I’m flipping through an old copy of Dr. Duke’s, The Green Pharmacy.
Who is Dr. Duke? From Wikipedia:
James A. Duke (4 April 1929 – 10 December 2017) was an American botanist. He was the author of numerous publications on botanical medicine, including the CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. He was well known for his 1997 bestseller, The Green Pharmacy. … During the late 1970s he was chief of the Plant Taxonomy Laboratory, Plant Genetics and Germplasm Institute of the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The sound of his writing reminds me of Dr. Weil’s writing … certain, crisp, and instructive. I like it. The book is 20 years old, but over the years I’ve seen research that continues to support his claims.
The book is structured as an encyclopedia of conditions. It’s easy to flip through and find a topic you’re interested in.
By the way, throughout his discussion of the topic, he says things like:
I’d like to make myself crystal clear. If I were plagued by life-threatening asthma, I’d listen to my physician and take pharmaceuticals, and I’d use natural approaches only as supplemental treatments.
He’s careful. I don’t consider his advice out in left field.
Actually, coffee, tea, caffeinated cola drinks, cocoa and chocolate have more than caffeine. All reportedly contain two other major natural anti-asthmatic compounds, theobromine and theophylline, which, along with caffeine, belong to a family of chemicals called xanthines. These chemicals help stop bronchospasms and open constricted bronchial passages.
As a counter reference, this is what MedlinePlus says about theophylline:
Theophylline is used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness caused by asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases. It relaxes and opens air passages in the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
Duke goes on to discuss other herbs for asthma, including stinging nettle, fennel, and licorice.
Dr. Duke was an authority on medicinal herbs. I’m sorry to see that he passed away just a few months ago.
Coming up … Dr. Duke’s entry for enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)…