Book Review: Medicinal Herbs, A Beginner’s Guide by Rosemary Gladstar

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on November 16, 2012

Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use

 

Author: Rosemary Gladstar
List Price: $14.95
Length: 217 pages

Frugal, Sustainable or Prepared?

This book pertains to all three.  Using wildcrafted herbs as medicinal can save you money, is a renewable/sustainable/green resource, and can help you be prepared to deal with a variety of medical issues either through choice or if traditional methods are not available.

Description:

Are you interested in learning about herb medicine but are intimidated by the idea of learning about all sorts of plants?  Well then this is a great book for you!  In it Rosemary Gladstar–one of the foremost herbalists in the US–introduces you to 33 of her favorite herbs and teaches you how to use them.  Don’t worry-this isn’t a book full of expensive, strange and hard to find items.  Many of the herbs included are things like basil, sage and garlic-things you eat and use anyway.  The ones that are less familiar like mullein, plantain yarrow and feverfew are easily identified and available “wild” in much of the country.

The herbs covered are:  basil, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric, aloe vera, burdock, calendula, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion, echinacea, elder, goldenseal, hawthorn, lavender, lemon balm, licorice, marsh mallow, mullein, nettle, oats, peppermint, plantain, red clover, St. John’s wort, spearmint, valerian and yarrow.

Inside you also find 124 herbal recipes including: Creaky Bones Cayenne Rub, Good Gargle for a Bad Throat, Peppermint Tooth Powder, Rosemary’s Famous Face Cream and Thieves Oil.

This book is great for beginners because it fully covers all the various methodologies for making remedies in a clear and concise manner, making it accessible to the home practitioner. The layout is clean and colorful and there are good clear photos.  While someone who is an advanced practitioner won’t find any new information they would mostly likely still appreciate the recipesand it would be a great book for them to give as a gift to someone just getting interested in the topic.

Organizational Notes:

This book is divided into 4 Chapters.  The first two deal with the basics of herbal medicine in general including the various methodologies used to make remedies (ie teas, tincture, salves etc).  The second two chapters cover herbs individual-for each there is a brief description, information on growing, medicinal uses and then several specific preparations/recipes using that herb.  Chapter 3 has sections on each of 9 familiar herbs and spices-things most people are familiar with and that you typically would think of as culinary herbs.  Chapter 4 covers 24 less well known culinary and purely medicinal herbs. 

What makes this book different from others on the topic?

Rosemary Gladstar is one of the best known American Herbalists.  In her 35 years of practice she has, to quote Wikipedia “Changed the practice of American herbalism”.  It’s a great overall introduction to the craft of herbalism without a lot of the mystical froo froo that some books have.

Who will most benefit from this book?

Anyone interested in learning more about herbal medicine would benefit from this book.  After taking out over 15 various books on herbs and herbalism from my library, this was the first one on my list to purchase for my village homestead library.

I highly recommend this book!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cici November 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

I like knowing what book is about before I buy it. This format works for me!

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