This book is designed to meet the needs of both the botanist, and those with an interest in alternative health or the self-sufficiency characterised by Ray Mears. Bringing together the work of renowned botanical experts, this beautifully illustrated reference work, comprises of over 300 entries, alphabetically ordered in a clear and accesible layout. "The Desk Reference" offers a natural history of medicines that are now common to us such as aspirin, originally derived from the bark of a willow tree, and digitalis, a potent heart medicine derived from the foxglove flower. Each entry contains a beautiful photograph/illustration and range map. Descriptions of individual plants include information on its origins and geographic range, its medicinal properties, its harvesting, its folklore, its uses in conventional and alternative medicine, and much more.
Collectively the main entries and informative sidebars, take readers on a fascinating journey from the remote rain forests of the Amazon, to the high-tech labs of modern pharmaceutical companies, where chemists continue to raid nature's abundunt resources to find cures for ailments ranging from the common cold to cancer.