Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants / Edition 2

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In the 20 years that have passed since the publication of the first edition, both Poison Control Centers and Emergency Departments have witnessed an expansion in the number and variety of poisonings caused by toxic plants. At the same time, there is a proliferation in the diversity of plants in our gardens and homes, continually expanding the range of possible consequences from exposure to toxic plants. This second edition of the Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants is created to assist the clinician in the initial response to the needs of a child or adult exposed to a poisonous or injurious plant. It lists common plants that might lead to the development of the symptom complex and describes the mechanisms of action of the implicated toxin, additional clinical manifestations, and specific therapeutics for each presentation. It has methodically enhanced the previous edition's botanical rigor with insights from both pharmacognosy and clinical medicine to make it a truly comprehensive source. With its thorough references and full-color photos of hundreds of potentially toxic and injurious plants inside the home, anyone who has an interest in plants will find this book useful outside in the garden or out in the wild. This book will fascinate botanists, horticulturists, and naturalists as well as hikers, gardeners, and all those who simply enjoy the wonders of nature and the great outdoors! With Foreword by Lewis R. Goldfrank, MD and Introduction by Andrew Weil, MD

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews of the second edition:

"This second edition of the Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants is a clear, concise, non-alarmist guide to the plants that we all live with, inside and out. Initially it will seem to you that every plant you’ve ever grown is injurious in some way, but the authors’ methodical writing and discussion of each plant makes things clear."
- Sara Berg, Horticulture Magazine April 2007

"The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, rich in visual images, emergency medical information, botanical descriptions, and scientific references, is the easiest to use and most comprehensive handbook of its kind available today. It will be of great value to physicians, naturalists, horticulturists, parents of small children, pet owners, and all those who interact with plants and the landscapes — both indoors and outdoors — in temperate, desert, tropical, and subtropical habitats throughout the year. This book is designed to become a well-thumbed addition to libraries, classrooms, and personal bookshelves. The authors are to be congratulated for producing such a useful, portable, and elegant guidebook to the plant toxins that are all around us."
- Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, USA

"The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants by Balick, Nelson and Shih is a thoroughly revised and updated ... The new Handbook authors include a botanist and 2 physicians in the active practice of medical toxicology and emergency medicine. The resulting collaboration has resulted in a remarkable reference work – a slim, but lavishly illustrated handbook of only 300-plus pages that provides a detailed, medically oriented approach to plant poisonings and their management.

The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants is an indispensable resource for every poison center and emergency department book shelf. Many pediatricians and emergency physicians will find it an invaluable addition to their personal libraries as well. "
- Fred M. Henretig, MD, Director, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia' s Poison Control Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

"This second edition of the Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants is a remarkable improvement to a great book. It is much more logical and clinically relevant use of botany and medicine. Its new graphics and formal structure increases its value for the lay person and clinician."
- Lewis R. Goldfrank, Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, NY, USA

"Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants provides portable, comprehensive information to the toxic plants encountered everywhere … . This clearly structured and colorfully illustrated guidebook … is an indispensable resource for hikers, gardeners, parents of small children, pet owners, physicians, nurses and veterinarians. … presents clear information on hundreds of plants. It is lavishly illustrated, elegantly highlighting each plant’s distinguishing characteristics. The images include 398 full-color photographs … . An easy-to-use glossary of botanical terms helps guide the non-specialist through this fascinating and multidisciplinary field." (EurekAlert, February, 2007)

"I’m happy ... to tell you about a useful and beautifully illustrated new book on the subject of poisonous plants that is an indispensable resource for hikers, gardeners, parents of small children, pet owners, veterinarians, and health care practitioners. The book, the second edition of the Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, is by … physicians who specialize in emergency medicine and medical toxicology and by … noted ethnobotanist and tropical plant explorer." (Andrew Weil, www.drweil.com, May, 2007)

"The book provides a wealth of information on hundreds of plants as well as descriptions of the symptoms often experienced by those who have been exposed to phytotoxins. … a valuable and indispensable book that should be readily be available and accessible to all physicians, clinicians, and emergence and poison centres. … will also appeal to a broad spectrum of other interested groups, including naturalists, hikers, botanists, horticulturists, and gardeners. Furthermore, it should make a valuable addition to the libraries of parents … ." (Dr. Marcello Pennacchio, Public Garden, Issue 1, 2007)

"The second edition of this text comes some 20 years after the publication of its precursor, The AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants. The new edition is considerably updated, and for a comparatively small volume is magnificently illustrated, with glossy colour plates throughout. … The compact and concise nature of the volume makes it a useful reference guide to both medical professionals and those generally interested in this fascinating topic." (J. Barlow, Irish Pharmacy Journal, May, 2007)

"The book … was produced under the auspices of the New York Botanical Garden, where Dr. Balick is director of the Institute of Economic Botany. While its primary mission is to help health care professionals identify and treat plant-caused injuries, this lavishly illustrated book can be a helpful guide to ordinary people. It highlights hundreds of troublesome plants, providing photographs and written descriptions, common names, geographic distributions, toxic parts and toxins, effects on the body and information on medical management." (Jane E. Brody, The New York Times, July, 2007)

"A very useful guide to the harmful potential of plants … . The book provides comprehensive information to toxic plants encountered everywhere, both inside and outside the home and provides an excellent clear and illustrated resource not only for staff of emergency departments and Poison Control Centres, but also for many generalists, parents of small children, pet owners and in particular those who enjoy investigating the beauty and unknown characteristics of our natural environment." (Amritpal S. Chohan, BTS Newsletter, Winter 2007)

"With 434 four-color photos and illustrations throughout, it is almost a field guide to poisonous plants. … The combination of experienced medical practice and 3 decades of ethnobotany have produced a book that is highly authoritative in scope and depth. … Physicians and other healthcare professionals (including veterinarians), herbalists, hikers, naturalists, gardeners, horticulturists … and all those who interact with plants and the landscapes (both indoors and outdoors), would find this book of great value. It is well worth the investment." (Mark Blumenthal, HerbalGram, Vol. 83, 2009)

“The book under review represents also an important part of libraries not only of botanists, but above all of clinicians, which work at Emergency Departments and regularly meet child or adult exposed to a poisonous or injurious plant. … it is written in a very friendly way for ordinary reader who wants to know more about what can be harmful in his house and garden … . it is full of useful and important information. Therefore I recommend it to your attention.” (Pavol Mártonfi, Thaiszia - Journal of Botany, Vol. 20 (1), 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387312682
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Edition description: 2nd ed. 2006. Corr. 2nd printing 2007
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 340
  • Sales rank: 1,024,156
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Balick, Ph.D., F.L.S.: Specialist in Ethnobotany and Economic Botany, Medicinal and Toxic Plants, and Tropical Botany. Vice President for Botanical Research and Training, The New York Botanical Garden. He has written or edited 14 books and over 100 scientific papers on the subject of useful and harmful plants as well as serving as a Past President of the Society for Economic Botany. He is on the adjunct faculties of Columbia, Yale, New York University, and The City University of New York.

Lewis S. Nelson, M.D., FACEP, FACMT: Board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology at New York University School of Medicine and the New York City Poison Control Center, in New York City. He is an editor of the 7th Edition of Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies, published by McGraw-Hill and considered by many as the flagship reference text in the field of medical toxicology.

Richard Shih M.D., FACEP: Board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology. Currently the Director of Residency Training Program in Emergency Medicine at Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, NJ.

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Table of Contents

Botanical Nomenclature and Glossary of Botanical Terms.- Botanical Nomenclature.- Glossary of Botanical Terms.- Poisons, Poisoning Syndromes, and Their Clinical Management.- Poisons, Poisoning Syndromes, and Their Clinical Management.- Plant-Induced Dermatitis (Phytodermatitis).- Plant-Induced Dermatitis (Phytodermatitis).- Gastrointestinal Decontamination.- Gastrointestinal Decontamination.- Individual Plants.- Individual Plants.

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