The story of the origin and use of drugs world-wide acceptance -all derived from plants- has never before been told adequately and in popular form. This book avoids the technical terms of botany and pharmacology, and tells the story of where plants were found, who first used them and why, and how they ultimately became life saving or pain-killing drugs.
These remarkable drugs were discovered by the most unlikely of researchers: Indians form Amazonian rain forests, arrow prisoners from Africa, Greek peasants, the Jesuits of Lima, an ancient Chinese emperor, a Shropshire farm woman, and present-day scientist and their laboratories.
Included among these dramatic plant discoveries are the autumn crocus for gout; ephedrine for hay fever; digitalis for the heart; cocaine and morphine for asthma; ergot for obstetrics, and many others.
The book is illustrated with line drawings of the plants which form the bases of these drugs, by Margaret Cosgrove.