Originally published in 1979 by Breezy Creeks Press (Aurora, Ontario), this reprint is an unabridged edition of a book originally entitled, Uses of Plants for the Past 500 Years. Dover Publications is to be commended for adding this excellent work to its long list of low-priced paperback herb rifles. This is the most important Dover reissue on indigenous medicinal plants since the 1974 reprint of the 1892 edition of Millspaugh's American Medicinal Plants.
The book covers medicinal plants of eastern North America from the Arctic, west to Minnesota, south to Virginia and Kentucky, though many of the plants extend beyond the delineated range. It is arranged in a manner that makes the book useful in the field. Evergreen trees come first, followed by deciduous trees, shrubs and vines, herbaceous plants of wet open places, woods and thickets, dry open places, etc. Simple line drawings are included throughout. Each write-up on the several hundred plants includes Latin names and synonyms, range, and common names. What follows is a unique approach to reporting on medicinal uses. The author provides chronological quotes from a wide range of historical works on medicinal plants, including classic herbals, medical floras, popular nineteenth century herbals, pharmacopeias, dispensatories, journal articles, etc. The author draws on nearly 500 references. If for no other reason, the book is worth its price tag for the bibliography alone! This b ook is an invaluable reference library of American medical botany condensed to 500 pages. Excellent!
Article copyright American Botanical Council.