New Book: Medicinal Mushrooms: The Essential Guide

Mushrooms have been used as medicine for thousands of years and their value in boosting immunity, improving memory, and even fighting cancer is being recognized and documented in scientific research. Christopher Hobbs, a mycologist and herbalist at the forefront of contemporary research, profiles the most powerful medicinal mushrooms and explains the nutritional and medicinal compounds in each one. Detailed instructions cover how to select, store, and prepare each variety for use. Whether readers are growing or foraging their own mushrooms, or sourcing them from a local provider, this essential handbook will guide them in making health-boosting medicine.

This book is available on Amazon.

New book: The Forest Reminds Us Who We Are

Order from publisher.

A guidebook for tapping into the medicinal power of wild plants for recovering and maintaining spiritual, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Our ancestors drew health, strength, nourishment, and meaning from their relationship to the natural world, and yet today most of us have lost that vital connection. It should then come as no surprise that we are living in an age of unprecedented anxiety, depression, loneliness, and illness. Drawing from herbal medicine, somatic psychology, Celtic wisdom, and his own experiences, author Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue outlines an approach to herbal healing for the mind and spirit that is uniquely suited to our modern times. Plants are our wild kindred and have the power to connect us with the life within and around us. O’Donoghue takes readers on a journey through some of the ways our bodies, minds, and spirits have become unbalanced in an unbalanced world. He then blends lyrical, mythic, and scientific understandings to help us to understand the potent power of plant medicine. Also included are simple rituals designed to deepen our connections to our own bodies, the land, and both new and familiar plant allies. This is the ideal book for anyone new to herbalism, as well as seasoned herbalists, naturopaths, body workers, and psychologists.

Ashkenazi Herbalism

New book:

Ashkenazi Herbalism: Rediscovering the Herbal Traditions of Eastern European Jews

From the publisher:

The definitive guide to the medicinal plant knowledge of Ashkenazi herbal healers–from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

Until now, the herbal traditions of the Ashkenazi people have remained unexplored and shrouded in mystery. Ashkenazi Herbalism rediscovers the forgotten legacy of the Jewish medicinal plant healers who thrived in Eastern Europe’s Pale of Settlement, from their beginnings in the Middle Ages through the modern era.

Including the first materia medica of 26 plants and herbs essential to Ashkenazi folk medicine, Ashkenazi Herbalism sheds light on the preparations, medicinal profiles, and applications of a rich but previously unknown herbal tradition–one hidden by language barriers, obscured by cultural misunderstandings, and nearly lost to history. Written for new and established practitioners, it offers illustrations, provides information on comparative medicinal practices, and illuminates the important historical and cultural contexts that gave rise to Eastern European Jewish herbalism.

Part I introduces a brief history of the Ashkenazim and provides an overview of traditional medicine among Eastern European Jews. Part II offers a comparative overview of healing customs among Jews of the Pale of Settlement, their many native plants, and the remedies applied by local healers to treat a range of illnesses. This materia medica names each plant in Yiddish, English, Latin, and other relevant languages, and the book also details a brief history of medicine; the roles of the ba’alei shem, feldshers, opshprekherins, midwives, and brewers; and the remedy books used by Jewish healers.

Important New TCM Book Translation

This 976 page book is the labor of many years of work and is of great importance to the English language body of work on Traditional Chinese Medicine.

From the publisher’s website:

Written by Cheng Wuji and published in 1144, this is a complete commentary on the entire text of On Cold Damage (the Shang Han Lun) in the Song dynasty order. The entire text means that Cheng’s commentary includes the four chapters on the pulse, as well as the chapters on the prohibitions in the back of the Shang Han Lun. All told this adds another 250 lines of text to what has been accepted in the West as the Shang Han Lun. In addition to Cheng Wuji’s commentary, Jonathan Schell has annotated and translated Cheng’s lines with over 1600 lines from the Su Wen, 500 lines from the Ling Shu, 22 Difficulties from the Nan Jing, numerous passages from the Classic of the Pulse (Mai Jing), and commentary from Zhang Jingyue’s Lei Jing, Zhang Zhicong’s commentaries on the Su Wen and Ling Shu, Wang Bing’s commentary on the Su Wen, and as well as numerous other Shang Han Lun commentators. This books has been produced in full color, where the color has been used to show the attributed and unattributed quotes which the commentators use to illustrate their points. This book also includes 52 illustrations with commentary by the translator, 35 of which were composed by Cheng Wuji and 17 which have been composed by Jonathan Schell. This book illustrates the pinnacle of classical thought, where the reader, through the annotations can trace Cheng’s thought process and apply the canonical texts of Chinese medicine, as cited by Cheng, to the understanding of the Shang Han Lun.

New Book: Herbal Allies by Robert Rogers

The following quote comes from the Publisher’s page about this book:

Chronicling more than forty-five years of his intimate relationship with the plant world, Robert Rogers describes the journey that led him to become an herbalist and shares his deep knowledge of the twenty plants that form the soul of his medicine kit. Rogers weaves personal experience, observations, and knowledge from indigenous healers, and many years of expertise from his practice as a professional herbalist and clinical professor to present a unique and fascinating narrative that not only limns one man’s vital connection to plants but also provides invaluable information on effectively using plant medicine for the prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions.

Organized in chapters according to the optimum harvest seasons as determined by the Cree lunar cycles, the twenty plants include familiar trees such as the aspen, birch, spruce, and poplar as well as lesser-known small plants such as Labrador tea, cow parsnip, and buffalo berry. Each plant is introduced and described, and its specific merits, qualities, and usages are presented through the author’s personal experiences, in traditional practices by indigenous cultures, modern commercial uses, the author’s professional clinical treatments, the medicinal constituents of each plant, homeopathic applications, and recipes using various parts of the plants. Detailed photos of each plant provide reliable identification. Rogers also conveys common names, tips for collection, and observations on the personality traits and spiritual properties of the plants. Poems, stories, and legends from different cultures round out portraits of the plants as living beings that speak to us in a language we need to learn.

Two Recent Books on American Health Care

Salt Reduction Questioned

We have not read or reviewed this book yet but hopefully it’s one we will get to. The traditional systems of health respected the role of salt in digestion and health and had a healthy balance with it.

Matthew Wood’s New Book The Earthwise Herbal Repertory

matthew_wood_earthwise_herbal_repertory

I’m a bit late to announce this book that came out in November of 2016.  I own 6 of his 8 excellent books and while his approach is different than mine and from most of the herbalists I study (in that he utilizes homeopathy) it’s this very difference that I find valuable.

Internationally known herbalist Matthew Wood takes the guesswork out of the application of medicinal plants and provides an invaluable cross-reference of constitutional types, energetic categories, and specific symptoms that helps the herbalist narrow down the number of possible remedies for a specific condition. Unlike many reference books in which medicinal plants are defined simply by condition or disease name, this book contains tools to differentiate between remedies and analyze each case in a holistic fashion. While this system of cross-referencing is well known to homeopaths, it is less frequently used by herbalists; The Earthwise Herbal Repertory seeks to bridge the gap between different systems, incorporating knowledge from ancient Greek and traditional Native American medicine, nineteenth-century botanical medicine, homeopathy, and modern biomedical research. This definitive repertory proves useful for homeopaths and herbalists, professionals and home practitioners alike.