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The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants Paperback – June 3, 2008


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The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants + The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants + The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556436920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556436925
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In The Earthwise Herbal, Matthew Wood has revived the richness, depth, and dignity of the herbal medicine of the old masters, while at the same time endowing it with a new cosmopolitan, cross-cultural flavor that lifts it to a genuinely planetary level.”
—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

About the Author

Matthew Wood, a practicing herbalist for over twenty-five years, lives on an herb farm thirty minutes west of downtown Minneapolis. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a Master of Science degree in Herbal Medicine from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, accredited by the University of Wales. Wood is the author of four previous books (all published by North Atlantic Books) and a registered herbalist, or professional member, of the American Herbalists Guild, the only self-regulating body of practicing herbalists in the United States. He is also a regular contributor to the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I consider myself a beginning herbalist and I love this book.
J. Rough
The authour provides detailed information about many poorly researched herbs that are valuable in natural medicine practice.
Beverly Lach
BoHW had only 40 or so herbs and an excellent if brief Therapeutic Repertory at the end.
David Ryan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By David Ryan on July 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was lucky enough to be able to use a draft version of this text in conjunction with one of Matt Wood's Herbal classes for most of the last year, and it fills virtually every hole [half the holes really] left open by the authors' earlier *Book of Herbal Wisdom*; a true masterpiece which I and all of my fellow healers turn to over and over.

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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Lach on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Those who are interested in herbs of North America will love this book. The authour provides detailed information about many poorly researched herbs that are valuable in natural medicine practice. He melds homeopathic provings with botanical information to create a full picture of each herb that he reviews!
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.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Prokopton on November 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book and its New World sister are far more than herbals. To make a herbal of just this type, now, is a statement about the way medicine needs to go, and perhaps even civilization too. So it had to be done just right - which it has been.

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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Rough on February 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I consider myself a beginning herbalist and I love this book. I don't consider it hard to understand, but that may be because it reminds me of Pitchford's "Healing With Whole Foods" in the way that it describes herbs. I would recommend Pitchford's book for anyone having trouble understanding this one.

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.

Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diane Kidman on February 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I've had both volumes of The Earthwise Herbal for a few years now, and they spend a lot of time off my bookshelf. I have countless herbalism references, but Woods's volumes are some of the first I grab whenever I need to look something up. I love the history behind the herbs, as well as the layout. Very practical and useful. This one, which focuses on Old World medicinal plants, is great for us in the New World, since these are plants that have managed to find their way here. And as an herbalist, I like learning where they originated from. Worth reading from cover to cover; and don't skip the intro. Fascinating!
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