This absorbing history of medicine takes the reader on a sweeping journey from the Stone Age to modern times, showing that Western medicine has its origins not in the academic tradition of doctors and pharmacists, but in the healing lore of Paleolithic hunters and gatherers, herding nomads, and the early sedentary farmers.
Anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wolf D. Storl vividly describes the many ways that ancient peoples have used the plants in their immediate environment, along with handed-down knowledge and traditions, to treat the variety of ailments they encountered in daily life.
In an accessible and comprehensive narrative, Storl explains how the words that accompanied the healing methods were as important as the plants themselves, and how appeals to the plant spirit constituted a powerful element of the tradition. The current interest in herbalism, he demonstrates, is not an anomaly or a trend but a continuation of the medicine-seeking that has always been part of being human.
About the Author
Wolf D. Storl received his BA in anthropology from Ohio State University, his MA in sociology from Kent State University, and his PhD in Ethnology/Anthropology from the University of Berne, Switzerland. He has been a guest professor at the University of Berne, lecturing on cultural ecology, a Visiting Scholar at the Benares Hindu University, India, Department of Sociology, and has taught courses such as medical anthropology at Sheridan College in Wyoming. Dr. Storl, who has spent time pursuing anthropological interests in India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, China, and Japan, has published twenty-eight books in German (as well as three in English: Culture and Horticulture: A Philosophy of Gardening, Witchcraft Medicine, and Shiva: The Wild God of Power and Ecstasy) covering such topics as traditional folk medicine, medicinal paradigms of native people, herb lore, and ethnobotany.
His books and articles have been translated into various languages (Czech, Polish, Lithuanian, Dutch, Danish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Japanese). Currently a freelance writer and lecturer, Dr. Storl has appeared on numerous radio and television broadcasts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Great Britain (BBC). He lives in Rohrdorf, Germany.
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: North Atlantic Books (7 Mar. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1623170931
- ISBN-13: 978-1623170936