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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2009
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Overall, I think this book is just terrific! It is very well researched and documented, as you'd expect from a true scientist. Dr. Manniche covers a wide range of herbal evidence available in ancient text and hieroglyphic iconography, compiling all this treasured info in a beautifully concise way. She also uses her extensive knowledge to extrapolate some possible herbal usages, which really makes this book a step above the normal dry text it might have been without it. But she doesn't overstep her scientific bounds.

There are plenty of black and white illustrations, but I would have loved to have seen some color plates in this book, as there must be a plethora of examples in Egyptian imagery to enhance her in-depth treatise. It really left me craving MORE!! This is a splendid book for anyone interested in the ancient roots of our medical history, and I hope that as new evidence reveals itself, that she will update this book in coming years. This has a special niche on my bookshelf!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2009
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It really takes a lot for me to leave a five star rating, but this book really deserves it. I don't really read a lot of books on Egyptology but this one caught my eye while browsing for incense making books. It certainly changed my thinking on several fronts about the ancient world (not just Egypt). May have to try a few of the food recipes too. Really easy reading too, not dry at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
One of the problems with writing about "ancient Egypt" is, which "ancient Egypt" are you writing about? All too often, authors will group together research pertaining to, say Fourth Dynasty Egypt and the Ptolemaic period, eras that are two thousand years apart. This is rather like covering the field of medicine from Hippocrates to today -- such compression often leads to distortion. Lise Manniche is smart enough to avoid this trap, and clearly delineates information about plant use in "ancient Egypt" by locating it firmly in a timeline. We have no evidence, for example, of opium use from early Egypt (the time of the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza), but we do know Egyptians used it after the Greeks introduced it. Manniche makes it clear, when discussing Egyptians' use of this plant, when and where it came into the culture and how it affected medical/pharmacological practice at the time. Her line drawings are clear and unambiguous, better illustratoins than photographs would have been. Although the sources for our knowledge of Egyptian pharmacology are meager -- we still cannot accurately translate many of the terms for plants used in medical papyrii, so we don't know what herbs they are using -- she documents them thoroughly, even to the extent of giving plant names in hieroglyphics, English, and Arabic. She expands the usual scope of such research beyond the papyrii and tomb wall paintings, to include Islamic folk medicine, which inherited the ancient Egyptian medical practice after the culture that nurtured it had faded away. For anyone looking for an in-depth, scholarly overview of what the ancient Egyptians used to treat fevers, headache and hair loss, this is an invaluable resource.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
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Kind of a dry book. However, this subject is very speculative and I applaud the author for making an attempt! It seemed to focus more on the cosmetic and aromatherapeutic aspects of herbalism, but over all it's an interesting book. I wish there was more literature on this subject. What is presented to us in this era (and in this book) seems so confused and watered down that there is little to no way to define a practice out of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2012
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I am an herbalist who is fascinated by the gardens of Egypt and their herbs.This book has all kinds of great information on Egyptian history and how to use the herbs they did.Highly recommended and the price was great.
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on August 14, 2011
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In this book you can learn so much about the herbal cures and treatments that made the Egyptian physicians the first and best healers of the Ancient world. This book is a catalog of what they used and how, even down to the names they went by. Some had multiple uses, as a food, medicine and magical properties were revealed to you page by page.
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I like this Manniche's great book because of the narrative and the inspiration from tradicional and anciet healing egyptian culture.
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on March 16, 2014
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This book is very informative, and covers many species of plants. It's a must-have for any Egyptophile interested in herbalism.
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on January 20, 2015
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Good book.
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