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Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice: An…

Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New…

by Mark J. Plotkin

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A fine combination of adventure, anthropology, medicinal plant biology and ethnopharmacology. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Great read that will probably lead to numerous other books about the region/subject. Interesting travel mixed w/ ethnobotany and conservation make for a book that is hard not to like. ( )
  untraveller | Aug 28, 2014 |
“I found Mark Plotkin’s book to be an exciting and inspiring mix of ethnobotany and adventure, useful to anyone interested in shamanism and rain forest conservation.”
  TerenceKempMcKenna | Feb 24, 2013 |
Heard the author speak and then read the book for non-fiction readers' group. Good read, good discussion. ( )
  NewsieQ | Mar 27, 2009 |
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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)

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"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.… (more)

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