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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Beth Holz, MS, RN, FNP, HNC (Private Practice)
Description: This is a handbook of commonly used herbs and spices. Selected botanicals are cited in response to increased interest and use within the context of trends in pop culture and consumer interests.
Purpose: The authors' intent is to integrate information for selected topics on a variety of perspectives including agriculture, botany, medical sciences, gardening, art, cosmetics, cooking and popular culture.
Audience: The book is intended for herbal enthusiasts, students, for reference use by academics, garden club members, herb and spice experts, hobbyists, and anyone interested in herbal medicine. The authors are professional librarians, so they are experts in their field, but not experts in the critical assessment of herbal medicine.
Features: Each topic appears alphabetically, including organizations, associations, definition of terms, and herbs. It would be helpful to divide the book into chapters so that information on herbal markets and organizations appears in a separate section than the description of individual herbs. In addition, the title minimizes the significance of the topic by referencing the material as a "fad."
Assessment: This book provides an overview of the popular uses of herbs and spices. However, it cannot be considered an authoritative critique of the use of herbal medicine which is an extensive system of the use of products for therapeutic purposes