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Making Plant Medicine Paperback – February 28, 2000
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Making Plant Medicine will satsfy both beginners and advanced do-it-yourselfers in herbal medicine. --Prevention Magazine
An excellent overview of making herbal tinctures, vinegars, glycerites, water-based preparations, syrups, slaves, baths, poultices, etc. Clearly explains the methods for making everything from simple teas to professional quality, mixed solvent tinctures equal to those in health food stores. Includes "A gardener's herbal formulary" covering over 110 herbs, with over 500 formulas, giving medicinal action, dosage, and use. Interesting stories of his own experiences give the book immediacy and bring the processes "off the page" and into practical focus. --JL Hudson, Seedsman
"Making Plant Medicine" has been to bed with me. What more can I say? --English Herbalist Mike Brook
About the Author
Richo Cech is an internationally recognized expert on the cultivation, processing and usage of medicinal plants. His early work in African archeology and ethnobotany coupled with a life-long interest in seed saving eventually materialized in an extensive collection of seeds. This collection became the basis for Horizon Herbs, a company dedicated to the worldwide dissemination of medicinal herb seeds. Richo serves on the executive board of United Plant Savers, an organization dedicated to the conservation of Native American medicinal plants. Richo strongly believes that organic cultivation of medicinal plants provides a necessary alternative to the harvest of precious plant resources from the wilds. Richo is the author of a popular series of pamphlets on the cultivation of medicinal herbs and a new book entitled "Making Plant Medicine." Horizon Herbs, PO Box 69, Williams, OR 97544-0069 (541) 846-6704.
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Top Customer Reviews
But of course that's not all. Full chapters are devoted to glycerites and which herbs are best suited for them, Vinegar extracts, Teas and Decoctions, Herbal Syrups and Succi, Oils, Salves, Creams, Poultices, Soaks, and Compresses. The best herbs for each are given, with examples, and it's hard to walk away without being more confident than if you read other standard herbals briefly brushing over this important aspect of herbalism.
A true gem of Making Plant Medicine is the Herbal Formulary, which showcases over 500 herbs with each having it's exact best method of preparation discussed, as well as ratio. Before reading this, for example, I hadn't known Astraglus was best extracted in water with just a bit of alcohol to preserve as an unusual type of tincture/tea, rather than just a tincture alone. Tidbits about my favorite herbs makes this book priceless. It's backed with contradictions and use of each herb, and even packs more punch by delivering personal testimonials, dosages, and - of course - a full chapter devoted exclusively to the mathematics of tincturing. Marvelous!
Written in a straight forward, down to earth, and enthusiastic manner, it's hard not to get excited about herbs all over again when you read the stories of Richo and his family, their adventures with the herbs, and how complex our plants and bodies really are. A book that does not merely skim the surface in any stretch of the imagination.
I have found the formulas which don't require alcohol provided by James Green in THE HERBAL MEDICINE-MAKERS HANDBOOK easier to execute and less costly because they don't use as much fancy equipment and my husband will use them, but Cech insists that to make long lasting solutions you will want to use grain alcohol or a good brand of Vodka as well as the "proper tools". I use essential oils for various purposes, and dried herbs in teas, and in my experience both hold up at least one year. We use them so fast I can't speak to longevity or shelf life (At this very moment as I type, I have applied an oil mix to my right hand to relieve pain from various causes such as arthritis and carpel tunnel, and it is working fine). I suppose if you are making up batches for sale you might have more concern with preservation, but I wouldn't worry about using an alcohol based formula on a child so much as tinctures are mostly diluted in water. (Cough syrup is an exception).
If you are a gardener (or not) and are wondering how to preserve some of nature's bounty for medicinal (compressesses, salves, creams and other medicinal compounds) you might consider buying both books (Cech and Green) and conducting your own experiments, to see which approach works for you. This book has a dearth of illustrations, or else I would give it more stars.
This book is designed for the student who wants to take plant medicine to its limits. If you want to do weight based dosing, use calculations based to get the required dose, and have consistency in your medicine, then this book is most likely for you. If you want the simplest method to get to make plant medicine this book has a whole chapter that gives you the quick and easy method (no math required). Cech has done a fantastic job of giving the reader both the easy and the complex. You decide which route you want to take (my opinion both have benefits).
Half the book is formulas for specific plants. There really is a lot of information packed into this little book. Yes, there are other herbal medicine books that are designed specifically for the beginner. Yet, I haven't found a book that will allow you to do the fast and simple method while also giving you a book full of future growth in this field. This is a worthy herbal plant medicine book..
The love and respect Cech has for the plant world shine through. Reading this book is like being an apprentice to a knowledgeable and experienced herbalist of the highest caliber.