Materia Medica of Western Herbs.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Cowper, Anne
Pub Date: 12/22/2009
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Winter, 2009 Source Volume: 21 Source Issue: 4
Topic: NamedWork: Materia Medica of Western Herbs (Textbook)
Persons: Reviewee: Fisher, Carole
Accession Number: 215249533
Full Text: Materia Medica of Western Herbs

By Carole Fisher

Carole Fisher 2009

PO Box 1317 Nelson New Zealand


This is an updated edition of the original 1996 materia medica which has proven to be so popular with students of herbal medicine. This edition includes considerably more herbs, ones that would now be an obvious omission from the original text such as Caulophyllum thalictroides, Centella asiatica, Eleuthrococcus senticosus, Olea europaea, Panax ginseng and the Vinca species, and a good selection of scheduled or restricted herbs such as Acorus calamus, Datura stramonium, Digitalis species and Gelsemium sempervirens.

As in the original text each herb is grouped by family with an introductory section on the specifics of that family. The information on each plant has been updated and includes full referencing of all information (a significant omission from the first edition). Each plant has a broad range of coverage with sections ranging from description, habitat and cultivation, plant part used, nutritional and active constituents, to actions, scientific information, medicinal uses, pharmacy, precautions, interactions and historical use. The plants are illustrated with line drawings of relevant parts of the plant.

Useful appendices have been added to this edition on contraindications, interactions and a substrate and interaction table for cytochrome P450.

A lot of work has gone into this new text and it will continue to be an invaluable resource for both new students and experienced practitioners.

The text is no longer available for purchase from the NHAA and should be ordered direct from the author. A copy is available for reference only in the NHAA library.

Reviewed by Anne Cowper
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.