Before the advent of the modern pharmaceutical industry, mankind relied for thousands of years on medicinal plants and herbs to cure its ills. And today, as our faith in the infallibility of modern medicine begins to waver, we are turning back to the ancient wisdom of plant lore. The use of herbs for the relief of physical ills is a subject well covered in other publications. This book turns towards the subtler properties of herbs, exploring their ability to soothe our soul and heal our spirit. The first section of the book examines individual herbs, both Western and Chinese, classifying them by their subtle action: from "Herbs that Invite Peace and Stillness" to "Herbs that Gladden the Heart" and "Love Potions". Section two is a clear and practical guide to using the herbs in their different forms. It explains how to pick, preserve and use the herbs. The last section is a comprehensive "Materia Medica" including physical appearance, folklore, medicinal uses, cautions and contra-indications.
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'...beautifully presented, well researched yet succinct and has a depth of understanding about the huge subject gained from experience.' -- Permaculture Magazine
'Tamara Kircher... combines her knowledge of Western and Chinese herbs in a way that clearly shows her passion for the plant world.' -- Kindred Spirit
Herbs have been used for healing for as long as humans have walked the earth. But it is only in the last few centuries that we have limited their use to healing on a physical level. As we seek a more holistic approach- one that brings harmony to the body, mind and spirit- we can look back to folklore and the traditional ways in which herbs were prescribed to help us understand their true gifts. Old herbal lore makes fascinating reading, giving us different perspectives on the wonders of plants. The herbal knowledge of other times and other societies- often based on extensive practical experience- can provide insights that help us look beyond definitions limited to the chemical components to rediscover the true essences of herbs. Many of the conditions that traditional healers sought to alleviate remain with us today, such as meloncholy, depression and apathy toward our lives. And by building on their knowledge we have been able to find new cures for more modern afflictions of the soul, such as stress, anxiety and boredom. With the advent of the new millenium, it is appropriate that we reach back to the wealth of herbal wisdom from the past, while at the same time looking forward to what we have yet to discover about plant cures for physical diseases and the remarkable healing gifts of herbs for the soul.
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