Guest Author - Amelia Tucker
Healing Tonics : 101 Herbal Concoctions By Jeanine Pollak, is a must have for anyone creating their own teas and tonics. It is chock full of recipes for many occasions - both healing and well being. I have used it more times than I can count for the reliability of the results and the trusted names behind them.
What sets this herbal book apart is that the recipes are gathered from all over the country and from a myriad of different herbalists. Included is a short profile of the herbalist, some of their preferred recipes and thoughts on herbal healing. I find this added depth gives an inside look at the ideas behind the combinations each herbalist chose to include.
If you are just starting to add herbs to your life, the beginning of the book clearly explains how to create all the basics: Teas, tonics, cordials and elixirs. The directions are well written and easy enough for the beginner to follow. Starting with the tools used to make any tonics it quickly moves through what you need to have into what would be nice - like an herb press.
Many pages also include sidebars with nuggets of important information that add to the interest of each recipe as well as simply great knowledge. There is a nice list of basic herbs for anyone interested in making their own teas. This is a full range of herbs that are easily found through internet stores and herbal catalogs. The how-to section assumes that the reader needs a simple plan for creating teas, infusions, decoctions, cordials and elixirs. It is very helpful and entices the reader to get started creating his or her own recipes.
The Materia Medica of tonic herbs is wonderful. There is an entire section with a large list of herbs charted for the part used, taste affinity, properties and what formulas it is used for. Very clear and concise. This is worth the cost of the book itself.
The back of the book offers a comprehensive list of herbs, seeds, supplies and educations. The reader need not worry about quality when utilizing the resource list.
The main attraction of this book is how it invites everyone to use herbs in everyday living. It doesn't shroud the preparations and uses in mystery and never tries to exclude anyone from enjoying herbs in simple, useful ways. I recommend Healing Tonics for every level of herbal user. There is enough information to make the book one that can be turned to throughout the herbal journey.
Healing Tonics - 101 Herbal Concoctions By Jeanine Pollak ISBN# 1-58017-240-7