A richly illustrated, scientific guide to medicinal and poisonous plants, including those used for their mind-altering effects. The book covers approximately 300 species, from Aloe vera and Ephedra sinica to Cannabis sativa and Coffea arabica, detailing their botanical, geographical, pharmacological, and toxicological data as well as the chemical structures of the active compounds in each. Readers learn, for example, that Acacia senegal, or gum acacia, is used primarily in Sudan and Ethiopia as a topical ointment to protect the skin and mucosa from bacterial and fungal infections, and that Aconitum napellus, more commonly known as aconite, is used in cough syrups but can be psychedelic when smoked or absorbed through the skin. With 350 full-colour photographs featuring the plants and some of their derivative products, Phytomedicines, Herbal Drugs, and Poisons will be an invaluable reference not only for those in the health care field but also for those growing their own medicinal herb gardens, as well as anyone who needs a quick answer to whether a plant is a panacea or a poison. About the authors Ben-Erik van Wyk is professor of botany at the University of Johannesburg and the author of several best-selling books on plants and plant use. Michael Wink is professor of Pharmaceutical Biology and director at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biology at Heidelberg University, Germany. He is an authority on secondary metabolites of plants and their pharmacological properties.
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