Herbalism has been around for centuries with no indication that it will ever be a dying interest or way of life. Through out those centuries those who used herbs were known by different names, but more common as “healer”. Those who were misunderstood by their society’s time were at times called “witches”. Regardless of the name, herbalism has been around and practice with healing naturally as its intent.
Herbalism can also have a central focus on spiritualism and the use of the herb to heal both the physical body and that of the mind. Those who come to mind for the most influential practice of this would be the Druids. It is from this background of learning and living that the author has developed her book, Secret Medicines From Your Garden. The author has extensive years involved in learning her art and shares a wealth of knowledge with the reader.
Secret Medicines From Your Garden is packed with information from recognizing plants based upon shape of stems, leaves and growing conditions to using those plants. One section of this book is broken down to individual plants and the growing seasons of Spring, Summer and Fall. The plants and what portions are used are discussed along with a “recipe”. Another section is recipes for various aliments and needs. Throughout the book, the connection to the physical plant and a spiritual healing is linked.
Beyond the amazing discourse on the plants and their healing or home uses, Ellen Evert Hopman concentrates on sharing the spiritual or “magic” associated with these plants. Having studied Druid and American Indian herbalism, Ms. Hopman strongly influences her book with the idea of healing body and mind with plants. This is defiantly a way of life that is being introduced and explained to the reader.
Secret Medicines From Your Garden is worth reading if you are interested in herbalism. As the subtitle, “Plants for Healing, Spirituality, & Magic”, states that is what this book is about.
If I didn’t have to work I would devote myself to building my own homestead. I really think I was born in the wrong century and I know I am not alone in that. I can easily imagine my life as the village healer from centuries ago. I love making my own medicinal remedies, butter, soap, cleaners and whatever I find interesting. I devour sources of “recipes” for any of these kinds of things. When I found The Herbal Apothecary online for review at NetGalley I had to request it. I can’t even tell you how disappointed I was when I was declined. I was moping around the house for a few days before I decided to contact the publishing rep directly. I didn’t beg, but I was ready to! Thankfully for all of us, the very nice rep did grant me a copy of the book.
I can say in one word what I thought of this book……AMAZING! If you are interested in medicinal herbs remedies you need to look at this book. The layout cover to back will hold your attention. After a short introduction of the herbalist life the author jumps the reader into the different systems of the human body such as the cardiovascular system or the endocrine system. It helps anyone interested in herbal remedies to understand how the body works so they can understand which herbs would work for an ailment.
Next the reader gets a bit of botany class that is very interesting. The photos of the plans are vibrant and show the plant to help you identify it easily. Each plant has its medicinal uses, cultivation and how to use it as a remedy explained. Some of the plants shown I have never heard of which lead to one issue I had with the listings. It would have been nice to have a reference of where these plants are considered native.
The fun begins in the Herbalist Laboratory as the section was titled. Here you get to read how to apply the remedy. The application may be a tea, salve, capsule or something else. There are also recipes listed and broken down into categories for sore throat as an example. Once again photos are used to show the ingredients and possibly how to work with them. After familiarizing yourself with some recipes and how to make them, more recipes and how to administer them are outlined based upon complaint.
I really believe that if you are interested in home remedies you need to check this book out. Personally I prefer having actual books to ebooks for what I label reference books like these, but in cases like these beggars cannot be choosey. I plan to purchase this book if at all possible just to have.
As I mentioned, I love home medicinals and would love to hear some of your favorite go to remedies!