Let Thy Food be Thy Medicine: Plants and Modern Medicine

ISBN : 9780199873975

Kathleen Laura Hefferon
208 Pages
164 x 236 mm
Pub date
Aug 2012
Send mail

Are herbal medicines effective? Are organic foods really better for you? Will the cure to cancer eventually come from a newly discovered plant which dwells in the Amazon basin? Will medicines ever become affordable and available to the neediest? How will we produce enough food to keep up with an ever-increasing world population? Written with these issues in mind, Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine is a response to the current flood of conflicting information regarding the use of plants for both consumption and medicinal purposes. Kathleen Hefferon addresses the myths and popular beliefs surrounding the application of plants in human health, revealing both their truths and inaccuracies, and provides an overview of the technologies scientists are using to further their research. The book covers herbal medicines, functional and biofortified foods, plants and antibiotics, edible vaccines, and organic versus genetically modified foods, discussing each from a scientific standpoint. It these topics together for the first time, providing a much-needed overview of plants as medicine. Intended for scientists and professionals in related disciplines as well as the interested reader educated in the sciences, this book will confront claims made in the media with science and scientific analysis, providing readers with enough background to allow them to make their own judgments.


Chapter 1. Plants and Human Health
Our Early Relationship with Plants
Plants as Medicine
Chapter 2. Bioprospecting For Medicines form Plants
Ethnobotany and Medicine
Modern drug discovery and indigenous cultures
Plants and Drug discovery
Examples of Medicines derived from plants
Impact of Biopiracy, Preservation of Biodiversity
Intellectual Property Rights for Indigenous People
Chapter 3. The Lure of Herbal Medicine
The bioactive compounds in herbal medicinal plants
Examples of Herbal Medicines
Traditional Indian Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine
What nonscientists should know about Herbal Medicines
What scientists need to know about herbal medicines
Could herbal medicine and Western medicine complement each other?
Chapter 4. Farming Medicines from Plants
Why farm for pharmaceuticals from plants?
New production systems
How does it work?
Technologies used to design plants expressing biopharmaceuticals
Clinical trials of therapeutic proteins produced in plants
Allergies, oral tolerance, and dose response relationships to plant-made vaccines
Scale-up and commercialization opportunities for plant-derived therapeutic proteins
Plant production platforms for molecular farming
Molecular farming requires its own unique set of regulatory guidelines
Chapter 5. Superfood: Functional and Biofortified Food
The science behind functional foods
Functional foods and human genetics
The Mediterranean Diet: The ideal diet?
Do dietary supplements work?
Functional foods as superfoods
Biofortified foods and hidden hunger
Can biofortified foods make a difference?
Chapter 6. Food Security, Climate Change, and the Future of Farming
Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution
The Green Revolution missed Africa
Agricultural makeover: sustainable intensification
Up and Coming technologies
crop improvement
Improved farming techniques
Environmental uses for plants
Agricultural sustainability and organic food
Chapter 7. The Importance of Biodiversity
Foods as drugs
What will the food industry look like?
An urban answer to increased food production: vertical farms
Agricultural sustainability and protection of biodiversity: a daunting challenge
Biodiversity and the search for new medicines
The importance of public perception in shaping our future
Regulating agricultural innovations can be a double-edged sword

About the author: 

Kathleen Hefferon received her PhD in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She most recently held the title of Director of Operations, Human Metabolic Research Unit in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. She is a science writer for the Center for Hepatitis C Research at Rockefeller University.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.