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More than 20 years ago, I started a phytochemical database that gives many of the published activities of the bioactive phytochemicals. I regret at that time I had no systematic approach to scoring the activities of the extracts of the plants.

That is what we usually take, rather than isolated phytochemicals. So, occasionally, too late, I have included some reports on activities (and ED50’s and LD50’s where available) on various extracts of the plants. We have at the last minute deleted the repetition of the extensive data found in my updated FNF phytochemical database, early versions of which were published in some of my previously published CRC books. Duke, J.A.

Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents in GRAS Herbs and other Economic Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1992. Duke, J.A. Handbook of Biologically Active Phytochemicals and Their Activities. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1992. Beckstrom-Sternberg, S. and Duke, J.A. Handbook of Mints (Aromathematics): Phytochemicals and Biological Activities.

CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1996. Where I found no significant information for any one format section, the headings were deleted, therefore, many entries will have only e.g., Activities and Indications. Readers who wish to know more about the individual phytochemicals occurring in a given herb can find many useful queries answerable on my USDA database: In one particularly useful query for a person trying to rationalize the utility of an herb, one can secure a list of all the phytochemicals reported from the plant, with or without the list of all their reported activities, even calling out a primary or secondary reference for each data bit.

Printouts of such queries on the better-studied plants are often dozens of pages long, and impractical to publish in this edition. It becomes increasingly clear that there are hundreds of biologically active compounds, often additive or synergistic, in all our plants, foods, spices, herbs; medicinal and poisonous plants alike.

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Final speech

The genes directing the thousands of chemicals in our own body have coevolved with all or many of the phytochemicals in most of the edible plants that our ancestors chose to eat and the medicinal plants with which they treated themselves.