Cover image for Medicinal resources of the tropical forest : biodiversity and its importance to human health
Medicinal resources of the tropical forest : biodiversity and its importance to human health
Balick, Michael J., 1952-
Publication Information:
New York : Columbia University Press, [1996]

Physical Description:
xiv, 440 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.
Format :


Call Number
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RS164 .M377 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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According to World Health Organization estimates, 80 percent of people living in developing countries rely on wild harvested plants for some aspect of their primary health care. This text aims to open readers' eyes to the enormous resources of the Earth's rainforests and the potential impact of their destruction in terms of human health, as well as the modern-day usefulness of traditional herbal remedies.

Author Notes

Michael J. Balick is director and philecology curator at the New York Botanical Garden Institute of Economic Botany, and adjunct professor in forestry at Yale University and the City University of New York.

Elaine Elisabetsky is professor at the Laboratório de Ethnofarmacologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

Saraah A. Laird is research fellow at the Rainforest Alliance, and former director of the Rainforest Alliance's Periwinkle Project.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This compilation of contributed papers is in two parts. Part 1 discusses the importance of preserving tropical biodiversity, medicinal plant research, and the development of medicinal drugs from plants by pharmaceutical companies with specific details from Shaman Pharmaceuticals, the National Cancer Institute, and Merck and Co. Several chapters discuss the complex problem of property rights, how values are set, how compensation should be paid, and who should receive it. Part 2 discusses medicinal plant research and health care in various tropical countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Rwanda in Africa; India in Asia; Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica in Central America; and Peru, Venezuela, and Brazil in South America. The appendix is a translation from Portuguese of a manual developed in Brazil to train local people to collect plant samples and keep accurate records of useful medicinal plants in their areas. This readable work will interest the general public involved in conservation of biodiversity. All levels. C. T. Mason Jr. emeritus, University of Arizona