Volume 16, Number 25
April 20, 2010

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Book Review: An Atlas of Medicinal Plants

An Atlas of Medicinal PlantsBilgi Yayınevi recently published Bilkent University instructor, Anooshirvan M. Miandji's fourth book entitled Tıbbi Bitkiler Atlası (An Atlas of Medicinal Plants). This 344-page atlas consists of five parts: Introduction, Monographs, Diseases, Appendices and References.

The introduction answers the following questions: Why is this book different? What is herbal medicine? Why ask your pharmacist before using herbal medicine? Which herbal medicine is safe? Where can you obtain herbal medicine? What is the relationship between pharmacists, doctors and their patients? What forms do herbal medicines come in? What are the proper doses? What warnings do they carry?

The monographs are listed alphabetically according to plant names and comprise attractive illustrations of the human body showing the  diseases of the parts of the body that the plant remedy treats. For example, ginkgo can treat head and brain conditions such as migraines, baldness, Alzheimer's and depression.

The alphabetized diseases section allows the reader to look up maladies and find particular medicinal plant remedies. Thus, looking at the reference for sore throat, the reader can choose from among echinacea, myrrh, garlic or ginger remedies, learn the proper doses and find out any accompanying warnings for persons with allergies or special illnesses.

The appendices contain an alphabetical list of the herbs in Turkish, English and Latin to help readers quickly find the medicinal plant they are seeking.

Lastly, the atlas is based on fifteen well-known resources such as The Complete German Commission E Monographs, British Herbal Compendium, WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plant, etc. which are not only listed in the back of the book but which are also referenced on each page of the monograph section.

In conclusion, this atlas, with its unique format and appealing blue and green illustrations, is a book  that will appeal to anyone interested in herbal medicine.

Anooshirvan Miandji, who has been teaching Persian at Bilkent for four years, is also a pharmacist and has previously published Beginner's Persian, İngilizce-Türkçe Dijital Konuşma Sözlüğü  and A Concise English-Farsi, Farsi-English Dictionary.

Reviewed by Barbara Gülen

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