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Some Books on Herbal Healing

Interest on herbs and herbal healing continues to grow every year. Here are some books on the subject.

“Herbal Remedies from the Wild-Finding and Using Medicinal Herbs” by Corinne Martin was published by the Countryman Press. With the herbs organized by season, this comprehensive title features profiles for 52 species that are found in North America. For each one, the author gives a description, details on harvesting, and how one goes about using it. The plants are illustrated with line drawings by Helen Taylor. Throughout the book, there are quotes from the author’s journal. Where applicable, she provides cautions on using particular plants.

“Floral Acupuncture-Applying the Flower Essences of Dr. Bach to Acupuncture Sites” by Deborah Craydon et al was released by the Crossing Press. In this in-depth title, the authors offer a new type of non-invasive herbal treatment in which the floral essences are applied to appropriate acupuncture sites instead of needles. They explain the basis of this treatment and how it can be used for various conditions. The bulk of the book deals with the individual flower essences and how each one is applied to the appropriate site. There are also useful tables.

“Understanding Medicinal Plants-Their Chemistry and Therapeutic Action” by Bryan A. Hanson was published by the Haworth Herbal Press, an imprint of Haworth Press. By removing the mystery of how herbs work, the author places valuable knowledge in the hands of consumers. A professor of chemistry, the author explains the basics on molecules, how they behave, and the active
ingredients found in the plants in a no-nonsense way. These compounds are arranged alphabetically, and include everything from carbohydrates and mushroom toxins to tannins. In addition, the author explains the chemical behavior of these substances and how they relate to medicine. In the final chapter, he presents specific herbal medicines, and discusses their uses, such as vinca and taxol for cancer.

“Healing with Herbs and Rituals-A Mexican Tradition” by Eliseo “Cheo” Torres was published by the University of New Mexico Press. This title focuses on herbal healers of the American Southwest and Mexico. The author presents the historical role of these healers, the sorts of ailments they treat, the healing process, and accounts of some historical healers. There are also details on how these practices have changed over the years. In the second part, the author deals specifically with the plants, their history, and how they are prepared and used. Using the appendix and plant glossary, readers can locate the Spanish and English names for the herbs. This is illustrated with line drawings and historical photos.

“The Estrogen Alternatives-a Guide to Natural Hormonal Balance” by Raquel Martin and Judi Gerstung features a foreword by Dr. John Hart. This newly revised edition was released by Inner Traditions/Healing Art Press. The authors provide in-depth information on the alternatives to traditional synthetic hormone replacement therapy, and explain the natural options that are open to women. There is also a comprehensive discussion of how women can cope with lifestyle changes and how they can best achieve optimal health by using natural solutions. In addition, this title features helpful appendices, including details on clinical studies and the latest research reports.

The Haworth Press has published a groundbreaking title, “The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Remedies” was written by leading experts in their fields, and was edited by Marilyn Barrett. This definitive, two-volume set reviews over 160 herbal products and 360 clinical studies. Volume I begins with the basics, discussing the methods, and fundamentals of herbal medicine. This volume also presents the first part of the botanical profiles, covering all the products and clinical trials up to ginseng. Then, Volume 2 completes the botanical profiles down to valerian. With over 1400 pages, this is by far the most accurate, comprehensive title you will find on the subject. Easy to use, these volumes contain everything you would want to know about medicinal herbs, their history, regulation, safety, standardization, and effectiveness. This title is suitable for both professionals, gardeners, and others with a serious interest in medicinal plants. Readers will find the botanical profiles are very user-friendly. The authors discuss precautions one should be aware of as well as details on any drug interactions and adverse reactions known about the plant.

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