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Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine [Kindle Edition]

David Hoffmann FNIMH AHG
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

_Medical Herbalism_ is the comprehensive textbook all students and practitioners of clinical herbalism need to develop their healing practices. It__ contains comprehensive information concerning the identification and use of medicinal plants by chemical structure and physiological effect. It also includes information on toxicology, contraindications, and dosages.

Editorial Reviews


"This is simply the most comprehensive reference work on holistic herbalism from a clinical perspective in existence. . . . This well-researched, incredibly knowledgeable textbook could be said to usher in a new, critical phase in the development of herbalism." (Georg Feuerstein, Traditional Yoga Studies, Sept 2007)

" . . . this manual gives the more serious herbalist a look at herbs with a thorough and scientific approach without stripping that something unexplainable that happens when we use herbs as medicine. . . . Hoffmann's style is straightforward and informative containing a fascinating depth, making Medical Herbalism a reference tool any herbalist will reach for without hesitation." (dkMommySpot, March 2009)

“David Hoffmann has produced an herbal reference masterpiece. This is one of the most comprehensive and detailed reference books to be produced in many years and will become one of the standard texts for professionals and researchers. I will place it next to my desk with my most often-used books.” (Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, editor of HerbalG)

“Hoffmann beautifully blends science with his very holistic approach to herbal healing, displaying a true gift for making chemistry and physiology easy to understand. He not only suggests herbs and dietary changes to treat many conditions but explains why they work. Such knowledge aids both practitioner and herb user in understanding how they can choose the most effective and safe herbs. I applaud this as an important book for herbalism in the modern world.” (Kathi Keville, director of the American Herb Association)

“I consider David Hoffmann one of the most original and brilliant herbalists of our time, who dwells 'on the cutting edge' of thought and is often paving the way for others. The author of one of our finest herbal classics, The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal, David’s ambitious undertaking of his ­brilliant new book provides us with yet another exceptional textbook on herbs that merges art, ­science, and conservation into a system of holistic herbalism for the future. This will be a valuable book for practitioners of herbal medicine as well as for other medical professionals.” (Rosemary Gladstar, president of United Plant Savers and author of Rosemary Gladstar’s Family H)

"A well-written compendium of herbal medicine that cannot be found elsewhere in a single book." (The Bloomsbury Review, May/June 2004, Vol 24 Issue 3)

"Contains comprehensive information concerning the identification and use of medicinal plants both by chemical structure and physiological effect." (Share Guide, May/June 2004, Issue 73)

"Medical Herbalism is an endeavor that will likely become a staple as an educational tool and indispensable reference for many." (Katherine Duff, Townsend Letter, Aug/Sept 2004)

". . . Hoffman displays a true gift for making chemistry and physiology easy to understand." (American Herb Association, Vol. 20:2)

“David Hoffmann has outdone himself. This text provides a depth of knowledge that is truly needed by the herbalist, the physician, and the pharmacist in order to understand how to use herbal ­medicine safely and effectively. Also an excellent resource to educate patients about the many ­herbal remedies possible.” (David Winston, AHG, dean of the Herbal Therapeutics School of Botanical Medicine and chair of the Ad)

Medical Herbalism provides a clinically oriented, systematic approach to Western herbal medicine missing from most texts. A great contribution to the herbal literature. ” (Roy Upton, herbalist and executive director of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia)

"For all students and practitioners of herbalism, this complete handbook details the chemistry of herbs and presents in-depth discussions of specific ailments and treatments." (Creations Magazine, Oct-Nov 2005)

"For mid-level to advanced herbal students, or for any professional health care practitioner, this book represents an outstanding contribution. Kudos to both author David Hoffman and to Healing Arts Press for giving us this amazing volume." (Leah Samul, Pan Gaia, Jan-Mar 2006)

From the Back Cover


Medical Herbalism is a foundational textbook on the scientific principles of therapeutic herbalism and their application in medicine. Based on the author’s more than twenty-five years of herbal practice, it contains comprehensive information concerning the identification and use of medicinal plants both by chemical structure and physiological effect, the art and science of making herbal medicine, and the challenge to current research paradigms posed by complex plant medicines.

The author details the intricate chemistry behind herbalism, providing for the first time important background and insights into how herbal remedies are able to achieve their results and the limitations and potential of viewing herbs chemically. He then presents in-depth discussions of specific ailments and treatments organized by each of the major body systems, as well as delving into the special needs of children and the elderly. He includes the most up-to-date information on preparations, dosage, and contraindications; information on toxicology and the issues involved in determining dosage and formulation types for an individual; and the pros and cons of both commercial and traditional techniques. His materia medica presents 150 of the most beneficial herbs used in treatment practices, identifying not only their present uses but also their historical derivations.

With additional sections devoted to the principles of green medicine, the history of Western herbalism, the variety of other medical modalities using medicinal plants, and an extensive resource directory, Medical Herbalism is the comprehensive textbook all students and practitioners of clinical herbalism need to develop their healing practices. It is also a complete handbook for the medical practitioner looking to bring herbal treatments into his or her practice.

DAVID HOFFMANN, a Fellow of Britain’s National Institute of Medical Herbalists, has been a clinical phytotherapist for more than twenty-five years. He started his herbal practice in Wales, continuing at the Findhorn community in Scotland, and has been practicing in California since 1986. A long time activist in the environmental and peace movements, he ran for parliament in Britain for the Green party in 1983. He is one of the founding members and a past president of the American Herbalists Guild and is on the advisory boards of the American Botanical Council and HerbalGram. The author of seventeen books, including the highly regarded The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal, An Elders’ Herbal, and The Herbal Handbook, Hoffmann teaches phytotherapy throughout the English-speaking world and is currently a faculty member of the California School of Herbal Studies. He is also a visiting faculty member at Bastyr University, the California Institute of Integral Studies, the National College of Phytotherapy, and the Rocky Mountain School of Botanical Studies.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great text for school October 30, 2005
By Kim
This is a great text for learning terminology such as herbal actions it's easy to read and understand. The discriptions are just long enough so that it does not include excess/repetative words. The materia medica is also written the same way, precise, it may be too brief for more advanced herbalists however for beginners it is perfect. The materia medica is not that big. For a more elaborate "indication" section you will probably have to read research. I use this as a text as a Herbal Science major, I don't think it is very readable for the layman trying to learn herbal medicine or if you are just interested in herbal medicine. It's written like an encyclopedia, so you jump to sections that you want. The first part of the book has plant constituents with drawings of organic molecules. The second part is organized according to body systems. It's very user friendly, the index has pretty much everything you want to find. Fantastic book as a text, I'll be using it for a long time.
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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medical Herbalism: great resource July 16, 2006
This book was assigned as a part of a Master's Program in Holistic Health. It is comprehensive and overall a great resource book. Hoffmann covers a wide range of topics in depth. In class, we were amazed how one person could write such a voluminous resource. However, if you are looking for specific "recipes" to make, this would not be the book. It will direct you to appropriate plants/herbs to use. I highly recommend this book. You will think twice about common weeds in your yard- all plants have a medicinal use.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herbal Medicine Bible November 26, 2003
I've never seen another book on herbal medicine that is as exhaustive and comprehensive as this one. It oges to far as to illustrate the active biochemical components of the different herbal elements. The book is orgainized based on the different body systems. It describes how to identify the compounds and their souces. For anyone serious about herbal medicine this book is an essential addition for a professional library.
I organize an international conference -- The Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology meeting that routinely includes lectures on herbal medicine. This book will be very well received by our professional attendees.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource! May 13, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am not a scientist, I am just a normal person interested in Herbal Medicine and creating my own tinctures, salves, etc for simple at home remedies.

I was worried this book might be a bit over the top for me, but I was pleasantly surprised! While, yes, the first few chapters delve a bit deep into the chemistry of it all, I have found that the rest of the book offers highly valuable information.

This book is broken into several sections, and I've found lots of useful information in the sections pertaining to the HOW of Herbal Medicine - it tells you precise ways of formulating different remedies. Also, the fully in depth index looks at each herb and goes into detail on it's uses and best preparations.

Overall I am so very happy with this book. It's one of my major resources and highly recommend it!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for two reasons. The first being the author David Hoffmann is the author of a book I have called The New Holistic Herbal. I found this book to very thorough in his relating herbal medicine to the human body. I highly recommend it. The second reason is I am taking an online course in Herbal Medicine. This book is recommended reading and I can say it is as thorough and detailed as the book mentioned above. David Hoffmann has a way of relating the science to the human body in a precise, well thought out way. There is a wealth of information and detail about all functions of the human body.How each herb is broken down into its components and what their interaction is with our makeup. He also can tell of drug interactions which is important for anyone on medication and wanting to self medicate. I can only speak highly of this book and while perhaps a little clinical for some it is well worth the purchase.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for college-level health collections May 5, 2004
The science and practice and medical herbalism is covered in a weighty textbook covering the scientific principles of therapeutic herbalism and their application to medicine. Author Avid Hoffmann has several decades of experience in herbal practice and lends scientific authority to Medical Herbalism: Principles And Practices, which offers details on plants, chemical structures, physiological effects, and the craft of making herbal potions and medicines. No casual coverage, this is recommended for college-level health collections interested in serious science and health.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has everything November 29, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has almost everything you'd want to know about herbs and how to use them medicinally. It has the chemical breakdown of all the herbs so you can really see what's going on, as well as listings for conditions and ways to treat them.
I love this book, it's invaluable
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medical Herbalism, David Hoffmann August 20, 2006
This is a fantastic resource for students and the like. It has a great layout, incorporating illnesses and body systems, herbal actions, a materia medica and many other great categories. It is well referenced and uses a wide range of information.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I love this book. The one drawback is the layout of the data. It isn't an easy book for lighter referencing. It's an intensive study with a lot of great information in it. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Lisa Gutzwiller
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is not for the easy reader. A lot of good information packed into a few pages. I have found it to be very usefull in referance to my homopathic medicines.
Published 1 month ago by J. B. Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive work on herbalism--the real thing
Had to have it. Hoffmann has always been the king of sharing what really counts in herbalism. He turns it into a science and doesn't let the herbalist off the hook on... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jan Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!!
THis book is essential for seeking alternative medicine. This book as enabled our family to heal illnesses that pharmaceuticals were NOT able to fix. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Adam
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK
I bought this book as a supplement to a college level Herbology class I am taking. It is a nice book, but doesn't give a full enough description of individual herbs for my own... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dani Montlake
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS AWESOME
I absolutely love this book!!! It is in it's own category, I believe. This book is not a quick read or a "I need a remedy now book" rather, it is a thorough book on... Read more
Published 3 months ago by happymommi
4.0 out of 5 stars Starting point for botanical studies
Good basic starting textbook for herbal medicine.
Its a good overview of the most commonly used herbs. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Chrysalis G Sabatinos
5.0 out of 5 stars Medical Herbalism
Item arrived in perfect condition. My husband hopes to study botany and I read good reviews about this book. A little bit pricey, but I think it will be worth it.
Published 4 months ago by Sooyeon Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a great reference for anyone involved in herbalism. This will be on my bookshelf for a very long time!
Published 6 months ago by Helen Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable
For the herbalist student needing drug-herb interaction information and a more medical perspective concerning the use of medicinal herbs and specific conditions, this is a must... Read more
Published 8 months ago by ZooMama
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