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A Russian Herbal: Traditional Remedies for Health and Healing Paperback – February 1, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The entries are also unusually detailed as to the exact methods of preparation as well as the parts of the plant that should be used. Potential dangers and other contraindications for use are clearly set out from the text in bold-faced type - a feature that I'd like to see copied in more herbals! Zeven with his co-authors, Nathaniel Altman and Lilia Vasilevna Zevin, have ceated a highly interesting and unusual herbal, detailing a tradition that we don't hear about enough." (Rosemary Jones, owner of Healing Pages Bookstore)

From the Back Cover

HEALTH / HERBALISM

Blessed with a wide variety of climates, geography, and flora, Russia developed a rich folk tradition of herbal healing that is among the most sophisticated in the world. For example, seven centuries before the discovery of penicillin, Russian herbalists were successfully treating infected wounds with mold. Herbalism is still practiced in Russia today but, unlike in the West, it has developed hand-in-hand with allopathic medicine. Russian doctors began to take a serious interest in the medicinal value of plants more than fifty years ago. Recognizing that herbs could be a potent and cost-efficient part of a modern medical practice, they began rigorous scientific studies to test herbs’ usefulness. Today nearly every Russian medical school offers courses on the study of herbs, and many maintain a special research department that investigates the practical applications of herbal medicine.

Drawing on a wealth of oral and written traditions, A Russian Herbal explains the folkways, properties, and uses of the best-known Russian herbs--all widely available in North America, Europe, and Australia. It includes clear and simple recipes for treating specific health problems, such as heart disease, migraines, arthritis, and high blood pressure, in ways that have been proved safe and effective by medical research, both in the laboratory and in clinical practice. Also described are traditional healing methods previously unknown in the West, such as the water banya or bath, a special technique using steam that allows several herbs to be blended without losing their individual identity.

IGOR VILEVICH ZEVIN was raised in Belarus by his grandmother, an accomplished folk healer and herbalist who passed much of her knowledge to her grandson. An engineer by profession, Zevin has continued his study of herbs over the years. NATHANIEL ALTMAN has authored and coauthored more than fifteen books, including Oxygen Healing Therapies, The Twelve Stages of Healing, and The Deva Handbook. Lilia Vasilevna Zevin learned traditional herbal techniques while growing up in Lithuania.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press; Original ed. edition (February 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892815493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892815494
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm sorry I don't have time to review this book in depth, but seeing that it hasn't gotten any reviews yet, I want to recommend it as a very well put-together herbal, with good introductory chapters (one of which includes the use of the "water banya" in the Russian preparation of medicinal herbs, and how to make one), and an extensive materia medica. Most of the herbs listed are quite familiar, and some include pertinent folklore. The materia medica is followed by "Complex Herbal Formulas" relating to the various organ systems.
The fact that it is a Russian herbal does not, by any means, make it obscure. (I only wish that, beneath the Latin name given for each herb, a translation of its Russian name were given.) I highly recommend it to anyone interested in herbalism.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An absolutely fantastic book on the use of medicinal herbs, from the Eastern European tradition. I love this book and it compliments my Western herbals nicely, bring different ideas and remedies to the table for comparison. There isn't really much for me to say here, I have a good library of many of the best herbal books available and I refer to this one often. Sometimes I use a method in this book, and sometimes a method from another, but I always compare this to my American and Asian books, for a refreshingly different style of treatment.

Solid, reasonably professional (not another photo and gardening "herbal" to cluck about at the coffee shop, but an actually useful manual), clearly written English. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For decades now, you can walk into any pharmacy in Russia and find herbal remedies on the shelves right alongside medicines. There is a simple reason for this: they work. Some of these remedies border on the amazing, they are that effective.

This book is the first and only book in English that shares with you the centuries of Russian herbal wisdom. What you'll find here are not the usual pages of "Take this for high blood pressure, 3 capsules, twice a day," etc. Instead you'll be reading detailed accounts of not only how the herbs and plants have been used down through time, by Russian doctors and researchers as well as everyday people, but also the whys and hows of using them yourself, as well as clear and simple instructions on the varieties of methods for preparing these remedies at home.

There are many stories about the plants themselves, stories that you may soon find yourself sharing with friends and family. For more scientifically-minded readers, the pharmacological effects of the plants are listed, together with any precautions or special points to note.

All of these plants and herbs are available in the west. If not in your fields and forests, then via herb stores, either local or over the Internet.

In regards to the author not listing the Russian names for plants: the Latin names of the plants are listed under their "botanical names." With these it's simple to either do a Wikipedia search or a Google search and find the Russian names. Make sure you can read Cyrillic before trying this! But please note that you don't need to read a word of Russian to benefit greatly from this book.

Highly recommended for herbalists and anyone interested in natural remedies and healing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great information and i really appreciate that it's translated. my roots are slavic but my russian is not good enough to decode the complex herbal books of the motherland. i do hope this book gets a few updates as i noticed that a lot of the treatable symptoms are the same .... for example, lots of mention on treating boils! i'd like to know about more, common maladies that can be treated.
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Format: Paperback
So, this book seems to be one-of-its-kind in English. It's a good pioneering overview, the only one available for many who're interested in this topic (although more extensive information can be found in Russian). The author is Russian and has some first-hand experience with some of these treatments. I also enjoyed his short summaries of the cultural and historical stories of some of these plants.

However, there is one major flaw: nowhere does the author list the original Russian-language names for any of these plants. This makes it hard to search for further information in Russian, or ask a Russian-speaker about something (and did he really think that no Russian-speakers would ever use his book?).

The book does list the scientific names of the plants in question, though. What I've had to do to make the book usable for me is type each of these scientific names into the Russian Wikipedia's searchbox, and then write the Russian names in pencil above the English plant names.
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