Read online or download a free book: Murder, Magic And Medicine
Publisher: Oxford Pdfs: New edition edition (21 April 1994)
By: John Mann (Author)
Book format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)
People have always been curious about the plants and animals with which they coexist. Primitive cultures identified edible and poisonous plants by a process of trial and error, and then began to exploit the toxic materials for hunting, euthanasia, executions, and murder. Other plants were found to have stimulatory or hallucinogenic effects: these not only formed the basis of magico-religious rites, they also encouraged experimentation which led to the identification of plants with useful medicinal properties. This absorbing account of the evolution of modern medicine from its roots in folk medicine will entertain and inform both scientist and general reader alike. It explains the chemical basis of modern pharmacology, and provides a fascinating description of how the use and abuse of natural products in various societies throughout the ages has led to the development of many of the drugs we now take for granted. Many plants and animal species remain undiscovered, and much native folk medicine has yet to be investigated. This book is intended for scientists and general readers with an interest in medicine, ethnology, history, folk medicine, pharmacology, literature.
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