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The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants Paperback – June 3, 2008
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—Rudolph Ballentine, MD, author of Radical Healing
“Matthew Wood propounds with great clarity, wisdom, and his own experience the gifts the earth in its wisdom has given us in the form of amazing medicines for almost all our ills, whether of body, mind, emotion, personality, or constitution. How refreshing it is to find a new herbal that explores the depths of each plant’s contribution and does not attribute its powers solely or even mainly to its chemical constituents.”
—Anne McIntyre, English Herbalist
“What [Matthew Wood] brings to herbalism is a first-hand sense of the old Western herbal knowledge with each plant steeped in its historic role.”
—The American Herb Association
“Another valuable resource by Wood, a practicing herbalist with 25 years experience under his belt. Part of a two volume set, this complete guide to old world medicinal plants describes the characteristic symptoms and conditions from a holistic perspective.”
—Within Kingston Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
BoHW had only 40 or so herbs and an excellent if brief Therapeutic Repertory at the end. This tome - or 1/2 tome really - has begun the process of providing a nearly complete Western Herbal Materia Medica; the like of which has not been seen since the Eclectics demise far back in the early 20th Century. And indeed goes beyond the Eclectics usual bare-boned and dry essentials for prescribing. Matt knows most of these plants like we know our friends. Like Tolkien's 'Smith of Wooten Major' he has been given a passport to go directly into the worlds of the plants soul and spirit, and while we may never have such direct access ourselves, Matt gives us a travelog in this [and all his books] simply unsurpassed in all of the worlds Herbal Literature [or at least the big slices that have made it into English!]
Another aspect makes this different from all other herbals out there is that it is a continuation of all that is good and true in most of the Schools of Western Herbology:
*Hippocratic and Galenic Humoralism
*Paracelsian Natura Sophia and medicinal specifics
*Physio-medicalism [Thompson and Dr.Read more ›
For example, Lactuca is just a sleep herb, right? The authour reveals an entire personality and specific conditions that respond well to wild lettuce. Truely useful in any natural medicine clinical setting.
Wood's approach is best conveyed in his own words:
'I have called this herbal "earthwise" to contrast it to other herbals reflecting the pharmacological approach. It is based on sources that the scientific approach ignores: historical uses, folk medicine, folk practitioners, the experience of actual herbalists, intuitive concepts of energy, plant properties, and medicine, daydreams, and dreams. It is, however, "scientific" in a broader sense of the word because it follows an organized and reasonably critical approach to understanding plant medicine.'
What a treat this book is! Respectful of every herbalist's approach, and of every herb, Wood places us back amidst a true and genuine western holism. Noting the systems of the Greeks, Chinese, and Ayurveda, he takes a simple approach (with which his readers will already be familiar) based on tissue states and actions. And Wood points out with perfect correctness that holism cannot take place without such an energetic approach.
Although, as he says, much of what was 'alternative' not so long ago is now 'complementary', and doctors are considering lifestyle and temperament issues just as much as biochemistry, even most 'holistic' western doctors haven't taken the plunge to a full western energetic concept as has Wood.Read more ›
Wood seems to use not only "old world" plants, but old information, which makes the writing style- the quotes, rather- interesting.
My only complaint is that the general index is lacking. I can find many remedies for many different plants, but few remedies that I have looked for can be found in the index.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book paired with The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants. Read morePublished 1 month ago by BErwin PhDHH
Complete with historical references and a great reference section. This book details much of the written literature from ancient Greek to modern times. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. Corky Dunsmore
Matthew Wood, I would not be without his books, great for natural medicine and any herbalist.Published 16 months ago by SC
The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism (by the same author) is the key to Western Herbalism, This book is the materia medica that describes most of the Old World plants'... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Linda Demissy
This book has information on so many different herbs and plants. It contains not only good information but good historical data as well. Read morePublished on December 4, 2013 by C2
Excellent and trustworthy information. Very well researched and documented. With his personal input, you can tell he knows what he's talking about, and the testimonials just add to... Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Deanna Gilbert
From reading this book ( which now is my reference from now on) it is obvious hard work on research from past books, even years of 1700 has put forward by the knowledgable author . Read morePublished on June 30, 2012 by Frank Tailor