This is not only a story of soothing balms and heroic cures. Many plants have a dark side to balance the light, and most of the really powerful and effective plants are double-edged. They can heal or kill, calm us or enslave us, cure depression or roar us off to meet strange gods and monsters.
The relationship of humans and plants is a complex one. Stuart relates amazing tales of how the quest for plants has sparked wars, helped establish international trade routes and generated fortunes.