Botanical Brain Balms by Nicolette Perry & Elaine Perry

In this beautifully illustrated, A5 sized hard back book, the authors explain the science behind centuries of evidence about how plants work and how important it is to have a lifestyle that includes them.

Chapters 1-5, discusses 56 plants in sections titled: Calming balms, Cognitive Boosters, Blues Busters, Sleep Promoters and Pain Relievers.

Chapter 6 focuses on ‘Energisers’ where the science is harder to establish when discussing ‘mental fatigue’ and ‘lack of vitality’. Chapter 7 covers ‘mind altering plants’ while 8 covers the ‘all rounders’ that have a wide range of affects.

Key ingredients, how to take, history and folklore, safety, legal status, in the lab and what the scientists say, are all part of each discussion. There are also recipes such as Bitter orange and almond cake, gluten free of course, but also cleaning sprays etc.

One of the authors is also the founder and curator of Dilston Physic garden in Northumberland. This is a place with an interest in the brain, memory, and cognitive function. As a result of collaboration with many well know individuals and organisations, Dilston has become a centre of merger with alternative and orthodox medicine.

The second author is a director, and the site has become a charity for the education of medicinal plants. They have connections with universities, Kew Botanical gardens and other research bodies driving the investigations further for the future.

This enjoyable yet informative book is one to dip in and out of frequently and could become essential recommending reading on student book lists. For myself, this book has only depended my yearning to a visit to what has become a well know and regarded Physic garden of Britain.

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