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Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 014012991X, Paperback)A century ago, malaria was killing Washingtonians, Londoners, Parisians. Today HIV, along with various cancers, has taken its place among worldwide epidemics. Quinine, extracted from the cinchona tree of the Amazonian rainforest, quelled malaria; alkaloids taken from trees in the West African rainforest may well yield a cure for AIDS. Yet those woods, Mark Plotkin tells us, are fast disappearing, along with the native peoples who know the powers of the plants that dwell there. His account of wandering through the Amazonian jungles focuses on local knowledge about plants, whose uses range from the mundane to the magical. The rainforests of the world, Plotkin notes, are our greatest natural resource, an intercultural pharmacy that can cure woes both known and yet unvisited.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:45 -0400)
"Fascinating and highly readable account of an ethnobotanist's research on medicinal plants and hallucinogens among the Trio and Oyana of Suriname/Brazil and the Yanomamo of Venezuela. In view of the declining importance of shamanism and loss of plant knowledge due to rapid cultural change, author encourages research promoting the patenting of indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants, which may also serve as an important revenue source for indigenous-based cultural survival programs"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.
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