Handbook of Medicinal Herbs by James A. Duke

Handbook of Medicinal Herb

Still considered the definitive work on medicinal herbs and their uses after two decades, the Handbook of Medicinal Herbs has undergone a long-anticipated revision. In the second edition, world-renowned ethnobotanist James A. Duke provides up-to-date data on over 800 of the world’s most important medicinal plant species. The book contains more species, phytochemicals, proven indications, folk indications, and dosage data than the first edition in a new easier to use format. The in-depth content, the addition of color plates and over 200 black and white illustrations makes this book the most comprehensive resource on medicinal herbs available.


·         Over 100 color plates, 4 color maps

·         Over 200 black and white illustrations

·         Over 800 medicinal plants ― more than twice as many as the previous edition organized alphabetically by common name

·         More herbs from the African, Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Jamu traditions


Designed to give you fast access to the information you need on a regular basis, this new edition is organized more systematically than any other medicinal herb publication. The entries are now arranged alphabetically by common name with the scientific name in parenthesis. Major synonyms are also provided.


It has become increasingly clear that there are hundreds of biologically active compounds, often additive or synergistic, in all our plants, foods, spices, herbs, medicinal, and poisonous plants. The debate continues on how these plants work and how they should be used. Blending scientific fact with folk uses and the author’s personal experience, Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, Second Edition provides the most well rounded discussions of safety, efficacy, toxicity, and rational use found in any herbal reference.


    Editorial Reviews


    “Of interest to those who involved in the use of herbs in the medicinal environmentA fine reference work.” -J. Elliot, Southeastern Naturalist, 2002 “the perfect herbal reference. This is a tall order but it is one that James A. Duke, Ph.D., et al, filled quite welldescribes most herbs concisely and, in an equally concise manner, evaluates the scientific research on their use. The extensive references and their convenient coding contribute greatly to the overall value of the new editionDr. Duke commented in his introduction that he meant to create a resource to parallel the PDR. for Herbal Medicine. In fact, this updated handbook accomplishes much more.

    There is no other modern desk reference that combines such a comprehensive materia medica with as much scientific source material. the botanical reference that most practitioners have been looking for and it comes highly recommended by this practitioner.” – Kathy Abascal, B.S., J.D., Herbalist, Alternative and Complementary Therapies, October 2002 “879 pages of valuable information about more than 800 useful and rarely used medicinal herbs. the use of shortenings and evaluations and the concise descriptions makes the use of the handbook as a reference book easy.” – Journal of Medicinal and Spice Plants

    About The Author

    JAMES A. DUKE, PHD, held several posts in his more than three decades with the US Department of Agriculture, including chief of the Medicinal Plant Resources Laboratory. He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular books, including the bestseller The Green Pharmacy, and is on the board of advisors for Prevention. He resides in Fulton, Maryland.