"Plotkin highlights the ironic marriage of natural products, indigenous wisdom, and biotechnology and details discoveries that are already producing stunning leads in the laboratory: painkillers from the skin of rain forest frogs, anticoagulants from leech saliva, and antitumor agents from snake venom. Medicine Quest is a historical odyssey as well: Plotkin provides fascinating background on the centuries-old pursuit of cures that ranges from ancient Egyptian expeditions to foreign lands in search of healing plants, to the nineteenth-century development of aspirin; from willow bark that gave birth to the modern pharmaceutical industry, to the extraction of penicillin from fungi that helped determine the outcome of World War II."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Seeds of Change by Henry Hobhouse
Publication Date: 2005-11-22
A personal and highly original take on the history of six commercial plants, Seeds of Change illuminates how sugar, tea, cotton, the potato, quinine, and the cocoa plant have shaped our past. In this fascinating account, the impassioned Henry Hobhouse explains the consequences of these plants with attention-grabbing historical moments. While most records of history focus on human influence, Hobhouse emphasizes how plants too are a central and influential factor in the historical process. Seeds of Change is a captivating and invaluable addition to our understanding of modern culture.
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
Publication Date: 2021-04-13
"Merlin Sheldrake's marvelous tour of these diverse and extraordinary life forms is eye-opening on why humans should consider fungi among the greatest of earth's marvels. . . .
The Plant Hunter by Cassandra Leah Quave
Publication Date: 2021-10-19
No one understands plants better than Dr. Cassandra Quave, and as a person born with multiple congenital defects who nearly lost her life at the age of three due to a staph infection, she has an intimate knowledge of the strengths and failings of modern medicine. In The Plant Hunter, Dr. Quave weaves together science, botany, and memoir to recount her own journey in search of natural compounds, long known to traditional healers, that could help save us all from this looming crisis. Her extraordinary story is filled with grit, tragedy, triumph, and awe.
Plants, People and Culture by Michael J. Balick; Paul Alan Cox
Publication Date: 1996-04-01
Discoveries of new drugs, organic pesticides, and other plant uses based on research in traditional cultures are increasingly common. The study of human/plant interactions which draws on the methods of antropology, botany, pharmacology and other disciplines is reported here. The text highlights the discovery of new drugs and chemical compounds and insights into conservation in order to aid understanding of the relationship between humans and plants.