HERB - Assorted sources/topics

Keith E. Brandt, M.D. wd9get at amsat.org
Sun Apr 19 11:57:22 PDT 1998

>Has anyone gone into history of medicine or history
>of pharmacology and found sources that do serious
>analytic work on the maladies the herbs are supposed
>to treat? Would you all be interested in pondering
>specific questions on this? Is anyone interested in
>medieval medical theory--humors, etc.?

Varro E. Tyler is a pharmacologist at the Purdue University School of
Pharmacy. He has done a good bit of research on medicinal plants. I know he
has looked extensively at pioneer-era remedies (book - "Hoosier Home
Remedies") and has several other books on medicinal plants: "Herbs of
Choice : The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals", "The Honest Herbal : A
Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies", "Pharmacognosy
and Pharmacobiotechnology", "Rational Phytotherapy : A Physician's Guide to
Herbal Medicine", & "Pharmacognosy" (do an author search in amazon.com).
Also, the naturopathic literature reads like any other pharmacology
As to the history of medicine, a good general reference that is readily
available is Nancy G. Siraisi's "Medieval & Early Renaissance Medicine". I
haven't found a real good concise description of the humoural theory that
goes beyond "there are 4 humours. If they are out of balance disease
results". Perhaps the best discussion of the humoural theory I've seen is
"Galen's System of Physiology and Medicine" by Rudolph Siegel. Not an easy
or quick read, however.

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