. Illustrated, 423 pp., Softcover, $18.95. ISBN #C:InetpubwwwrootData 0-923568-37-9. ABC BookStore #B234.p#