SCIENCES

National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs

The World's Most Effective Healing Plants
& others. National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World's Most Effective Healing Plants. National Geographic. 2012. c.400p. ed. by Steven Foster. illus. ISBN 9781426207006. $40. HEALTH
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The world's oldest remedies, herbal medicines remain popular as alternative therapies increase in use. This book, written by a science writer with a team of physicians and herbalists, offers a detailed look at 72 plants with medicinal properties. Following a brief introduction about growing and safely using medicinal herbs, the authors present the herbs in alphabetical order. Each entry includes a full-page illustration, the plant's Latin name, a description of it and its uses, its history (including a time line at the bottom of the page), growing conditions, cultivation and harvesting, therapeutic uses, and precautions. The entries are grouped into chapters by body system, e.g., mental health and the nervous system, digestive system. An index of therapeutic uses, a plant index with small pictures, and a glossary make it easy to find information.
VERDICT This is an excellent herbal written by physicians trained in integrative medicine. It has more comprehensive information than that found in more basic works like Holly Bellebuono's The Essential Herbal for Natural Health and Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs, both reviewed left. Highly recommended.

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