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September 26 , 2007


A Bilingual Resource Guide


In Medicinal Plants of the Borderlands: A Bilingual Resource Guide, anthropologist Dr. Antonio "Tony" Zavaleta shares medicinal plant information from his lifetime of experiences with Mexican folk healers known as curandero/a(s). Consulting with their patients, healers issue recetas, handwritten prescribed orders for medicinal plants to be filled at hierberías, herb stores. While many of the more popular plants are well known to patient and healer, many hundreds are less known. Additionally, patients and shop attendants know little or nothing about the wide variety of plants they sell. Zavaleta searched for specific English translations of plant names in order to better understand their respective characteristics as they correspond with various ailments with limited success. Bilingual material on medicinal plants is simply not readily available. Over the years he compiled an impressive list of medicinal plants including English and Spanish names. That list forms the basis for this book. In a semi-bilingual format, five primary cross-referenced categories of medicinal plant information are provided: 1) English Name; 2) Spanish Name; 3) Botanical Name; 4) Properties (of pharmacognosy) which lists their uses; and finally, 5) Used to Treat, which lists a variety of conditions they are believed to or used to treat. Uniquely informative, this resource guide catalogues more than 600 medicinal plants which are either native to the border or traditionally used by curandero/a(s) and draws from the highly informative formularies and pharmacopoeias of the United States and Mexico and other primary sources. Previously not-readily-available data are compiled here to supplement the work of practitioners and researchers as well as serving as an invaluable tool for students of complementary and alternative medicine, botanists, home gardeners and native-plant enthusiasts. In addition, it's a publishing-first for an ethno-botanical book offering detailed English-to-Spanish translations and vice versa.
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