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The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy: An Herbalist's Guide to Preparing Medicinal Essences, Tinctures, and Elixirs Paperback – December 1, 1985


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Simply put, this is a classic text on plant alchemy, or spagyrics, for the modern practitioner. . . . anyone serious about learning alchemy needs to have a copy."
(Institute for Hermetic Studies, Mar 2006)

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German, Italian
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press; Reprint edition (December 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892814853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892814855
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Timaeus on December 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I think this is probably the single best book on how to get started with any kind of practical work, however, I have one complaint about it: The author shows you how to do everything with high-priced equipment, that you really don't have to have. The fact is that the ancient alchemists/spagyrists usually didn't have all that equipment, and it's probably smart to at least start off with simpler items before you invest a thousand dollars in this stuff. I think he would have done the art more justice if he had given lower-cost alternatives to the equipment in this book. Get this book, and supplement your reading with lots of material from Adam McLean's website, various alchemy forums and the Philosophers of Nature books if you have the money. Also question what all of them have to say, and compare, because all of them have their quirks.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By EquesNiger on August 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally published in Italian in 1985, this classic work deals with the spyragic process, by which, through separation, purification and recombination, a spyragist (parachemist, or alchemist, take your pick) enhances and amplifies the essential and intrinsic effects of an herb. While incorporating quite a bit of ayurvedic philosophy, it's still a text firmly rooted in Western alchemical techniques and practice, and walks the aspiring student through the spyragic process, step by step, along with herbal planetary correspondence tables which go quite a bit beyond the over-simplified Cabbalistic correspondences of the current New Age stream of thought.

The equipment specified for practice is, indeed, bona fide scientific apparati, which causes some concern on the part of other readers as to the expense. However, Dr. Junius was indeed a scientist, and head of research at various labs and technical institutes, and therefore chose to rely on precise, quality apparati. While there may be some applications of the spyragic processes detailed within that could be performed "on the cheap", by and large the higher the quality, precision and applicability of the instrument, the better the resultant spyragic. I would highly recommend that any aspiring spyragist (or alchemist) do a brief web search for discount laboratory equipment suppliers. There is an abundance out there, and for a few hundred dollars the enhanced results are definitely worth it.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stavish, The Institute for Hermetic Studies on November 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Junius' Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy is one of the finest and most complete books on working with plants from an alchemical perspective (or spagyrics) available today. It is filled with information and experiments that will take years if not lifetimes to exhaust. Extensive instructions take you through the process of making tinctures, plant stones, elixirs, the plant magistry of Paracelsus, and the Lesser or Minor Circulation for the preperation of elixirs. All of the work can be done with a few pieces of easily obtained laboratory equipment that can be used with inexpensive electric or gas heating sources. It is a book you will want two copies of - one for your bookshelf and the second for your laboratory. Required reading - and doing - for anyone serious about undertaking an alchemical journey.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on March 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
There's no need to pay inflated prices for this out of print version by Manfred Junius, it has been reprinted as Spagyrics: The Alchemical Preparation of Medicinal Essences, Tinctures, and Elixirs.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1996
Format: Paperback
With the rise of serious interest in alternative medicine and
the western occult, there is a need for a good, relatively
clear introduction to practical alchemy. This is it.
This book explains the equipment you need and proposes a
theory of alchemy which reveals real respect for the ancient
texts- though as the title promises there is little here on
the work with metals.
If you want a detailed or scholarly history of Alchemy you
will have to look elsewhere, but this book is essential for
anyone interested in the work itself *or* in herbal medicine.
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