This beautiful presented book is a revised edition by Medical Herbalist and member of the Ayurvedic Professional Association, College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy and National Institute of Medical Herbalists, Anne McIntyre. Anne has over 40 years of experience to offer and is a vice-president for our society, as she was president helping guide the society into the future.
There is coloured photography throughout the book, making identification and the overall look of the book a delight. This is an ideal reference book to dip into, but also one to sit and read in quite moments and learn about Herbal Traditions, the chemistry of herbs and how herbal consultations take place.
The Pharmacy section has many step-by-step instructions on remedies for both internal and external use, such as infusions, decoctions, tinctures, glycerites, vinegars, oxymels, herbal honeys, suppositories, powders, elixirs, poultices, pastes and plasters, and fragrant herbal baths, creams, ointments, etc.
At the heart of this book is the Materia Medica, which details herbs alphabetically by botanical name, describing pharmacological properties and medicinal actions of 150 herbs that are commonly used by Western Herbalists, it does not include herbs restricted to practitioner only use.
Each herbs family, part used, constituents, actions and cautions are listed, with good quality colour photography for each herb.
In the section titled Treating Common Ailments, it is organised by body systems, with excellent illustrations of the respiratory, urinary, nervous, musculo-skeletal, digestive, circulatory ,immune, skin, eyes, mouth and gums and hormonal, all with detailed suggestions on which herbs to use and how best to administer them. As with all suggestions from herbalists it includes lifestyle advise to support the healing.
There are case studies and information on what to expect in a consultation and treatment with a herbalist, Global Herbal Traditions and The Chemistry of Herbs are also in this book. The book ends with a small section on growing, harvesting and storing herbs, which really is the best way to be sure of the provenance of the herbs you use. This is a book that will find a place in the heart of many, who want to understand more about the wholistic nature of herbal medicine.
Reviewed by Barbara Wilkinson (Herb Society Trustee)
The Complete Herbal Tutor