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Author Osseo-Asare, Abena Dove Agyepoma, author.

Title Bitter roots : the search for healing plants in Africa / Abena Dove Osseo-Asare
Published Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2014


Description 1 online resource (vii, 300 pages) : illustrations, maps
Contents Introduction: From plants to pharmaceuticals -- Take Madagascar periwinkle for leukemia and pennywort for leprosy -- Take grains of paradise for love -- Take arrow poisons for the heart -- Take bitter roots for malaria -- Take Kalahari hoodia for hunger -- Conclusion: Toward bioprosperity
Summary "For over a century, plant specialists worldwide have sought to transform healing plants in African countries into pharmaceuticals. And for equally as long, conflicts over these medicinal plants have endured, from stolen recipes and toxic tonics to unfulfilled promises of laboratory equipment and usurped personal patents. In this book the author draws on publicly available records and extensive interviews with scientists and healers in Ghana, Madagascar, and South Africa to interpret how African scientists and healers, rural communities, and drug companies, including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Unilever have sought since the 1880s to develop drugs from Africa's medicinal plants. Osseo-Asare recalls the efforts to transform six plants into pharmaceuticals: rosy periwinkle, Asiatic pennywort, grains of paradise, Strophanthus, Cryptolepis, and Hoodia. Through the stories of each plant, she shows that herbal medicine and pharmaceutical chemistry have simultaneous and overlapping histories that cross geographic boundaries. At the same time, Osseo-Asare sheds new light on how various interests have tried to manage the rights to these healing plants and probes the challenges associated with assigning ownership to plants and their biochemical components. A fascinating examination of the history of medicine in colonial and postcolonial Africa, Bitter Roots will be indispensable for scholars of Africa; historians interested in medicine, biochemistry, and society; and policy makers concerned with drug access and patent rights"--Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-288) and index
Notes Online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on February 11, 2019)
Subject Materia medica, Vegetable -- Africa
Medicinal plants -- Africa
Botany, Medical.
Medicinal plants.
Plants, Medicinal
Drug Discovery
Drug Industry -- economics
Medicine, African Traditional
MEDICAL -- Pharmacology.
Botany, Medical
Materia medica, Vegetable
Medicinal plants
Subject Africa
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780226086163