By Anna Hunt
Just because many of us don’t support the practices of big pharmaceutical companies, doesn’t mean that we don’t get sick. At one point or another, everyone turns to medicine to alleviate symptoms of an illness. With these five amazing books, you will be able to create your own herbal medicine cabinet and decrease your dependency on big pharma.
1. The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual by James Green
Making your own herbal preparations isn’t as complicated as many of us think, and The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook makes at-home herbal medicine making easy enough for anyone. This book offers step-by-step instructions on how to prepare your own concoctions and explains why certain steps are necessary if you want to create the ideal herbal medicinal mixture. This book is perfect for families with younger children, as it has a full chapter dedicated to herb jellos, something you probably didn’t even know was possible! James Green is the founder of Simplers Botanical Company and a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild and United Plant Savers.
2. The Earthwise Herbal by Matthew Wood
Written by the expert herbalist Matthew Wood, who has been a practicing in the US for over 25 years and holds a masters degree in herbal medicine, this resource comes in two volumes: the first volume focuses on European plants, or Old World herbs; and the second focuses on North American plants, or New World herbs. Wood does a great job offering detailed descriptions and outlining all of the uses for each herb, even some lesser-known applications. The Earthwise Herbal explains the use of each whole plant (not just “active ingredients”) and how a treatment impacts the whole person. The book describes symptoms and conditions that the plants have been successful in treating, making it an excellent resource to keep at home.
3. The Herbal Kitchen: 50 Easy-to-Find Herbs and Over 250 Recipes to Bring Lasting Health to You and Your Family by Kami McBride
For anyone getting started with using herbs in place of pharmaceuticals, this is the perfect resource for learning how to use healing herbs in the kitchen. The book offers details about all common cooking herbs and spices and how each one can be used to improve our health. The Herbal Kitchen will give you plenty of ideas on how to creatively incorporate herbs into unique cooking oils, seasonings, honeys, vinegars, dressings, smoothies, pestos, and more. What’s even better is that McBride keeps it simple; her recipes do not require fancy equipment or specialty products. Kami McBride is an herbalist, an instructor of herbal medicine, and the founder of the Living Awareness Institute.
4. The Herbalist’s Way: The Art and Practice of Healing with Plant Medicines by Nancy and Michael Phillips
Filled with incredible knowledge not only from the authors but also from several other herbalists interviewed throughout the book, The Herbalist’s Way offers a wealth of practical herbal knowledge. The book provides information on growing, drying and preparing medicinal herbs, healing wisdom from various cultures, and how and why to become a herbalist, either professionally or within your family. The authors, Nancy and Michael Phillips, run Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs in New Hampshire, where they grow and sell healing herbs and herbal products.
5. Healing with the Herbs of Life by Leslie Tierra
Healing with the Herbs of Lifesynthesizes the great herbal traditions of China and India with Western herbology in such a clear and concise manner that the process of creating your own herbal remedies is less daunting and less complicated than you would expect. It is an ideal investment if you’re interested in incorporating Eastern herbal medicine into your Western lifestyle. The book offers content on which herbs treat specific conditions, the energy of foods and herbs, and how to plan home therapies around the seasons. What makes this book unique is the reference it provides on herb and drug interactions and the extensive appendices with information about weights and measures to help in herbal medicine preparations. Leslie Tierra has a background in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a licensed acupuncturist.
Read more articles by Anna Hunt
About the Author:
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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