Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Human Health / Edition 2

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  • Organized by body system and ailment makes it easy to locate appropriate therapies.
  • Includes background on the physiology of major systems and ailments so readers can understand how and why a pharmaceutical, botanical, or dietary supplement works.
  • Broad coverage includes green plants, fungi, and microorganisms.
  • Includes extensive references and citations from both conventional and complimentary-alternative medical systems when natural products or their derivatives are involved.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" extremely good read...a productive mine of information...laced liberally with humour, human observation and practical examples..." (Plant Talk, May 2004)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471628828
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/22/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 832
  • Sales rank: 308,835
  • Product dimensions: 7.83 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 1.96 (d)

Meet the Author

WALTER H. LEWIS, PhD, DSc, is Professor Emeritus of Biology and University Research Ethnobotanist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also Senior Botanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

MEMORY P. F. ELVIN-LEWIS, PhD, DSc, is Professor of Biomedicine in Microbiology and Ethnobotany, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Table of Contents

Proprietary Registered and Trademark Names and Owners.



1. Introduction.

2. Complementary and Alternative Medicine.


3. Internal Poisons.

4. Immune System and Cell Modifiers.

5. Allergies.


6. Cancer.

7. Musculoskeletal System.

8. Peripheral Nervous System.

9. Heart and Circulation.

10. Metabolism.

11. Sensory Organs: Eye and Ear.

12. Oral Hygiene.

13. Gastrointestinal Tract.

14. Respiratory System.

15. Urogenital System.

16. Skin.

17. Deterrents: Antibiotics, Antiseptics, Pesticides, and Herbicides.

18. Panaceas, Adaptogens, and Tonics.


19. Central Nervous System and Psychiatry.

20. Stimulants.

21. Hallucinogens.

22. Depressants.

Appendix A: Outline Classification of Plants.

Appendix B: Bibliography of Traditional and Herbal Medicine and Ethnobotany.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2003

    The Bible of Medical Botany

    I'm a writer myself (Safe Sex in the Garden, Allergy-Free Gardening, etc.) and I do considerable research on plants and allergies. I first discovered the Lewis's writing more than a decade ago and have long been a great admirer of their writing and of their creative work and original research. Walter and Memory Lewis are a brilliant husband-wife team; he is a botanist, she is a microbiologist. They spend a good deal of time each year off in the jungles of South America where they research potentially useful medical plants, usually following the lead of local native Indian people, especially the shamans and witch doctors. They find some remarkable things going about it this way. I like almost all decent books dealing with medical botany, with plants that are useful to us as possible medicines. I have a fairly large assortment of these books now but none are really in the class of this one. This book covers a lot of territory, misses very little. It is a huge book, and a few parts of it will be tough reading for those who don't understand chemistry, but still, even for those with no medical background there is much to enjoy, to discover, to learn. Most of what we have heard over the years about the value of various herbal remedies is covered here and fact is separated from fiction. Unlike some writers in this medium, the Lewis¿s are completely unbiased, and call them as they see them. Memory Lewis has done considerable award winning research on many things and in particular on diseases of the mouth and teeth, and Walter, among other things, has long been the head botanist at the beautiful and prestigious Missouri Botanical Gardens. They are both full professors at Washington University in St Louis, MO. A biologist friend of mine once told me that among his peers in biology, worldwide, that Walter H Lewis is widely considered to be THE medical botanist. I would have to agree with that assessment. I'd love to see large numbers of MD's reading this book and if I may make a suggestion it is this: Buy this book and give it as a present to your own favorite physician. He or she will be delighted.... but then too, if you yourself study medical botanical things, if you like to take charge of your own physical well being, better get a copy for yourself. It's the very finest, most accurate, and most thorough of the literature in this important and highly interesting field.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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