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Making Plant Medicine Paperback – February 28, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Horizon Herbs; 3 edition (February 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970031203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970031204
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Cech writes a book I've been waiting for - something truly in depth that talks about tinctures in more than just a paragraph or so. While saying it's perfectly fine to make tinctures in the 'simplers manner' - and he explains how to do this - his reasons for making consistent batches with measurements for continued accuracy and control makes perfect sense. He brings up the merits many herbalists do regarding the benefits of alcohol as a medium - besides preserving the herbal properties better than other products in nature, besides working better to extract from most herbs over glycerine and ACV, and besides bringing up how alcohol is such a wonderful carrier of herbs or other substances through the bloodstream into the body, he brings up the important points on how little of alcohol is consumed when taking the standard tincture dose, and eases some common misconceptions. Several chapters are devoted to tinctures alone, through various ways of extracting, detailed information on straining, pressing, and sifting. Things I've never read anywhere else were in here, quite a treat considering all the herbals I've read out there.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Are you ready to begin making your own tinctures, vinegar extracts, herbal infusions and teas as well as other decoctions? Richo Cech, long time herbalist par excellence describes how to macerate, use various solvents or menstruum solutions, and create complex combinations or medicinal compounds. Although Cech clearly prefers an alcohol-based menstruum, he supplies formulas for other approaches for those who cannot tolerate alcohol.

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.
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Format: Paperback
With relevant and interesting anecdotes, Cech describes the fundamentals of plant medicine making in this comprehensive book. Any beginning herbalist will appreciate how Cech covers the traditional/folk methods as well as scientific methods of making herbal medicine.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book at my local library and I fell in love with it. I have been learning to make herbal infused oils, balms, etc. for a couple years now and am always happy to read new information on the subject of herbs and how to use them. This is the best book I have found on the subject! Hands down. It not only has info telling what to use the herbs for, it tells many different ways to prepair the plants for use. Teas, compresses, oils, tinctures, etc. And you don't have to have expensive equiptment to make the products. The instructions, and information are very easy to understand. Richo has a very friendly, open way of writing that makes me feel like I'm learning from a family friend. (Bonus: his daughter draws the cutest little illustrations to open each chapter. So sweet.)
I would recommend this book to any person who wants to learn about herbs, for any reason. It is well worth the money and it will be in use at my house for years to come.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a beginner's herbal book.There are some sweet cartoonish illustrations throughout this excellent herbal book,that might make a causal buyer think that their going to read a starter's book on herbs.I would not recommend this creative book for novice readers to start with.There are other excellent short books,like John Lust's 'The Herb Book',to begin your herbal studies with.Before you start making your tintures and remedies,you must know your herb of choice.You may not know the side-effects and the possible allergic reactions before you start experimenting.Some new readers may incorrectly think that the proper small dosage was good and therefore a large dose will produce even better relief.Herbal misuse and improper dosage can not only make you sick,it can be fatal.It's a great herbal book,yet one needs to have some advanced herbal training and proper advice beforehand.Then you can start with the herbal remedies,only at the recommended safe levels, as an alternative daily therapy.
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