5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
E. P. Krenzelok
- Published on Amazon.com
This is an essential reference text for medical libraries, poison and drug information centers, clinical toxicologists and anyone who manages patients who may be exposed to natural toxins. With the increasing use of alternative medicine, this book would be a useful addition to medical practice libraries and emergency departments. The author is Donald Barceloux, MD, the co-author of Medical Toxicology, which is still a staple reference in the discipline of clinical toxicology. Dr. Barceloux combines his expertise in medical toxicology and emergency medicine and his skills as an author to address the significant and challenging natural toxins that are associated with morbidity and mortality. The book is divided into five sections: foodborne and microbial toxins, fungal toxins (mushrooms), medicinal herbs and essential oils, toxic plants and venomous animals (even marine poisons). Each monograph follows a template that is consistent throughout the book and makes it easy to navigate from section to section. Strengths of the book include placing each toxin in perspective with regard to potential morbidity and mortality, focused but comprehensive monographs, and extensive referencing. After using the book for a few weeks, I noted only one minor weakness--a number of terms are missing from the index. For example, a minimal number of terms such as poinsettia, philodendron, Araceae are missing. Thus, it took slightly longer to locate the information about those plants. While all of the information included in the book can be found in a multitude of hardcopy references and online resources, this is the only book that combines everything into a single, authoritative, contemporary and easy to read reference.