medicinal plants

Conrad Richter conrad at richters.com
Mon Oct 31 07:20:20 EST 1994


rapienmk at hiram.edu writes:

>            Hello!  I have a question which hopefully someone will be able to 
> answer.   I am writing a paper on medicinal properties of certain plants.  Th
> plants I am concentrating on are:  willow, catnip, witch hazel, bloodroot, 
> stinging nettle, and mayapple.  I need information about their uses, the 
> chemical composition of their active ingredients, and modern medical 
> derivatives and/or synthetic substitutes.  I am trying to look this 
> information up in my college library, but without a computerized system it is
> difficult and tedious to find updated useful information.  If anyone knows 
> anything about these plants, or knows what books or journals I could turn to,
> your help would be greatly appreciated.  Please send replies to my e-mail 
> address if possible.   Thank you very much for your time.

Except for willow, the _CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs_ by James Duke
(CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL, 1985) would be a good start with lots 
of references to the primary literature.  For willow, you can some of what 
you want from _Medical Botany_ by Walter H. Lewis and Memory P.F. Elvin-
Lewis (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1977).  Although these seem old, the 
literature on these species has not changed a whole lot.  For more recent
data (active constituents, properties, etc.) you'll have to go through
the subject indices of journals like Economic Botany, Phytochemistry, 
and the Journal of Natural Product Research.  

I am surprised that Duke did not include willow in his treatise, since it 
was inspiration for one of the most used drugs today, aspirin.  

Conrad Richter


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