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British Herbal Compendium: A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plants. Vol 2. Peter Bradley. Bournemouth, England: British Herbal Medicine Association; 2006. 409 pages, softcover, contents, chemical structures, references, index. ₤59.50 (approx. $112.00). ISBN 0-903032-12-0.

This long-awaited second volume contains 80 therapeutic monographs on widely used medicinal plants. Each monograph includes chemical constituents (with structure diagrams), pharmacology and clinical studies, therapeutics, safety data and regulatory status. More than 3000 full citations are included.

Pomegranates: Ancient Roots to Modern Medicine. Navindra P. Seeram, Risa N. Schulman, and David Heber, eds. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group; 2006. 244 pages, hardcover, contents, b&w figures, tables, chemical structures, references, index. $129.95. ISBN 0-8493-9812-6.

Explores the biochemistry and health effects of pomegranates. Identifies more than 100 phytochemicals in the fruit. Includes information on laboratory, animal, and human studies of its antioxidant effects on cardiovascular disease. Addresses research on pomegranate’s ability to fight several types of cancer. Substantial sections on commercialization, plant growth, and improvement. Discusses research on the bioavailability and metabolism of pomegranate polyphenols in humans.

Handbook of Cannabis Therapeutics: From Bench to Bedside. Ethan B. Russo, MD, and Franjo Grotenhermen, MD, eds. New York: Haworth Press; 2006. 471 pages, softcover, contents, b&w figures, tables, references, index. $39.95. ISBN 0-7890-3097-7.

Provides a brief history on the medicinal uses of cannabis (marijuana). Includes a compilation of articles from the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, formerly edited by the author. Presents pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, biochemistry, toxicology, side effects, and potential clinical uses of cannabinoids. Each chapter contains references and updated bibliographies.

Ampalaya: Nature’s Remedy for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Frank Murray. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.; 2006. 217 pages, softcover, contents, glossary, appendix, resources, references, index. $14.95. ISBN 1-59120-178-0.

Focuses on preventing or controlling type-2 diabetes with lifestyle changes and the use of ampalaya (Momordica charantia), a vegetable with blood sugar-lowering properties. Animal and human studies are presented on the effects of ampalaya, commonly known as bitter melon, bitter gourd, or vegetable insulin, as well as a selection of stories profiling diabetics who have incorporated ampalaya successfully into their diet.

Eating and Healing: Traditional Food as Medicine. Andrea Pieroni and Lisa Leimar Price, eds. Binghamton, NY: Food Products Press; 2006. 406 pages, softcover, contents, b&w photos, figures & tables, references, index. $39.95. ISBN 1-56022-983-7.

Presents biological and cultural aspects of food as medicine from around the world, such as in Tibet, Cuba, Italy, and Africa. Each chapter is written by a different contributor and presents scientific research about medicinal foods from a specific area of the world, along with traditional information gathered from locals. Some chapters also discuss issues of globalization and the loss of healing food knowledge.

Emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Therapeutic Approaches through Nutrition, Natural Medicine, Alternative Medicine. Robert J. Green Jr., ND. San Diego, CA: Aventine Press; 2005. 212 pages, softcover, contents, tables, b&w figures, appendices, bibliography, glossary, index. $19.95. ISBN 1-59330-332-7.

Primarily written for patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema, this book is also a helpful tool for healthcare professionals. Focusing exclusively on natural health and nutrition, the author presents scientifically- and historically-based treatments. Diet and nutrition therapy, nutrition supplementation, herbal medicine, exercise and physical therapy, as well as other alternatives are also discussed.

Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians. Patricia Kyritsi Howell. Mountain City, GA: Botanologos Books; 2006. 262 pages, softcover, contents, glossary, bibliography, resources, bloom & harvest calendars, therapeutic index, index. $19.95. ISBN 0-9774905-0-5.

Includes the historical and current uses of 45 medicinal plants. Profiles of each plant also include harvest information, preparations and dosages, and detailed medicine-making instructions for many of the plants.

Sacred Plant Medicine: The Wisdom in Native American Herbalism. Stephen Harrod Buhner. Rochester, VT: Bear & Company; 2006. 208 pages, softcover, contents, b&w photos, references, suggested readings, index. $16.00. ISBN 159143058-5.

Filled with photos and extensive quotes, Buhner explores the interactions of Native Americans and plants, including profiles of many of the plants considered sacred by the tribes. Their traditional uses are addressed, including preparations and dosages, along with ceremonial elements such as prayers and songs associated with each plant.