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Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases

Duke, James A. 1992. Handbook of phytochemical constituents of GRAS herbs and other economic plants. Boca Raton, FL. CRC Press

Of interest to pharmaceutical, nutritional, and biomedical researchers, as well as individuals and companies involved with alternative therapies and and herbal products, this database is one of the world's leading repositories of ethnobotanical data, evolving out of the extensive compilations by the former Chief of USDA's Economic Botany Laboratory in the Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland, in particular his popular Handbook of phytochemical constituents of GRAS herbs and other economic plants (CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1992). In addition to Duke's own publications, the database documents phytochemical information and quantitative data collected over many years through research results presented at meetings and symposia, and findings from the published scientific literature.

The current Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical databases facilitate plant, chemical, bioactivity, and ethnobotany searches. A large number of plants and their chemical profiles are covered, and data are structured to support browsing and searching in several user-focused ways. For example, users can

  • get a list of chemicals and activities for a specific plant of interest, using either its scientific or common name
  • download a list of chemicals and their known activities in PDF or spreadsheet form
  • find plants with chemicals known for a specific biological activity
  • display a list of chemicals with their LD toxicity data
  • find plants with potential cancer-preventing activity
  • display a list of plants for a given ethnobotanical use
  • find out which plants have the highest levels of a specific chemical

References to the supporting scientific publications are provided for each specific result. Also included are links to nutritional databases, plants and cancer treatments and other plant-related databases.

Dataset Info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
Duke, James A.
Product Type
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Temporal Coverage
Intended Use
Research on medicinal plants, their phytochemical components, and biological activity.
Use Limitations
Not to be used for self-diagnosis or self-medication.
Ag Data Commons
Contact Name
Parr, Cynthia
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Preferred Dataset Citation
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 1992-2016. Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Home Page, https://phytochem.nal.usda.gov/
Related Article

Duke, J. A. (1992). Database of Biologically Active Phytochemicals and Their Activity. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press. ISBN 9780849336713. 183 pp. [Available on diskette with manual. https://www.crcpress.com/Database-of-Biologically-Active-Phytochemicals-... ]

Funding Source(s)
Agricultural Research Service
Dataset DOI (digital object identifier)
Program Code
005:037 - Department of Agriculture - Research and Education
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service
Modified Date
Release Date
Ag Data Commons Keywords: 
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Food composition
  • Plants & Crops
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Online database
User-supplied Tags: