Comprehensive and easy-to-use, Herbal Healing for Women
explains how to create remedies -- including teas, tinctures, salves and ointments--for the common disorders that arise in the different cycles of a woman's life. A complete women's health-care manual, this book discusses:
- common disorders and the herbs that are effective for treating them
- how to select and store herbs
- preparation of hundreds of herbal remedies
- an alphabetical listing of herbs, including a brief description of the herb, the general medicinal usage, and when necessary, warnings about potential side effects.
It is this emphasis upon safe herbology that impressed me most about this book; for example, Gladstar very carefully distinguishes between the safe external applications of Pennyroyal herb and potentially lethal internal misuse of Pennyroyal oil.
Gladstar points out that "there's a natural affinity between women and the plant world." Her own background includes individual experience with herbs, running a school of herbalism, and managing a herbal store; and her book (which does not identify plants) illustrates many of her resultant theories, attitudes, and practices. After introducing us to herbalism and describing the preparation of remedies and aids, she turns in the next four parts of the book to the subject of women and herbs according to "moon-time" in women's lives: early maturity, the childbearing years, pregnancy and childbirth, and menopause. The strong influence of woman's relationship to the earth's annual cycle pervades the text; a particularly beautiful example occurs in the discussion of the menarche and a lunar festive tea. Gladstar does admonish seeking professional help at times and, moreover, in a practical way rather than merely as an afterthought. Several appendixes provide additional information. William Beatty