The study of herbal medicine can seem daunting even to the skilled herb grower. Wardwell captures the reader by prefacing each chapter with a medicine story drawn from Native American folklore. Learn one plant at a time is the first order of Wardwell’s advice on learning herbal medicine. Wardwell writes in first person narrative creating a bond with the reader as if she, the teacher, is present making the art of learning herbal medicine possible.
After teaching the reader how to introduce oneself to the plants, a biography of 25 familiar simple herbs to know and use is presented. A second section contains instructions and recipes for preparing these herbs in teas, tinctures, salves, oils, medicinal wines and vinegars, syrups, and lozenges. The third section includes an easily accessed, alphabetically ordered, “Symptoms and Remedies Guide.” Throughout are side boxes highlighted with lavender backgrounds featuring words of caution and other topics comprising short blasts of information _ “The 4 Elements of Simpling” and “How to Make a Homemade Calcium Supplement,” for example. Sketches of plants, equipment, and procedures add clarity and interest. A comprehensive reference book list is available for the reader who seeks more information about herbal medicine. In addition, there’s a resource guide for bottles, seeds, herb products, associations, and periodicals. An index leads quickly to topics of choice. Highly recommended.
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