Thursday, December 26, 2019

REVIEW Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs (Part 2)

Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs (Part 2)
A Florilegia for the Wild Heart Tribe
Gail Faith Edwards

This is the Materia Medica section of Gail Faith Edward's long awaited revised edition of her brilliant and ground-breaking 1995 book, Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs which is now out of print.

First though, Gail shares valuable information about how we need to approach and respect our plant allies.  The beginning of the book is filled with an incredible amount of information that can only come from a woman who has seen the world as an adventurous maiden, a nurturing mother, and finally a wise and generous crone.
She explains the way of the wild heart, discusses the Wheel of the Year, and shares thoughts on cultural appropriation and caring for the vulnerable allies that we are threatening with our carelessness.
She talks about several systems and approaches to herbalism.  There is seriously an entire education before we even get to the herbs.

But then we DO get to the healing herbs.  Gail's writing has the tone of a story-teller, so that each herb is a different tale.  She shares history, lore, personal experiences, facts, and so much more.  Agrimony, Cannabis, Devil's Club, Kava Kava, Schisandra. Tobacco, Uva Ursi AND the "regulars" like Burdock, Chickweed, Dandelion, Garlic, etc., are covered, as well as there being a section on medicinal mushrooms.

If you haven't yet become familiar with Gail's writings, do yourself a favor and get to know her.
Pre-order the new book!
The first volume is equally brilliant.

Order Volume 1

I'm so glad to see her work back available to aspiring herbalists!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

REVIEW: Herbalism at Home

I was very lucky to receive an advance copy of Kristine Brown's new book, Herbalism at Home. Kristine's writing style has always been so enchanting that I was curious how that would come through in a book with a zillion bits of information confined in a specific number of pages.  The answer:  spectacularly!
To begin with, the book is beautifully designed.  A lot of people don't know this, but writers don't get a lot of input into things like the title, layout style, fonts, or even the illustrations.  Being a great illustrator for her own zine, it might have been difficult to let that control go, but they managed to capture Kristine's style. 

So what will you find on the 235 pages?  LOTS.  She starts out by explaining what herbal medicine is about and its benefits.  She proceeds to help the reader plan an herbal pantry and choose the tools and accoutrements required to make the preparations that will follow.
THEN come the herbs.  This is one of the most glorious and unique selections of herbs in any book of this sort that I've seen.

This is one of the beautiful "blank" pages.
Kristine chose herbs that many people who are just starting out might currently consider weeds.  She helps the reader realize that medicine is all around them if they just look around.  This has been one of my dearest goals for years, and it has been hers as well. 
I was thrilled to see black haw, black walnut, catnip, goldenrod, mugwort, prunella, wild lettuce, cleavers, poke, and yellow dock - all weeds full of good medicine.
125 remedies and recipes follow, for everything from allergies to warts - the kind of things we use herbs for at home.  Things we can made a difference with at home, like self-limiting illnesses, or even chronic illnesses that can benefit from herbal support.  It's truly a splendid volume full of recipes and herbal information that I know will come into use here even though I've been working with herbs for decades.  For the beginner, this is a gold mine.

The reader will feel like they know Kristine when they read this book, and isn't that how the best books are? 
HERBALISM at home, 125 Recipes for everyday health
Kristine Brown, RH(AHG)
ISBN: 978-1-64611-156-5  $19.95 US, $26.99 CAN
Release 1/7/2020. 
Pre-order HERE (Amazon)

Monday, December 16, 2019

January February 2020 Essential Herbal

The latest issue is in the mail!
Lots of articles full of dreaming, learning, trying new things, and recipes and remedies. 
Perfect for curling up with by the fire while enjoying a warm beverage.

Table of Contents:

Field Notes from the Editor, Tina Sams
What will we be doing in 2020?  Let’s grow like the plants.                           
The Awakening of the Seeds, Jen Frey
How can we relate our lives with the Celtic Goddess Brigid and Imbolc?
Garden Adventures - Garlic, Rebekah Bailey
Garlic turns up in a ditch on the new property.  Lots to learn here!              
Book Excerpt, Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs, Gail Faith Edwards
Gail’s newest book, will be out in early January. The excerpt discusses herbal tastes, and
the properties that go with them.                                                                                                                        
Femininitea, Tina Sams
A tea that goes from puberty to menopause, and beyond.                             
Summer Jellies to Warm Your Winter, Alicia Allen
Learn to make luscious herb jellies that bring summer right into winter.     
Weaving Memories, Mary Peterson
This basket was woven as the writer traveled around Ireland.                      
Gromwell, Sandy Michelsen
Lithospermum, lemonweed, or gromwell, with roots full of purpose.           
Herb Bread, Theresa F. Koch
A nice crusty and flavorful loaf.                                                                          
Lessons from Your Seed Catalogs, Kathy Musser
What information should you look for when shopping for seeds?               
Here’s to Hawthorn, Kristine Brown RH(AHG)
… or why we all need hawthorn trees.                                                              
Beauty of Making Your Own Medicine, Cathy Walker
What we put into our medicine and how much does it mean?                     
Winter Crafts for Families, Marcy Lautanen Raleigh
Some fun things to try including a bird feeder, scented stones, and a snack.        
Lavender & Tea Tree Soap, Marci Tsohonis
How to make this beautiful, fresh, clean bar.                                                   
White Pine Magick and Medicine, Angela Bowman
Mmmm… tea, syrup, massage oil, and salve from this tree that just might be in your living
room right now.    
Amish Chow Chow, Rita Richardson
How to make this pickled Amish delight.                                                           
Hello Herbies, Marci Tsohonis
The long road to gathering some local herb friends.                                       
Dreaming of a New Garden for 2020, Jackie Johnson                                
What sort of theme garden might you like to try this year?
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea, Tina Sams
This beautiful color changing tea has some interesting benefits.                
Meet the Contributors