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Medical Plants in the Arid Zones

H. L. Dean, Ph.D.
Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(5):813-814. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620110153039.
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This booklet is essentially an inventory and description of higher plants native to arid and semiarid zones of the world, with commentary upon their medicinal uses, commercial possibilities, and a consideration of certain non-native plants that might profitably be introduced.

Part I describes the anatomical, physiological, and ecological features of plants adapted to arid regions. Survival problems peculiar to such plants are briefly discussed. Twelve plant families, including about 37 genera and possibly 70 species, are discussed regarding their value as medicinal plants. A list (also serving as an index to species discussed) totalling 471 species of medicinal plants found in arid zones of the world is included.

Part II considers the pharmacological aspects of plants in arid zones. The influence of aridity, soils, and climate upon the synthesis and concentration of active principles is discussed. Some specific examples are cited demonstrating the effects of aridity upon the production of


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