This blog is dedicated to the amazing staff at the New Canaan Public Library in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicines in the Rain Forest by Mark Plotkin,1994, * * * * *

For thousands of years, healers have used plants to cure illness. The Amazon is the world's largest tropical forest, home to a quarter of all botanical species on this planet,  as well as hundreds of Indian tribes whose medicinal plants have never been studied by Western scientists.  In Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice, Mark. Plotkin recounts his travels and studies with some of the most powerful Amazonian shamans, who taught him the plant lore their tribes have spent thousands of years gleaning from the rain forest which has a fragile ecosystems that is succumbing to overdevelopment. He combines the Darwinian spirit of the great writer/explorers of the nineteenth century with a very modern concern for the erosion of this environment and the vanishing culture of native peoples. His research has been featured in Life, Newsweek, Smithsonian, Time, and the New York Times as well as PBS's Nova and the Academy Award-winning documentary Amazon.  Western medicine is just beginning to value the curative powers of plants and herbs found in the Amazon rain forest and this story is truly an anthropological adventure that also vividly clarifies what destruction of the rain forests may ultimately cost humanity

No comments:

Post a Comment