Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts

Early Book Review: Northeast Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 111 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness by Liz Neves

Northeast Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 111 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness by Liz Neves is currently scheduled for release on May 26 2020. It is a guide to finding, identifying, harvesting, and using 111 of the region’s most powerful wild plants. Readers will learn how to safely and ethically forage, and how to use wild plants in herbal medicines including teas, tinctures, and salves. Plant profiles include clear, color photographs, identification tips, medicinal uses and herbal preparations, and harvesting suggestions. Lists of what to forage for each season makes the guide useful year-round. Thorough, comprehensive, and safe, this is a must-have for foragers, naturalists, and herbalists in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Northeast Medicinal Plants is a well organized and detailed guide. I like that the book takes the time to explain some of the most important, and sometimes ignored, factors of identifying and gathering plants, like making sure you have permission before harvesting from private property. The explanations of the use, preparation, and  the aspects of the plants that aid in identification. Even though I have made my own tinctures and grown my own ingredients in the past I found the information to be laid out in an accessible manner that lends itself to being referred back to as desired. I liked that the basics never read in a condescending tone, which sometimes happens when someone tries to talk about things that are second nature to them but might be new to others. I also liked that the importance of understand the nature of each plant is stressed, as some as very poisonous, some have very useful roots but problematic leaves or stems, and so on. The details about the individual plants and their use to be well done and comprehensive, and I learned quite a bit about some of my favorite, and least favorite, plants that can be found in my backyard and surrounding areas. I also really enjoyed that Neves included and comprehensive list of references and resources, as dedicated readers and wildcraft enthusiast can further expand their understanding and possibly lend a hand with conservation. I also found the photography to be very well done and worth enjoying in its own right.

Northeast Medicinal Plants is a valuable resource for anyone that is interested in the wild herbs of the area, and how to use them. I think it would be a good addition to public libraries and for the personal libraries of those that are interested in the subject matter.

Book Review: The Illustrated Herbiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Bewitching Botanicals by Maia Toll, Katherine O'Hara


The Illustrated Herbiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Bewitching Botanicals is a guide written by Maia Toll, with illustrations by Katherine O'Hara. Rosemary is for remembrance; sage is for wisdom. The symbolism of plants — whether in the ancient Greek doctrine of signatures or the Victorian secret language of flowers — has fascinated us for centuries. Contemporary herbalist Maia Toll adds her distinctive spin to this tradition with profiles of the mysterious personalities of 36 herbs, fruits, and flowers. Combining a passion for plants with imagery reminiscent of tarot, enticing text offers reflections and rituals to tap into each plant’s power for healing, self-reflection, and everyday guidance. Smaller versions of the illustrations are featured on 36 cards to help guide your thoughts and meditations.

The Illustrated Herbiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Bewitching Botanicals is a lovely book for both exploring to expand your knowledge and understanding of herbs, and to narrow in on a certain plant and better understand it. I like that the book explains the path to knowledge that led to the book I also really enjoyed the artwork, beautiful regardless of if it is there to decorate a section's beginning or to illustrate the herb being explained and explored. As someone that grows their own herbs and enjoys explore their uses, understands that most medicine began with the basics of herbal knowledge, and the belief in science and study I found the idea and approach of this book to resonate with me on several levels. For those looking for a new way to center themselves or meditate these rituals could be just what they are looking for. Since I was reading a digital copy I did not have the botanical cards, and so did not got to try the layouts and ideas offered at the end of the book for their use. However, I did like the ideas for rituals and the new ways of looking at some of my favorite herbs, and some that I had never thought too much about. 
This book is exactly what you would expect from the title, and has lovely illustrations alongside the text throughout the entire book. If this is the type of information and ritual that hold interest for you, this book will be a valuable addition to your library.