REFERENCE

Encyclopedia of Islamic Herbal Medicine

McFarland. 2011. 235p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780786447077. pap. $55. Online: EBL, ebrary, MyiLibrary & Netlibrary REF
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Interest in Islam is high given world politics, but most people in the United States do not know that the religion also has a rich tradition of herbal medicine: the Prophet Muhammad was also an herbalist. Morrow (languages & Arab Islamic studies, Univ. of Virginia) has created an authoritative resource focusing exclusively on the herbs and fruits found in the Koran and the Sunnah, the primary texts of Islam, as well as those noted by the Twelve Imams considered to be divine authorities by Shiite Muslims. After a lengthy introduction explaining the development of herbal medicine in the Muslim world, the plants are listed alphabetically. Entries include the plant family botanical name and common names in English, French, Spanish, German, Urdu, and modern standard Arabic. The prophetic prescription (Islamic textual references), issues in identification, scientific studies on medicinal uses, and notes follow. The encyclopedia does not include information on dosages and administration; instead, the author encourages readers to consult health-care professionals before using the substances. He also notes the difficulties involved in identifying plants, especially fruits, since they have evolved since ancient times and translations of the names vary. BOTTOM LINE Academic health sciences, life sciences, and Islamic studies libraries will want to add this resource on a little-covered topic to their collections.—Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L.

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