American Herbal Pharmacopoeia: Botanical Pharmacognosy – Microscopic Characterization of Botanical Medicines


  • Roy Upton, RH, DAyu , American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, Scotts Valley, CA
  • Alison Graff, PhD , American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, Scotts Valley, CA
  • Georgina Jolliffe, Pharm PhD, CChem, MRSC, Professor Emeritus, University of London, London, UK
  • Professor Dr. Reinhard Länger, AGES PharmMed, Vienna, Austria
  • Elizabeth Williamson, BSc, PhD, MRPharmS, FLS, University of Reading, Reading, UK


  • Winner of the James A. Duke Award for Excellence in Botanical Literature Award from the American Botanical Council
  • Compiled by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia®, this volume addresses the lack of authoritative microscopic descriptions of those medicinal plant species currently in trade. It includes an atlas providing detailed text and graphic descriptions of more than 140 medicinal plant species and their adulterants.
  • Designed to meet the needs of the herbal products industry, regulatory agencies, and academic researchers, the book covers plant anatomy at a level appropriate for the pharmacognostic analysis of plant tissues, provides extensive coverage of the history and importance of botanical microscopy, and gives instruction on how to set up a microscopy lab and prepare, view, and archive whole and powdered plant parts for microscopic analysis.
  • The botanicals covered represent 90 percent of the dollar value of botanical sales in the United States. The focus is on those species that are in high use, and those that are commonly adulterated. It also covers a number of popular Asian botanicals, providing the first English language description for many of these.

Key Features

  • Provides microscopic descriptions of the major botanicals used in herbal products
  • Includes descriptions based on authenticated materials and multiple samples of each species
  • Discusses the microscopic anatomy of plant parts used, whole and powdered, for each species
  • Contains line drawings, microphoto images, and more than 1000 color illustrations
  • Supplies a guide to microscopy resources


“This volume identifies plants by the classical method of light microscopy. Most earlier texts only listed plants used as drugs and never as extensively as the 135 economically valuable plants covered in this book. With a forward by our past DEB Norman Farnsworth, this text does an excellent job of offering adequate background on plant anatomy, diagnostic techniques, and tools of the trade. The drawings and images are very good and it is now no longer necessary to use analytical tools if one has good references such as this to identify plant powders and parts when manufacturing herbal products. This book received the James Duke Book Award from American Botanical Council publisher of Herbalgram. This microscopy text is invaluable to the natural products industry as it raises the scientific standards.” —Trish Flaster, Society For Economic Botany Newsletter, PLANTS & PEOPLE, Volume 26 Spring 2012

“… an authoritative and weighty book on the microscopic characterisation and identification of herbal medicines. … compiled by some of the leading experts in this field. In my view, this book will soon become a standard, universally accepted test in the area of pharmacognosy. Hence, this book should be on the shelves of every researcher of herbal medicine.”—Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, March 2012 17(1

…the real strength of this text is precisely its focus on botanical microscopy. I sincerely hope this excellent volume will rekindle interest in the botanical aspect of pharmacognosy in general and botanical microscopy in particular and contribute to the revitalisation of microscopy as an important tool for the quality control of herbal medicinal products and dietary supplements.” —Hans Wohlmuth, Southern Cross Plant Science, Southern Cross University NSW 2480, Australia, in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2012



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