Guide of Medicinal
Plants, by Paul Schaunenberg and Ferdinand Paris
- Advanced Level
This is a reference book which lists plants by their active constituents.
Chapters 1-3 are devoted to plants containing alkaloids, vitamins and antibiotics.
Chapters 4-14 list plants which contain heterosides (sugars and mucilages).
Chapters 15-17 list plants which contain essential oils and glucides.
Chapter 18 lists plants with trace minerals. The are hardly any illustrations
in this book. To use this reference easily, you should know the latin
name of the plant you are interested in looking up. The listings detail
the following information: latin name, a few common names, habitat, a
brief physical description, flowering season, active constituents, brief medicinal
properties, brief medicinal applications. This book is useful to those
who need to know the chemistry of the medicinal plants.
This book is out of print, but used copies are usually available from Amazon.com
Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia
Medica, by Bensky/Gamble
A scholarly work on Chinese herbs. Although I studied Chinese medicine, I do not
normally use Chinese herbs if I can use a western equivalent. However, there are
times when a particular chinese herb fits a formula perfectly. Herbalism is now
quite popular, and many students of acupuncture now also study chinese herbalism in
depth. This is the text I used when I studied Chinese herbs. The book is well
organized, well written (a rarity for chinese herbs) and very informative. Chinese
medicine employs a different understand about how the body functions. A major
concept in Chinese medicine involves the concept of chi (qi), the universal energy force
which flows through the body. Understanding this concept is crucial to understanding
Chinese herbalism. There is no equivalent concept in western medicine. If you
have never come across this concept, or are not aware of terms like external
pernicious influences and triple burners, then I suggest you start with a different book - The Web that Has No Weaver, by Ted Kaptchuk