Friday, January 16, 2009

Book Review: The Green Pharmacy

The Green Pharmacy by Dr. James A. Duke is a compendium of herbal remedies for everything from aging to yeast infections.

In the book, Dr. Duke offers recommendations for growing, harvesting, and buying herbs for use in everything from cooking to tinctures. His recipes are simple and straightforward. Dr. Duke avoids using scientific or medical jargon and writes in a simple down home country style. Reading his book leaves one with the impression that one has spent a pleasant afternoon with a favorite uncle, and not like one has been lectured by the world's foremost authority on ethnobotany.

In my opinion, this book is a must for everyone seeking alternatives, or complimentary support for current treatments. If you are currently under a doctor's care, you should discuss the issue with your doctor before commencing any of the regimens described in the book. It will definitely be an asset if one finds oneself without access to modern medicine.

In the chapter, "Working With Medicinal Herbs", Dr. Duke makes reference to his medicinal plant database. The book gives a URL of Please note that the address is no longer correct.

Dr. Duke's medicinal plant database (EXTREMELY useful, even if you don't read the book) is now located at The database is very easy to use, and includes access to several ethnobotany databases maintained by other institutions as well as access to a an ethnobotanical dictionary. The dictionary is very helpful if you are learning about the various uses of medicinal plants. Access is free and unrestricted to Dr. Duke's database and the dictionary. I, myself, have not visited every link to the other databases, so I can not state that they are all open to the public, but they are definitely worth checking out.

The book is available through major booksellers, and it is also available for preview at Google Books. You can view it here.

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