Root to Stem by Alex Laird

What a wonderful little book! Little in size but amazing in content. Taken season by season it can serve as a timely reminder of plants to help our well-being but also to open our eyes to new adventures with the edibles in our gardens and hedgerows.

Each season includes the following: opportunities of the season (foods and what to pick and eat), challenges of the season, growing at home, beautifying your environment, well-being, movement and social connections and finally celebrations, anniversaries and special days.

A quick look at winter (December-February): ‘opportunities of the season’ with a very useful table showing what’s in season with a reminder that the roots of the dandelion are especially good to eat just now with its ant-viral and digestive properties. So many useful hints; for example, the most medicinal parts of citrus fruits are their skin, pith and pips, I have always since I was a small child eaten my orange skins having been told to by my mum! It is great to be reminded of the value, not only vitamin C but anti-cancer and other health-giving chemicals. I love that recipes are included such as immune boosting soup, anti-viral spray and flu tea. A discussion about SAD and rebooting circadian rhythms is fascinating; many of the ideas we may have come across before, but it is having the information in a nutshell which is so very useful!

This is a pocket guide to improve our well-being, a book to be kept with us not on a bookshelf. I was so impressed with the use of natural ingredients on our doorstep that I have purchased this book for friends this Christmas!

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