Alibi V.12 No.39 • Sept 25-Oct 1, 2003 

Art Article

Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West

Michael Moore
Museum of New Mexico Press
paper
$24.95

Here's the dirty little secret about commercialized pharmaceuticals: The only drugs that are sold in stores are the ones that are going to turn a hefty profit for the companies that make them. Call it the logic of the free market. Now, I love capitalism as much as the next guy. The only problem with this model is that there are lots and lots of plants, some of which might be growing right in your own yard, that can be just as medicinally effective, if not moreso, than the cutely packaged pills you'll find on store shelves. The only reason you don't find these plants on the shelf is because no one's going to turn a profit selling "weeds." Michael Moore has been an herbalist for decades and is the founder and director of the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine in Arizona. For the do-it-yourself medicator, his newly revised and expanded guide to the medicinal plants of the Mountain West is invaluable. According to Moore, plants as common in New Mexico as dandelions, yucca and wild roses are pharmaceutically useful. This is a very nice reference.