Herbal Therapy for Women by Elisabeth Brooke

Published by Aeon, this is a reissue of the Elisabeth Brooke classic, originally published in 19992,which is a considered and concise introduction to herbal therapies for women.  As many readers will know, Elisabeth qualified as a Medical Herbalist with the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in 1980. She opened and runs a training clinic, as well as a private practice in London and teaches and lectures worldwide.
Herbal Therapy for Women is go-to for herbal students, those new to herbal medicine, as well as experienced practitioners wishing to reacquaint themselves with Elisabeth’s teachings. The book is a small paper back, clearly laid out and easy to read, with sections covering practical information such as how to collect and store herbs, roots and seeds, drying, storage and an overview of herbal preparations. It then moves onto sections on puberty, the menopause, common gynaecological problems, serious diseases, diet and exercise and a useful herbal featuring herbs most used in Elisabeth’s practice.
Elisabeth’s explanations of how one herb will reap spectacular results with one patient, but when the same herb is used by another practitioner for the same condition seems to have no effect at all, allows the reader to delve further into the emotional descriptions provided for each herb.
The list of herbs used is thorough, but not exhaustive but as Elisabeth explains, it is better to have less information and use it well than have an exhaustive list and feel overwhelmed. For each of the herbs listed there is a brief overview of the arts used, picking time, main actions, constituents and common names, along with both physical and importantly emotional uses. Most of the 37 herbs featured include a preparation and we are re-introduced to long standing friends including Nettle, Sage, Rosemary and Red Clover, alongside Squaw Vine for those who feel overwhelmed and unable to cope and False Unicorn Root as the ideal remedy for those who fear they have a serious illness.
Herbal Therapies for Women is a much-loved classic and is certainly worth a revisit. Elisabeth’s holistic approach and personal anecdotes of what has worked well in her own experience is a valuable reminder of the importance of the personalised approach when working with all patients.
This invaluable herbal provides a concise and knowledgeable introduction to herbs and working with women.

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