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Medicinal Plants of the World: An Illustrated Scientific Guide to Important Medicinal Plants and their Uses

Field / Identification Guide

By: Ben-Erik van Wyk(Author), Michael Wink(Author)

520 pages, colour photos

CABI Publishing

Hardback | Jun 2017 | Edition: 2 | #237132 | ISBN-13: 9781786393258
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £29.99 $40/€34 approx

About this book

Medicinal plants and plant-derived medicine are widely used in traditional cultures all over the world and they are becoming increasingly popular in modern society as natural alternatives to synthetic chemicals. As more and more natural remedies are being commercialised, there is a need for a user-friendly reference guide to the plants and their products.

Medicinal Plants of the World gives the reader a bird's eye view of more than 350 of the best known medicinal plants of the world and their uses, in a compact, colourful and scientifically accurate reference text. It provides quick answers to the most obvious questions: Where does this plant originate? What does it look like? In which culture is it traditionally used? What is it used for? Which chemical compounds does it contain? How safe is it? What is known about its pharmacological activity? What evidence is there that it is effective?

The authors also provide short overviews of the various health conditions for which medicinal plants are used and the active compounds (secondary metabolites) found in the plants and their modes of actions.

This new edition has an additional 30 plant species, many new and improved photographs and the text has been fully updated to reflect the latest regulatory status of each plant.

Review of the first edition:

"Medicinal Plants of the World gives readers a bird's-eye-view of more than 320 of the best-known medicinal plants in use today. More than 500 full-color photographs assist in the identification of the plants. It is an essential reference guide for healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, and especially pharmacists – or anyone with an interest in medicinal plants and their uses."
Biology Digest 2004-05-09

"This book is truly a detailed roadmap to both common and unusual plants used for healing. Any flora buff would be remiss not to catch this book, perfect for any home library."
– Emily Gaither Greene, County Independent 2004-04-07

"An impressive guide to the best known and most important medicinal plants in the world."
Santa Cruz Sentinel 2004-04-22

"Medicinal Plants of the World is a scientifically accurate guide to the best-known and most important medicinal plants of special commercial or historical interest which is a rapidly expanding field."
– Joanne S. Carpender, National Gardener 2004-06-21

"A great guide, the book's photos are helpful for confirming identification, the information is detailed for use in analytical processes as well as for a lay herbalist."
Economic Botany 2004-06-22

"Once again, Timber Press are to be congratulated on publishing these books."
– John E. Bryan, Gardening Newsletter 2004-04-24

"This book is truly a detailed roadmap to both common and unusual plants used for healing. Any flora buff would be remiss not to catch this book, perfect for any home library."
– Julie Gaither, Tallahassee Democrat 2004-06-01

"An in-depth, scientifically accurate, superbly presented, seminal survey and guide to the best-known medicinal plants [...] a reference that health care professionals will relish and refer to time and time again."
Bookwatch 2004-07-05

"For health care professionals, pharmacists, chemists, botanists, and anyone with a keen interest in medicinal plants."
Northeastern Naturalist 2004-08-09

"This stunning new book is a user-friendly guide to 320 plants."
– J. S. Whelan, Choice 2004-09-16

"A succinct and handy guide."
Plant Talk 2004-08-16

"Comprehensive and scientifically accurate."
– Asha McElfish, Sida, Contributions to Botany 2004-10-14
"An impressive photographic guide to the most commonly used and best known medical plants of the world."
– Lynn C. Westney, E-Streams 2004-08-21

"Not only beautiful to look at, but essential for anyone interested in alternative medicine [...] a 'must have.'"
– Tim Smith WUSB 90.1 FM 2004-10-28

"This book would make a great textbook and an important addition to any physician's shelf."
– Michelle A. Briggs, Plant Science Bulletin 2004-12-28

"With the recent proliferation of books on medicinal plants, a text in this area has to really stand out with unique information or really good colored pictures. Medicinal Plants of the World satisfies these two requirements."
– Arthur Tucker, Brittonia 2004-01-17

"The best comprehensive resource guide I have seen on this subject."
– Rahul Patel, Hold Onto Your Dream Newsletter 2005-02-01

"This reference also serves as a stellar photographic guide to therapeutic plants."
– Edward L. Gonzalez, American Reference Books Annual 2005-05-11

"The text is a handsomely and profusely illustrated dictionary-type reference."
Plant Talk 2005-01-16


1: Preface
2: Introduction
3: Medicine Systems of the World
4: Plant Parts Used
5: Dosage Forms
6: Use of Medicinal Plant Products
7: Active Ingredients
8: Quality Control and Safety
9: Efficacy of Medicinal Plant Products
10: Regulation of Herbal Remedies and Phytomedicines
11: The Plants in Alphabetical Order
12: Health Disorders and Medicinal Plants
13: Overview of Secondary Metabolites and Their Effects
14: Quick Guide to Commercialised Medicinal Plants
15: Glossary

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Ben-Erik van Wyk is a professor of botany at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His scientific field of interest is in plant classification, ethnobotany, and useful plants. Michael Wink is a professor of pharmaceutical biology and a director of the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He is an authority on secondary metabolites of plants and their pharmacological effects.

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