- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Althea Press; 1 edition (May 15, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1939754933
- ISBN-13: 978-1939754936
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Herbal Medicine for Beginners: Your Guide to Healing Common Ailments with 35 Medicinal Herbs 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
Learn Over 100 Herbal Remedies Using 35 Commonly Found Herbs
Many of these herbs featured in this book are probably growing in your neighborhood—these plants are common in most areas of the United States. All these herbs are easy to find in commerce, whether online or at a local herb shop. They have low potential for allergic reactions or negative interactions with pharmaceuticals, so they’re all quite safe to experiment with. Let these herbs introduce you to the world of plant remedies, and you’ll have a good palette of experience to draw on when you meet other herbs in the future.
Sample Herb Profile: Pine (Pinus Strobus)
For Respiratory Ailments:
Pine is most commonly associated with immune support and respiratory ailments. The aromatic, volatile oils in all conifer trees are directly antiseptic to the respiratory system, helping kill invading pathogens. As tea, pine warms the respiratory system and acts as an expectorant to move phlegm up and out of the lungs. Pine makes an effective and enjoyable steam for respiratory infections.
For Healing Wounds:
Pine resin is an excellent remedy for wound healing. Strongly antiseptic, pine resin prevents infection, and its vulnerary actions stimulate healing. Pine Resin Salve is indispensable in a first aid kit, though on the trail, the resin can even be applied in its natural (sticky!) state.
Ideal for Addressing:
- Bronchitis / chest cold / pneumonia
- Cold and flu
- Immune support
- Receding gums
- Sinusitis / stuffy nose
Sample Remedy: Pine Resin Salve
Makes 8 ounces (40-day supply)
Pine resin salve is our go-to for wounds that have closed or were never very deep. You can work with the resin of other conifers, too. Resin can be harvested directly from the trees—you’ll find whitish globs of it along the trunk where branches were lost. Leave enough on the tree to keep the wound sealed—this resin is how the tree forms a scab! It will probably have bits of bark, dirt, insect parts, etc., stuck in it—don’t worry! We’ll filter that out during processing.
You can use plain oil for infusing your resin, but starting with an herb-infused oil means you get the good actions of all these herbs, instead of just those the resin contributes.
1. In a small pan over low heat, combine the resin and infused oil and heat gently, stirring frequently. The resin will soften and dissolve, infusing the oil with its virtues.
2. Pour this warm oil through a few layers of cheesecloth. Wrap the mass that remains and squeeze it to extract as much oil as possible.
3. Prepare a salve using this resin-infused oil (see page 39 for complete instructions).
4. Apply to the wound several times a day, replacing fresh, neat bandages each time.
After you gather resin...
Use a bit of oil to wash your hands—soap and water won’t work. Just drop a bit of any liquid oil you have handy into your hands and scrub as if it were soap. The resin will soften and separate from your skin. Then you can use soap and hot water to wash it away.
- 6 to 8 ounces pine resin or another conifer resin
- 8 fluid ounces total calendula-infused oil, goldenrod infused oil, and/or plantain-infused oil
- 1 ounce beeswax, chopped or grated, plus more as needed
”The best herbalism books for beginners present not only the information we want to know but also information we need to know if we are to establish a strong foundation in herbal medicine. Katja Swift and Ryn Midura offer us just this, infusing their deep understanding of herbalism and wellness into this practical guide to herbs and their virtues.”―jim mcdonald, Herbalist and founder of HerbCraft.org
"Katja Swift and Ryn Midura have written an inviting book on herbalism for beginners. I love that their herbal profiles include plants’ energetic qualities (like warming, drying, or cooling) and the many ways plants affect our health (like the way angelica can “ground” us). Katja and Ryn offer remedies for everything, from making a fever to breaking one. If you’re new to herbs, then this book is for you.”―Henriette Kress, Herbalist, author of Practical Herbs, and founder of one of the Internet’s oldest herbal websites, Henriettes-Herb.com
"Katja and Ryn have put together a comprehensive and well-organized toolkit, featuring keystone plants and effective ways to prepare and apply them. But what sets this book apart is the attention to detail and safety: how do you identify poor quality in an herb? What are the cons of using a particular botanical? How do herbs fit alongside pharmaceuticals? If you follow this book's clear guidelines, you'll become not just an herbalist, but a good and responsible one. That's a great gift for the modern seeker."― Guido Masé, Herbalist and author of The Wild Medicine Solution
About the Author
KATJA SWIFT AND RYN MIDURA are herbalists, teachers, and co-founders of the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism. As holistic health educators, they teach community, professional, and pharmacy programs, speak at national conferences, and write for publications like the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild. They live in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Top customer reviews
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This herbal medicine book is exceptionally easy to use and navigate. It is beginner friendly, but I will likely be grabbing for it as a solid first choice when I need an herbal reference because the info is laid out so conveniently. I own just shy of 40 herbal reference books at this time and one of the most frustrating parts is simply navigating the layout of each to be able to quickly get my hands on the information I need. And I pretty use the same one or two books because they are easy. Now a have an awesome new go-to book!
Another nice aspect for folks building their own apothecaries is that this book offers a manageable number of accessible herbs that one could easily and affordably collect and access. But they offer an enormous amount of common ailments that can all be addressed with this reasonably small number of herbs. The real trick for most of us in the herb world is not knowing the absolute best herb for any specific ailment, it's knowing how to use what you actually have. Because if someone needs herbal support, they rarely have time to order and shop for medicine. They do a great job in this book of showing the wide versatility of each herb they list. And how to combine these herbs into powerful recipes.
Lastly, I will just mention that the quality and finish of this book is really nice. I am stunned they can offer it at such an affordable price. It's really hard to find good herb books for less than $35-$50.
On the other hand, those who would begin to experiment with actual herbs need to know what to expect, how to judge dosage, and be warned of any potential problems. Herbs are medicine, and many are quite powerful.
Unfortunately, very little modern research has been done on most common herbs, and there will be no definitive data about safety and potency until that happens.
This book is well organized, a good balance of medicinal information and cautions, and has a fair assortment of medicinal plants and foods. I was somewhat disappointed to find that a powerful food was not even mentioned, along with one herb I count on as a staple in my cupboard. So, add curry and oregano to the list you make to investigate more on your own.