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Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. David Winston and Steven Maimes. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press; 2007. 324 pages, softcover, b&w illustrations, references. $18.95. ISBN 1-59477-158-8.

The first part of this book provides an overview and background on adaptogens, i.e., herbs that produce a defensive response to stress. It discusses the history of adaptogens, their actions and health benefits, and a general discussion of the stress response. Part two is a materia medica of monographs on adaptogens and herbs that complement them. Each monograph includes names (both common and Latin), family, taste/energy, part used, cultivation, habitat, properties, chemical constituents, history, modern uses, safety ratings, dosage forms, and research studies.

Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 3rd ed. Shirley Price and Len Price, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2007. 576 pages, softcover, b&w photos and illustrations. $51.95. ISBN 0-4431-0134-5.

Provides a clear and authoritative in-depth study of aromatherapy as practiced in modern healthcare settings, including guidance on how to integrate the use of essential oils into clinical practice. This new edition includes an additional 24 essential oil profiles, updated information on health and safety, additional references and new research, and expanded chapters on carrier oils. Case studies illustrate practical applications for the concepts and techniques discussed.

Chemistry of Natural Products. V.K. Ahluwalia, Lalita S. Kumar, and Sanjiv Kumar. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2007. 249 pages, hardcover, b&w illustrations, glossary. $69.95. ISBN 1-42005917-3.

Designed as a university textbook, this publication provides a chemical overview of amino acids, peptides, proteins, and enzymes. The nomenclature, classification, chemical properties, chemical reactions, preparation, synthesis and applications are covered in the amino acid section. The peptide section explains the formation and structure of peptide bonds and their significance. The section on proteins discusses different methods of classification and explains their properties. The enzyme section covers the classification, nomenclature, and mode of action of enzymes, as well as a detailed account of the structure and function of different coenzymes.

Drugs of the Dreaming. Gianluca Toro and Benjamin Thomas. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press; 2007. 149 pages, softcover, tables, references, index. $12.95. ISBN 1-59477-174-X.

The authors begin by explaining the non-ordinary states of consciousness and the history of the dream. They then detail the properties and actions of 35 oneirogens, dream-inducing substances, including plants (including ones used for their purported magical qualities), mushrooms, animals, food, and, lastly, endogenous and synthetic compounds. They cover the historical use of each oneirogen, its method of action, and what light it sheds on the scientific mechanism of dreaming, concluding with the suggestion that oneirogens enhance the comprehensibility and facility of the dream/dreamer relationship.

Tropical Plants of Costa Rica: A Guide to Native and Exotic Flora. Willow Zuchowski. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press; 2007. 529 pages, softcover, photographs and b&w illustrations. $35.00. ISBN 0-9705678-4-7.

This beautiful color-filled guide targets botanists and non-botanists alike with its easy-to-use presentation of various species of flora found in Costa Rica. Species information includes Spanish and English common names, description, distribution, related species, comments and photographs to help guide species discovery. Extensive glossary and list of species by family is also included.

Turmeric: The Genus Curcuma. P.N. Ravindran, K. Nirmal Babu, and K. Sivaraman, eds. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2007. 484 pages, hardcover, b&w illustrations and photographs. $149.95. ISBN 0-8493-7034-5.

Compares traditional uses and modern scientific discoveries regarding turmeric’s medicinal value and health benefits. Reviews botany, cultivation, phytochemistry, biotechnology, processing, and product development. Provides a comprehensive industrial profile including market size, geographical sources, import and export data, and market trends.