Listed below are a number of books for general readers. I have have reviewed each in some detail and can recommend them. For the more technically inclined, see here. While the items here reflect my interests to a large degree, the range of topics listed here is as broad as the subject of medicinal plants. Enjoy!
Shortcuts to the Topics:
- Ethnobotany of Specific Groups and Regions, except for Costa Rica and the Southwest US & Mexico, including the history of food in the region.
- Costa Rican plants & ethnobotany
- General Ethnobotany
- Field Guides for the Eastern United States
- Cultural Issues and Perspectives See also the Southwest US & Mexico, including the history of food in the region.
- Hallucinogens & Shamanism - science, use and contextual significance
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Guides Containing Information about Specific Herbs
- Historical Works and Perspectives
- General Interest (introductory)
- Medicinal Plant Poetry
- Movies with a medicinal plant theme.
- Technical Details - books and review articles of a more technical nature.
Duke, J. A. & Martinez, R. V. Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary CRC Press 1994.
Duke, J. A. with Bogenschutz-Godwin, M. J. & Ottesen, A. R. Duke's Handbook of Medicinal Plants of Latin America CRC Press, 2009.
Kindscher, K. Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide University Press of Kansas, 1992.
Miller, A. B. Shaker Medicinal Herbs: A Compendium of History, Lore and Uses Storey Books,1998.
Minnis, P. E. People and Plants in Ancient Eastern North America Smithsonian Books, 2003
Saad, B. and Said, O. Greco-Arab and Islamic Herbal Medicine: Traditional System, Ethics, Safety, Efficacy and Regulatory Issues Wiley 2011.
Vogel, V. J. American Indian Medicine University of Oklahoma Press, 1970. A Classic!
Dunmire, W. and Tierney, G. Wild Plants of the Pueblo Province: Exploring Ancient and Enduring Uses. Museum of New Mexico Press, 1995.
Dunmire, W. and Tierney, G. Wild Plants and Native Peoples of the Four Corners Museum of New Mexico Press, 1997.
Kay, M. A. Healing with Plants in the American and Mexican West Univ. of Arizona Press, 1996.
Nabhan, G. P. Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation Univ. of Arizona Press 1989.
Nabhan, G. P. Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes and Cultural Diversity Island Press 2004.
Pilcher, J. M. Que Vivan Los Tamales - Food and the Making of Mexican Identity Univ. of New Mexico Press 1998.
Rea, A. M. At the Desert's Green Edge: An Ethnobotany of the Gila River Pima University of Arizona Press, 1997.
Valenzuela-Zapata, A. G. & Nabhan, G. P. ¡Tequila! A Natural and Cultural History Univ. of Arizona Press 2003.
van Wyk, B. Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide Timber Press 2005.
See also this list of articles on indigenous Costa Rican peoples.
Navas, H. R. La Utilidad De Las Plantas Medicinales En Costa Rica EUNA, 2000 (in Spanish).
E. Nuñez Melendez Plantas Medicinales de Costa Rica y su Folclore Editorial de UCR, 1986 (in Spanish).
Sarkis, A. & Campos, V. Curanderismo Tradicional del Costarricense: Curaciones con plantas medicinales y remedios caseros Lehmann Editores, 1991 (in Spanish).
Zuchowski, W. A Guide to Tropical Plants of Costa Rica Zona Tropical Publications, 2005.
Cox, P. A. & Balick, M. J. Plants, People, and Culture: the Science of Ethnobotany Scientific American Library, 1996.
Hanson, J. R. Chemistry in the Garden Springer, 2007.
Johns, T. With Bitter Herbs They Shall Eat It: Chemical Ecology and the Origins of Human Diet and Medicine Univ. of Arizona Press, 1990.
Shultes, R. E and von Reis, S., editors. Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline. Dioscorides Press, 1995.
Sumner, J. The Natural History of Medicinal Plants Timber Press 2000.
Carman, J. B. Wildflowers of Tennessee Highland Rim Press 2001.
Coffey, T. The History and Folklore of North American Wildflowers, Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
Foster, S. and Duke, J. A. Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin, 1990.
Homoya, M. Wildflowers and Ferns of Indiana Forests -- A Field Guide Indiana University Press, 2011.
Jackson, M. T. 101 Trees of Indiana: A Field Guide Indiana University Press 2004.
Newcomb, L. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide Little, Brown and Company, 1977.
Niering, W. A. and Olmstead, N. C. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region Knopf, 1979.
Spira, T. Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist's Guide to the Carolinas, Virginias, Tennesse and Georgia. Univ. North Carolina Press, 2011.
Stupka, A. Wildflowers in Color HarperPerennial, 1994.
Yatskievych, K. Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers Indiana University Press 2000.
Somewhat more technical plant identification resources:
- Britton, N. L. and Brown, A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada 3 volumes; Dover reprint 1970.
- Gleason, H. A. and Cronquist, A. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada New York Botanical Garden 1991.
- Harris, J. G. and Harris, M. W. Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary 2nd edition Spring Lake Publishing 2001.
- Holmgren, N. H. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual: Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada New York Botanical Garden 1998.
Diamond, J. Guns, Germs and Steel Norton, 1997.
De Clenne, M. & Lejeune, M. C. Compendium of Symbolic and Ritual Plants in Europe (2 volumes) Man & Culture Publishers, 2003.
Deloria, V. God is Red: A Native View of Religion Fulcrum, 1994.
Foster, G. M. Hippocrates' Latin American Legacy: Humoral Medicine in the New World Gordon and Breach, 1994.
Moerman, D. Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect' Cambridge University Press 2002.
Payer, Lynn Medicine and Culture: Varieties of Treatment in the United States, England, West Germany and France Holt, 1988.
Voeks, R. Sacred Leaves of Candomble: African Magic, Medicine and Religion in Brazil Univ. of Texas Press, 1997.
Winter, D. D. "The Nature of Western Thought" Chapter 2 in Educational Psychology HarperCollins, 1996.
Anderson, E. F. Peyote the Divine Cactus University of Arizona Press, 1996.
Lewis-Williams, D. & Pearce, D. Inside the Neolithic Mind Thames & Hudson, 2005.
Metzner, R. Editor Ayahuasca: Human Conciousness and the Spirits of Nature Thunder's Mouth Press, 1999.
Perrine, D. M. The Chemistry of Mind-Altering Drugs: History, Pharmacology and Cultural Context American Chemical Society, 1996.
Riddle, J. M. Goddesses, Elixirs, and Witches: Plants and Sexuality throughout Human History Macmillan 2011.
Schultes, R. E., Hofmann, A and Ratsch, C. Plants of the Gods, Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers revised and expanded edition Healing Arts Press 1998.
Schultes, R. E. & Raffauf, R. F. Vine of the Soul: Medicine Men, Their Plants and Rituals in the Columbian Amazonia Synergetic Press, 2004.
Shanon, Benny The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience Oxford Univ. Press 2002.
Spinella, M. The Psychopharmacology of Herbal Medicine MIT Press.
Torres, C. M. & Repke, D. B. Anadenanthera: Visionary Plant of Ancient South America Haworth Herbal Press, 2006.
Brush, S. B. and Stabinsky, D., editors. Valuing Local Knowledge: Indigenous People and Intellectual Property Rights. Island Press, 1995.
Mgbeoji, Ikechi. Global Biopiracy: Patents, Plants & Indigenous Knowledge UBC Press, 2006.
Bisset, N. G. & Wichtl, M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scienctific Basis With Reference to German Commission Monographs 2nd Edition CRC Press 2001.
Block, E. Garlic and the Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science Royal Society of Chemistry, 2010.
Blumenthal, M. Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicine Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998.
Blumenthal, M. The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs Thieme 2003.
Brinker, F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions 3rd Edition Eclectic Medical Publications, 2001.
Crane, P. Ginkgo: The Tree That Tiime Forgot Yale University Press (2013).
Higdon, J. An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals. Theime, 2007.
McGuffin, M., Hobbs, C., Upton, R., and Goldberg, A. Botanical Safety Handbook CRC Press, 1997.
McKenna, D., Jones, K., and Hughes, K. Botanical Medicines: The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements 2nd Edition Haworth Herbal Press, 2002.
Rotblatt, M. and Ziment, I. Evidenced-Based Herbal Medicine Hanley and Belfus, 2002.
Berman, A. and Flannery, M. A. America's Botanico-Medical Movements: Vox Populi Pharmaceutical Products Press, 2001.
Davis, W. The Lost Amazon: The Photographic Journey of Richard Evan Schultes Chronicle Books, 2004.
Estes, J. W. Dictionary of Protopharmacology: Therapeutic Practices, 1700-1850 Science History Publications, 1990.
Griggs, B. Green Pharmacy: The History and Evolution of Western Herbal Medicine Healing Arts Press 1991.
Haubrich, W. W. Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins ACP, 1997.
Holland, B. K. Prospecting for Drugs in Ancient and Medieval European Texts: A Scientific Approach Harwood Academic Publishers, 1996.
Norton, M. Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World Cornell University Press, 2008.
Nutton, Vivian Ancient Medicine Routledge, 2004.
Schiebinger, L . Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World. Harvard University Press, 2004.
Schopf, J. D. "Materia Medica Americana Potissimum Regni Vegetabilis Erlangae" first published 1787. Lloyd Library Reproduction Series #3, reprinted 1903.
Beckett, S. T. The Science of Chocolate 2nd edition, Royal Society of Chemistry 2008.
Firn, R. Nature's Chemicals: The Natural Products that shaped our world. Oxford University Press 2010.
Hanson, B. Understanding Medicinal Plants: Their Chemistry and Therapeutic Action Haworth Herbal Press 2005.
Hanson, J.Chemistry in the Garden Springer, 2007.
Liska, K. Drugs and the Human Body with Implications for Society 7th Edition Pearson Prentice Hall 2004.
Mann, J. Murder, Magic and Medicine Oxford University Press, 1992.
Money, N. Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores: A Natural History of Toxic Mold Oxford University Press, 2004.
Money, N. The Triumph of Fungi: A Rotten History Oxford University Press, 2006.
Pennacchio, M., Jefferson, L. and Havens, K. Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany as Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense and Medicine Oxford University Press (2010).
Plotkin, M. J. Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice Viking, 1993.
Plotkin, M. J. Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets Viking, 2000.
Root-Bernstein, R. and Root-Berstein, M. Honey, Mud, Maggots and Other Medical Marvels: The Science Behind Folk Remedies and Old Wives' Tales Mariner Books, 1997.
Stewart, A. The Drunken Botanist Algonquin Books, 2013.
Barceloux, Medical Toxicology of Natural Substances. Fungi, Medicinal Herbs, Plants and Venemous Animals (2008).
Bruneton, J. Toxic Plants: Dangerous to Humans and Animals Intercept, 1999.
Buckingham, J. Bitter Nemesis: The Intimate History of Strychnine. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis 2007.
Crosby, D. G. The Poisoned Weed: Plants Toxic to the Skin Oxford University Press 2004.
Timbrell, J. The Poison Paradox: Chemicals as Friends and Foes Oxford University Press 2005.
Tyrl, R. & Burrows, G. Toxic Plants of North America Blackwell 2006.
Chatroux, S. S. Botanica Poetica: Herbs in Verse Poetica Press, 2004.
- Cannibal Tours
- At Play in the Fields of the Lord
- Lorenzo's Oil
- Medicine Man
- White Shamans and Plastic Medicine Men (27 minutes VHS; Native Voices Public Television 1995)
- Life Story of an African Inyanga (27 minutes VHS; The Cinema Guild 1986)
- Peyote to LSD. Produced by the History Channel (2008). Narrated by Wade Davis, follows the life of Richard Evans Schultes. A film summary of Davis's book One River. Outstanding.
- The Spice Trail Directed by Paul Sapin, produced by BBC, 2011. Three part series available on YouTube.
The background on this page is a 19th century woodcut of Phytolacca americana.
Last updated Sunday, April 7, 2013 Contents & layout copyright 2011 Prof. Bryan Hanson