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Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs: A Scientific Analysis of Herbal Remedies for Psychiatric Conditions

Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs: A Scientific Analysis of Herbal Remedies for Psy
Ethan Russo
Binghampton, N.Y.: Haworth Herbal Press
Publication Date: 

paper, 352 p., $24.95

In this book, we are in the presence of a brilliant scientist and an observant practicing physician who cares deeply about his patients. Ethan Russo often finds that an herbal medicine will do as much as, or more than, a synthetic molecule to alleviate depression, insomnia, dementia, anxiety and other conditions. Mr. Russo and the other contributors to this volume gear the information to their fellow practitioners and that growing fellowship of patients and others searching for alternatives to artificial medicine. Because this is a technical work, the elucidations of biological and biochemical processes are necessarily difficult for the lay reader, but careful study will reward the attentive student. The author presents his findings in clear language within the context of thorough scientific explanation.

Thirty traditional plant medicines from around the world are discussed in magisterial fashion, including an occasional exposé of the often unreasoned opposition of the medical-legal-governmental establishment. Nowhere is this dichotomy more evident than in the book's dispassionate review of the pharmacology of Cannabis sativa, that demonized plant which in another form produces some of the finest natural cordage in the world. The careful reader of this authoritative book will become a better-informed consumer.

— John F. Swenson, Volunteer, Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden