The Green Pharmacy

Thousands of safe, natural remedies lie untapped in jungles, forests and herbal gardens throughout the world. One of the most thorough and comprehensive herb reference of its kind, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook was compiled from Dr. Duke's database of the world's medicinal plants. The database, which he began during his career as a top botanist with the USDA, is a major resource for herbalists around the world.

More specifically, A Field Guide to Medicinal and Useful Plants of the Upper Amazon, is the first photo-oriented color guide to medicinal plants found in the Amazon Basin. It identifies and describes the uses of more than 120 species of plants in terms that a everyone can understand.

In addition to plants of strict medicinal use, other species of cultural and agricultural importance are discussed. Examples include cat's claw vine (uña de gato), soul vine (ayahuasca), dragon's blood (sangre del grado), annatto (achiote), chocolate (cacao), cashew (marañón, the cocaine bush (coca), and curare (curaré).


Co-written with Dr. Jim Castner, who has traveled and photographed extensively throughout the New World tropics and is the author of several books on Amazonian cultures and natural history.


James A. Duke, Ph.D., is the author of several books on the healing power of plants, including the bestseller The Green Pharmacy (more than one million copies in print). He retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1995, after serving as chief of the Medicinal Plant Resources Laboratory. He remains active in ReNuPeru, a medicinal herb garden in the Peruvian Amazon that's maintained by the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research. His own garden is on a 6-acre farmette in Fulton, Maryland, where he lives with his wife, Peggy.