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Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs Hardcover – May, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
This excellent reference is thorough, easy to use and fully illustrated with black-and-white sketches of individual plants and color photographs. More than 140 herbs are discussed in alphabetical order, including history, uses and cultivation. The uses of herbs are further explored in chapters on bathing, dyes, gardening, cooking, healing and cosmetics. Abundant recipes proffer food and drinks, perfumes, toilet waters, poultices and medicinal syrups. While the authors are enthusiastic about the healing properties of herbs, they caution readers not to treat themselves for serious ailments, and provide information on dangerous plants and abuse of common, generally safe herbs. They also report recent studies and controversies such as that surrounding comfrey, a popular healing herb that has been found to cause liver disease in rats. Instructions for planting different types of herb gardens and a brief, general history of herbsfrom their use by the ancient Chinese to the American colonistsround out the book. Kowalchik and Hylton are Rodale editors.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
An excellent reference on the legend, history, culture, and use of popular herbs. Since it has few color photographs, this is a good companion to The Random House Book of Herbs (above), which has many more pictures but far less information. (LJ 11/15/87)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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However, there are some things I don't like about this book.
The pages are very delicate, almost like magazine pages. Another reviewer seemed to think this somehow made them durable, but I will probably not be taking this book out into the garden with me for fear of ruining it. The pages are so delicate (almost translucent) that I can see the text on the page behind the page I'm reading. I know it won't be long before I accidentally tear a page.
Also, there are missing illustrations for some of the herbs. For example pokeweed has no photographs or drawings. However, there are illustrations for the dandelion and the common onion. I know pokeweed is supposed to be common, but an illustration of pokeweed would be a lot more helpful, I think, and I can do without the drawing of an onion, so this doesn't make sense.
Another thing is I looked up mullein and the only reference to it is in one of the sections on example gardens. They forgot to give it its own detailed section, so information on how to use the plant is incomplete.
Bearberry (Kinnikinnick) is located by its latin name (uva-ursi) for some reason, although I did find bearberry in the index.
So there are some things that make it less than perfect, but overall I do like this book because it does have a lot of information. Its just a little incomplete in my opinion. I couldn't decide whether to give 3 or 4 stars for this reason. In the end I gave 4 stars.
If I could, I would give this book a ten star rating. If you are starting out in this field, this is the place to start. This book is my bible