Saturday 26 February 2011

What to read when?

My world is a busy one at the moment and I seem to spend most of my time, like Alice, running to stay in the same place. I missed the due date for the February blog party because I was up in North Yorkshire offering training to a Carers group and the Army Welfare Service up in Catterick Garrison.

Between the two training sessions, Chris and I spent a wonderful time in York discovering new museums, reconnecting with those we had visited before and enjoying amazing food. We also met some new Vikings from Stoke on Trent outside the Yorvik Museum who offered to come and demonstrate ancient methods of breadmaking at the herb festival if they are free that weekend.

Now we're home again with the luxury of an undesignated weekend, so I can catch up with articles, jar washing and plant maintenance. (Yes, I know, I have strange priorities!)

Here, as promised are some book lists for those of you who are wondering what to read and when.

For complete beginners
These are books with which you cannot go wrong. They are all simple, straightforward, good illustrations, easy to read and the recipes/formulae work.
Bruton-Seal, J & Seal, M Hedgerow Medicine: Harvest & make your own herbal remedies 2008 Merlin Unwin Books Ltd ISBN 978 1 873674 99 4
Bruton-Seal, J & Seal, M Kitchen Medicine: Household Remedies for Common Ailments and Domestic Emergencies 2010 Merlin Unwin Books Ltd ISBN 978 1 906122188
These two books are relatively new, stunning pictures and easy to follow recipes.

Hoffman, D The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal 1996 Element Books
ISBN 1 85230 847 8 The first herb tutor I ever bought – very safe, gives practical information which is easy to follow and replicate. All his books contain basically the same information so you can swap one for another.

McIntyre, A The Complete Herbal Tutor 2010 Gaia Books Ltd ISBN 9781856753180 Anne’s new book is lovely – beautiful illustrations, comprehensive material medica and she references all the attributes of each plant which has lead me to new books and authors.

Ody, P The Complete Medicinal Herbal 1993 Dorling Kindersley ISBN 0 7513 0025 X The second herb tutorial I bought. Again, all Penelope’s books are very safe and practical. This one has interesting case studies to illustrate uses and a table of doses for children at various weights and ages which I found useful.

Shaw, N Bach Flower Remedies : A Step-by-Step Guide 1998 Element Books ISBN 1 86204 106 7
Shaw, N Herbal Medicine : A Step-by-Step-Guide 1998 Element Books ISBN 1 86204 196 2
Shaw, N Herbalism: An Illustrated Guide 1998 Element Books ISBN 1-86204-224-1
Shaw, N & Hedley, C Herbal Remedies 1996 Parragon Books Services Ltd ISBN 1-84164-054-9
Chris Hedley and Non Shaw are husband and wife who have practiced herbal medicine since the 1960s. They have been teaching and sharing their herbal knowledge for many years and are beloved by the international herbal community. Their books are easily accessible and full of delightful surprises – being far more comprehensive than the layout suggests. I just wish they would write many, many more!

Wardwell, J The Herbal Home Remedy Book 1998 Versa Press ISBN-13 978 1 58017 016 1
Joyce’s book is the only American book which I’ve included in the complete beginner section because it’s very good and gives you confidence to go and make your own remedies. The only drawback is that she uses some trees which are not local in the UK.

Single herb books
Chevalier, A Nature’s Remedies, St John’s Wort, The natural antidepressant and more 1999 North Atlantic Books ISBN 9 781556 433313 50995
Davies, J R Hawthorn 2000 Element Books Ltd ISBN 1 86204 557 7
Davies, J R Marigold 2000 Element Books Ltd ISBN 1 86204 558 5
Davies, J R Ginkgo 1999 Element Books Ltd ISBN 1 86204 504 6
Davies, J R Saw Palmetto 2000 Element Books Ltd ISBN 1 86204 556 9
Davies, J R Ginger 2000 Element Books Ltd ISBN 1 86204 708 1
Davies, J R Cranberry 2000 Element Books Ltd ISBN 1 86204 707 3
Davies, J R Aloe Vera 2000 Element Books Ltd ISBN 1 86204 709 X
Mars, B Dandelion Medicine 1999 Storey Books ISBN 1 58017 207 5

Delightful read books
These are herb books to curl up with and savour. They are beautifully written from the heart and make you feel good.
Bennett, RR Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook 1994 Sterling Publishing Co ISBN 0 8069 7871 6
Berger, J Herbal Rituals 1998 St Martin's Press ISBN 0 312 192 81 9
Edwards, G F Opening Our Wild hearts to the Healing Herbs 2000 Ash Tree Publishing ISBN 1-888123 01 X
Levy, J de bairacli Common Herbs for Natural Health 1997 Ash Tree Publications ISBN 9780961462086
Levy, J de bairacli Nature’s Children 1996 Ash Tree Publications ISBN 9780961462086
Rago, L O Blackberry Cove Herbal: Healing with common herbs 2000 Capital Books Inc ISBN 1-931868220

Other good books to have in your library
Griggs, B The Greenwitch: A Modern Women’s Herbal 1993 Random House Publishing Ltd ISBN 0 09 182681 0
McGarry, G Brighid’s Healing:Ireland’s Celtic Medicine Traditions 2005 Green Magic ISBN: 0954723023
Anything written by Anne McIntyre, David Hoffman, Penelope Odey

Women’s Herbals
Rogers, C The Women’s Guide to Herbal Medicine1995Penguin Ltd ISBN0 241 13349 1
Weed, S Wise Woman Herbal Healing Wise 1989 Ash Tree Publishing ISBN 0 9614620 2 7 Don’t be put off by the strange writing style, the basic information is good.
Weed, S New Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way 2002 Ash Tree Publishing ISBN 1 888123 03 6 Some of this book may be hard to take at the time of reading, but it deals with many issues not covered by other authors.

Mens Herbals
Buhner, SH Vital Man : Natural Health Care for men at Midlife 2003 Avery ISBN 1 58333 136 0 This is good, but I found his use of herbal tablets etc disappointing.

Herbal energetics
Some of these books can be difficult to get your head around in the first instance, but certainly increase your understanding of how herbs work from a Western energetic standpoint. Many herbalists have chosen to use Eastern energetic mechanisms. Anne Macintyre uses Ayuvedic, Penelope Odey, Lesley and Michael Tierra all write from a Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) viewpoint. All are equally valid, but since I live in Europe, which has historically used a Unami Tibb/Arabic influenced set of energetics, I stick with that.

Wood, M The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism : Basic Doctrine, Energetics and Classification 2004 North Atlantic Books ISBN 9 781556 435034 51595
Wood, M Vitalism 2005 (2nd Edition) North Atlantic Books ISBN 978 1 55645 340 5

Using herbs on an energetic level
Buhner, SH Sacred Plant Medicine: Explorations in the Practice of Indigenous Herbalism 1996 Raven Press ISBN 0 9708696 06
Buhner, SH The Secret Teachings of Plants 2004 Bear & Co ISBN-13 978 159143035 3
Cowan, E Plant Spirit Medicine 1995 Swan Raven & Co ISBN 1 893183 11 4

More advanced herbals
Buhner, SH Herbal Antibiotics :natural alternatives for treating drug-resistant bacteria 1999 Storey Publishing ISBN 9781580171489
Winston, D & Maimes, S Adaptogens: Herbs for strength, stamina and stress relief 2007 Healing Arts Press ISBN-13 9781594771583
Wood, M The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines 1997 North Atlantic Books ISBN 9 781556 432323 52000
Wood, M The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants 2008 North Atlantic Books ISBN 9 781556 436925
Wood, M The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants 2009 North Atlantic Books ISBN 9 781556 437793

Wildcrafting books
Hawes, Z Wild Drugs: A Forager's guide to healing plants 2010 Octopus Publishing Group ISBN 9781856753104 Zoe's book was published last year and is a real gem. Lovely pictures and clear, concise information on recognition, habitat and other plants/herbs growing nearby. She also includes some recipes.

Historical herbal uses
Beith, M Healing Threads: Traditional Medicines of the Highlands and Islands 1995 Polygon ISBN 0 7486 6199 9
Hadfield, G Memory, Wisdom & Healing : The History of Domestic Plant Medicine 1999 Sutton Publishing ISBN0 7509 3462 X
Hadfield, G Hadfield’s Herbal : The Secret History of British Plants 2007 Penguin Books
ISBN 978 0 140 51577 0
Paine, A The Healing Power of Celtic Plants 2006 O Books ISBN 9781905047628
Pollington, S Leechcraft 2000 Anglo-Saxon Books ISBN 1 989281 238

Historical herbals
Culpeper, N Complete Herbal 1653 Wordsworth Reference 1995 ISBN 185326345 1
Grieve, M A Modern Herbal 1973 (revised) Random House ISBN 1-904779018
Lane, J John Hall and his Patients 1996 The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust ISBN 0-90420104X
Pughe, J The Physicians of Myddfai 2008 Llanerch Press ISBN 1897853157

Growing Herbs
Brown, D Growing Herbs 1995 Dorling Kindersley ISBN 0 7513 0216 3
McVicar, J Jekka’s Complete Herb Book 1994 Kyle Cathie Ltd 1 85626 346 0 (Some of Jekka’s medicinal herb comments should be verified in other books before accepting.)
Seagull, B The Herb Garden Month by Month David and Charles 1994 ISBN 0-7153-0567-0

Wednesday 9 February 2011

February blog party: call for submissions

This months' UK Herbarium blog party is hosted by Danielle at The Teacup Chronicles .

Danielle says "The theme of February’s UK Herbarium blog party, then, is “Gems from the Herbal Library” – an opportunity to share your most beloved herb books with one another. Tell us about what books you just can’t live without; the ones you could read cover to cover; those you take into the field with you; the ones with all your favorite recipes or those that you always go to first when you need information. In short, please share with us your favorite and most trusted books, and why you love them so!"

Books are something I have always loved and I can easily spent dreamy hours just re-arranging them, let alone reading them! This is also a timely posting as my apprentices have asked for booklists from me and I need to sort out my lists to include some of the latest publications. Now I just need to make time to do it all!