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The Silk Road, a complex network of trade routes linking China with the rest of the Eurasian continent by land and sea, fostered transformation of the ethnic, cultural, and religious identities of diverse peoples. In Natural Products of Silk Road Plants there is a treasury of plants, many indigenous to countries along the trading routes of the Silk Road, that yielded medicines, cereals, spices, beverages, dyes, and euphoric and exotic compounds previously unknown to the rest of the world.
This entry in the Natural Products Chemistry of Global Plants series has been prepared for university students of chemistry and ethnobotany and for those wishing to broaden their knowledge. It opens a window on a vast region of Asia not well described for its flora and provides new and fresh insights on:
- Significant plants, some endangered
- Traditional and modern applications of extracts
- The biochemical and pharmacological properties of extracts
- Contains over 150 full colour figures
The significance of the Silk Road is being revived today through immense investment by China and other eastern countries in major schemes of transport infrastructure.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 292
Weight: 453 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm
This compilation in the publisher's series "The Natural Products Chemistry of Global Plants" highlights the natural products chemistry of countries in the Middle and Far East. Cooper (Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ.) and UK chemistry educator Deakin begin with a chapter summarizing the history and geography of the Silk Road, followed by chapters contributed by different regional experts. The contributed content reflects many different perspectives, emphasizing, for example, geography; applications of natural products in food, medicine, or material goods; and the historical context of selected plants. Some chapters provide a synopsis of the primary literature and focus heavily on reporting the chemical constituents of plants discussed; other chapters mainly contextualize information about the plant(s) in relation to specific regions and their histories. For instance, a chapter about melons in Central Asia includes a historical account of the development of cultivars and the storage of melons, in addition to presenting their chemical constituents and phytochemistry. Similarly, a chapter on alfalfa discusses the plant's significance as animal fodder and evidence of its origins in the Middle East. Overall, the volume is specialized and intended for researchers, scholars, and students of disciplines likely to intersect with natural products, such as botany and chemistry.
--P. W. Baures, Keene State College
Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals
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