Anyone know of any actually useful herbology and traditional medicine books? I mean it's way easy to get a good book on Traditional Chinese Medicine... too bad a ton of stuff in TCM is ineffective, wrong, or just plain toxic. A lot of stuff is scientifically proven, though, for example the effects of panax ginseng.
I'm looking for something that covers a wide variety of useful things, and rates them as "scientifically proven," "inconclusive," "useful for purpose X but no notable effects for claimed purpose Y and Z," etc. Straight information, maybe some history.
Field remedy is a good thing to know. There are tons of plants that are benign or outright toxic to ingest, but are not toxic when used topically as a wound antiseptic (absorption into the blood stream is at less-than-harmful levels, whereas eating it brings in a lot more). Wasabi (probably horse radish too) is actually in there: you can clean wounds with this stuff. Witch hazel too, and it causes wounds to heal quickly; but don't ingest it. Ingesting siberian ginseng (not a ginseng plant) will slow internal bleeding, and is safe.
What sucks is everyone wants to jump right on the wagon and start shouting about how this stuff is either A) a load of crap; or B) a lost art of perfection and eternal life. It's not like that. A lot of this stuff is great, a lot is total and complete fail. I need something practical.
EDIT: Hmm, it seems searching for "phytotherapy" turns up something that's actually got a scientific body behind it! In fact, a scientific body that revolves around clinical studies, mostly funded by universities and pharmacy companies looking for a new chemical to isolate. Okay, data tables updated, information sources noted.