When Lucy told me she was writing a book, I knew it would be special and close to my heart. We both trained in Western Herbal Medicine with the same organisation, and were mentored by three amazing female herbalists and naturopaths who had a generous spirit and a wealth of knowledge.
I was surprised at how few herbalists grow or make medicine, as surely that is what being a herbalist is about. There was a time when apothecaries had to tend a garden and learn how to identify and use herbs to make their medicines.
Lucy explains the importance of growing your own, for sustainability, environmental issues, diversity, connection with herbs, continuity of supply and how the weather, environment, harvesting, storing, and processing of herbs can all affect quality.
She encourages us to get to know our own locality, the plants around us and learn from watching and connecting with them. Many herbs have fallen out of favour as the world has taken from other cultures and climates. However, a plant’s growing conditions will affect the medicinal properties and flavour, which is why looking both to our past and future is important for what is available.
Lucy has helped the reader reconnect and have the confidence to use herbs, with many of them being free and often abundant. This is not about the chemical constituents of herbs and their uses for conditions, it’s about a traditional, self-sufficient and sustainable way of life, and a greater understanding of our connection to nature.
For some this is a lifestyle and passion that is possible, if not 100 per cent, at least we can all strive to be part way towards it. Building on the principle year-by-year, learning, and gaining confidence in how.
This book is beautifully illustrated throughout and divided into part 1 and 2, with all the information to guide the reader into seasonality and an interconnectedness. For amateurs and professionals alike, this is a book to cherish and guide you on a journey of discovery and connection with our