Because of the efforts of some brilliant scholars and intrepid explorers and adventurers in the last few years, man's knowledge of medicinal plants, long utilized by primitive peoples, has expanded mightily, and the author introduces the reader to some of the more exciting plant hunts. Among some of the scholarly stalwarts were-Edson Woodward and Leonard Brass who searched for Strophantanthus, source of cortisone, in Equatorial Africa; Harvard scholar Dr. Richard Evans Schultes, who spent thirteen years living with wild tribes in the Amazon, adding to the knowledge of native narcotics as well as making many other pioneer contributions; Dr. Bruce W. Halstead, who worked through missionaries and witch doctors to find new drugs in South America. Then follow the biographies of ancient drugs, all with colorful histories- Fever Bark (source of quinine), igitalis, Choulmoogra (an oil for leprosy), and others. The history of the controversial LSD and an interview with the late Aldous Huxley add spice to the sepals and simples. There is also an amusing account by the author of a hair raising trip to Peru with Dr. alstead and some wonderfully witty writing from the field journals. Double for travel, adventure, anthropology etc.