Medicinal plants and plant-derived medicine are widely used in traditional cultures all over the world and they are becoming increasingly popular in modern society as natural alternatives to synthetic chemicals. As more and more natural remedies are being commercialised, there is a need for a user-friendly reference guide to the plants and their products. The book gives the reader a bird's eye view of more than 350 of the bestknown medicinal plants of the world and their uses, in a compact, colourful and scientifically accurate reference text. It provides quick answers to the most obvious questions: Where does this plant originate? What does it look like? In which culture is it traditionally used? What is it used for? Which chemical compounds does it contain? How safe is it? What is known about its pharmacological activity? What evidence is there that it is effective? The authors also provide short overviews of the various health conditions for which medicinal plants are used and the active compounds (secondary metabolites) found in the plants and their modes of actions.
Contents; Preface; Introduction; Medicine systems of the world; Plant parts used; Dosage forms; Use of medicinal plant products; Active ingredients; Quality control and safety; Efficacy of medicinal plant products; Regulation of herbal remedies and phytomedicines; The plants in alphabetical order; Health disorders and medicinal plants; Overview of secondary metabolites and their effects; Quick guide to commercialised medicinal plants; Glossary; Further reading; General index; Acknowledgements and photo credits.