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Native American Medicinal Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary Paperback – Abridged, May 13 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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  • Native American Medicinal Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press; Abridged edition (May 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881929875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881929874
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 998 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Easily the most extensive and authoritative source of ethnobotanical information on native medicinal plant usage, this volume goes far beyond any other reference source on native medicinal plants.” —Choice

“This engaging read covers 82 categories of medicinal uses [and] is an easy-to-use reference perfect for the home library.” —Houston Lifestyles and Homes

“A beautiful tome I can in my leisure over the years turn to in order to expand my knowledge of the plants that cross my path. To be able to add to my knowledge of plants how they might have been used for thousands and thousands of years. . . . adds dignity and depth to the plant, to the culture that lived here before I, and to my own learning. This reference book is highly recommended!” —Plant Whatever Brings You Joy

About the Author

Daniel E. Moerman is William E. Stirton Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is widely known as a leading expert in the field of ethnobotany. Dr. Moerman is the author of Native American Ethnobotany (1998), which received the 2000 Annual Literature Award from the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. From 2004 to 2009, he was editor-in-chief of the scholarly journal Economic Botany.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The introduction, "Plant Use by Native Americans" presents an interesting argument for a definition of health and well-being that is not static across cultures, and that, "Asking about the effectiveness of a not a simple biological issue but a complex problem of culture and meaning," p. 13.

The body of the book is a 490 page catalog of plants organized by scientific name, including subspecies and variety if relevant. Each entry gives one common name, with the drug usages organized alphabetically by tribe using a specific three page list of drug usage categories. Each usage is referenced to a source given in the five page, 180 item bibliography.

There are two additional comprehensive indexes of the information that is contained in the catalog of plants: an index of tribes--114 pages--with plants grouped under usages; and an index of usages--107 pages--with tribes grouped under plants. There is also a 48 page index of common plant names that are used in the original sources, each linked to a scientific name.

The book looks very useful as an organized and inexpensive reference work, an ethnobotanical dictionary as it calls itself. The specific details for using the plants would need to be garnered elsewhere. The large array of interconnected information presented here would nevertheless be valuable in providing starting points for searches and contexts for wider understanding.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 27 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Reference Book on Medicinal Plants Oct. 30 2010
By J Davis - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do research on native medicinal plants and advise people on how to cultivate them or manage wild populations. This is one of the "must have" reference books sitting on a shelf in my office. Understanding how native Americans gathered and used these plants has been very helpful to me as I work with these plants. The book is sensibly organized, well written, thorough, and enjoyable to read. If you are an herbalist who uses North American herbs, a researcher studying the medicinal benefits of these herbs, or someone interested in the historical usage of these plants, I suggest you purchase this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 30 2016
By Margrit Jolly - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a very comprehensive reference book, with cross reference and well laid out.
Margrit Jolly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars June 10 2016
By christina sheppard - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The complete desk reference book Nov. 27 2009
By Royal T. Williams - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very thorough desk reference. It is made easy to use with varied different indexes. With so many sources from a variety of eras gives the information real depth and a special insight to western medicine.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing reference book.....with a warning Jan. 25 2011
By Michael Cohen - Published on
Format: Paperback
The books by Daniel E. Moerman are a must have, BUT.....choose wisely. The only reason to buy the Food Plants book is if you want only the food knowledge and not the Medicinal uses or even how the plants were used in other ways (like entertainment). If your interest is medical and not culinary, then get the Medicinal book. For me the best is the original Native American Ethnobotany because it has the edible, the medicinal and other uses of the plants. What is missing in his first book, but is in the Food Plants book are the line drawings of plants. It might be nice to add that in future publications of the Native American Ethnobotany book, but is not enough to go out and duplicate the information already printed in this fine study. Do yourself a favor and choose the complete work to the two later releases.