1st Edition

Natural Products of Silk Road Plants

Edited By Raymond Cooper, Jeffrey John Deakin Copyright 2021
    304 Pages 234 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    304 Pages 234 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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.



    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-Çali┼čkan and Ceylan Dönmez



    Sri Lanka

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

                                        Viduranga Y Waisundara






    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.

    This compilation in the publisher's series "The Natural Products Chemistry of Global Plants" highlights the natural products chemistry of countries in the Middle and Far East. Cooper (Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ.) and UK chemistry educator Deakin begin with a chapter summarizing the history and geography of the Silk Road, followed by chapters contributed by different regional experts. The contributed content reflects many different perspectives, emphasizing, for example, geography; applications of natural products in food, medicine, or material goods; and the historical context of selected plants. Some chapters provide a synopsis of the primary literature and focus heavily on reporting the chemical constituents of plants discussed; other chapters mainly contextualize information about the plant(s) in relation to specific regions and their histories. For instance, a chapter about melons in Central Asia includes a historical account of the development of cultivars and the storage of melons, in addition to presenting their chemical constituents and phytochemistry. Similarly, a chapter on alfalfa discusses the plant's significance as animal fodder and evidence of its origins in the Middle East. Overall, the volume is specialized and intended for researchers, scholars, and students of disciplines likely to intersect with natural products, such as botany and chemistry.

    --P. W. Baures, Keene State College
    Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals