Did you know that drinking green tea after meals can help guard against tooth decay? Or that the leaves of dandelions can be used for fluid retention? Herbs have hit it big since the release of Harry Potter. But their medicinal properties have been well-known in smaller circles for decades. Native Americans and followers of the Earth religions practice herbal healing on a regular basis. Now, thanks to Penelope Ody, everyone has access to this knowledge.
This book is a wonderful directory of medicinal herbs, written for the layperson who is interested in natural remedies for common (and sometimes not too common) ailments. It opens with an overview of Chinese herbalism, a brief history of Western Herbalism, tips on how to balance tastes to better your health and herbs in modern medicine. Following this is an A-Z listing of herbs, with each entry containing the name of an herb, a brief description of the herb including its history, parts used and applications. There are also pictures of each herb part used (for example, flowers, root or aerial) to aid the amateur in identification.
Perhaps the most informative section of this book is the section on Home Remedies. Entries are cross-referenced by body system affected, complaint and age group. Listings contain the ailment, herb to use for the problem and what it does, and any kind of adverse reactions or limitations. For example, there are sections for pregnancy and childbirth, childhood symptoms and the elderly.
The organization of the material makes this book a must-have for anyone interested in natural healing. The last page of the book contains useful addresses, including training courses, herbal suppliers, equipment suppliers and publications. In today’s world of endless drug ads and pharmaceutical companies, it is encouraging to see that some people still know where the medicine comes from.