Natural Products of Silk Road Plants  book cover
1st Edition

Natural Products of Silk Road Plants

ISBN 9780367184339
Published September 1, 2020 by CRC Press
304 Pages 234 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents



About the Editors

List of Contributors



            The History and Geography of the Silk Road



                        Ch 1. Medicinal Plants of Mongolia

                                                Narantuya Samdan and Batsukh Odonchimeg 

 Western China

                        Ch 2. Medicinal Plants of Tibet and the Surrounding Region

                                                Jiangqun Q Jin, Edward J Kennelly and Chunlin L Long         



            Ch 3. Medicinal Plants of the Trans-Himalayas 

                                    Ajay Sharma, Pushpender Bhardwaj, Garima Bhardwaj

                                    and Damanjit Singh Cannoo

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan   

           Ch 4. Medicinal Plants of Central Asia

                              William Setzer and Farukh Sharopov       

            Ch 5. Melons of Central Asia

                              Ravza Mavlyanova, Sasha Eisenman and David Zaurov

            Ch 6. Resources along the Silk Road in Central Asia: Lagochilus inebrians Bunge (Turkestan mint) and Medicago sativa L. (alfalfa)

                               Oimahmad Rahmonov, David E. Zaurov, Buston S. Islamov, and Sasha W. Eisenman




                        Ch 7. An overview of important Endemic Plants and their Products in Iran  

                                                Reza Owfi

                        Ch 8. Crocus Sativus and the Prized Commodity, Saffron

                                                Raymond Cooper and Jeffrey Deakin

                        Ch 9. Natural Plant Dyes of Oriental Carpets

                                                Jeffrey Deakin

Iraq and Syria

                        Ch 10. Wheat and Rice – Ancient and Modern Cereals

                                                Raymond Cooper and Jeffrey Deakin


                        Ch 11. Ethnobotany of the Silk Road – Georgia, the Cradle of Wine

                                                 Rainer W Bussmann, Zambrana Paniagua, Y Narel,

                                                 Shalva Sikharulidze, Zaal Kikvidze, David Kikodze,


                        Ch 12. Plants Endemic to Turkey including the Arnebia genus

                                                  Ufuk Koca-Çalişkan and Ceylan Dönmez



Sri Lanka

                        Ch 13. Maritime Routes through Sri Lanka: Medicinal Plants and Spices

                                    Viduranga Y Waisundara





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Raymond Cooper is a visiting professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He earned his PhD in organic chemistry from the Weizmann Institute in Israel. His dissertation researched the ancient wild wheats of the Middle East, examining their germinating properties and chemical profiles. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, New York, he spent 15 years in drug discovery research of plant and microbial natural products in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He then moved to the nutraceutical and dietary supplements industry to develop botanicals from traditional Chinese medicine including ginkgo, cordyceps, red yeast rice, green tea and many other botanical medicines. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom, an honorary visiting professor at the College of Pharmacy, University of London, and a member of the American Pharmacognosy Society. He has published over 120 research papers, edited five books and coauthored the book Natural Products Chemistry: Sources, Separations and Structures. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and received the American Society of Pharmacognosy 2014 Varro Tyler Award for Contributions to Botanical Research.

Jeffrey Deakin earned a first class honors degree in chemistry from the University of London followed by a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Cambridge. He has headed the chemistry and physics departments in grammar and comprehensive schools in the United Kingdom. He was a founding member and non-executive director of a multi-academy educational trust, formally approved by the Department for Education in the UK, which aims to secure and sustain school improvement by providing leadership and support, by working with governing bodies to strengthen their leadership and strategic delivery and through contracted work with school leaders and their teams. At the same time he was also the chairman of the governing body of one of the largest academies in the secondary sector of education within the United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom and is also a member of the Curriculum and Assessment Working Group at the Royal Society of Chemistry which is reviewing the national curriculum in chemistry in each of the four home nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.