2 Responses to Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments

  1. Dianne Foster "Di"
    Dianne Foster "Di" May 22, 2011 at 3:43 am | | Reply
    73 of 76 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent resource for medicinal uses….., December 10, 2000
    By 
    Dianne Foster “Di” (USA) –
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments (Hardcover)

    With the wide selection of books on herbal uses confronting the average herbalist or curious reader, how is one to choose which resource is best? The answer is that it is impossible to use only one resource. Chevallier’s books come close to being the one resource to use for employing herbs for medicinal purposes, but because the misuse of herbs can be deadly, I rely on a variety of material and crossreference my applications. In other words, if anyone says an herb has proved poisonous, I am careful. ….

    ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBAL MEDICINE (EHM) by Andrew Chevallier is an update of his book THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS (EMP). EHM covers most of the same plants as EMP, but contains more up-to-date information from various sources conducting research on the properties and uses of herbs, including herbal systems in other parts of the world such as the U.K. and Germany, (i.e. not exclusively reliant on the actions of the FDA or USDA for all it’s information).

    EHM, as did EMP before it, includes one of the largest selections of plants for medicinal uses. Not all the plants are botonacally speaking “herbs.” Black Cherry, for example, is a tree, but like many other trees has constituent parts that may be used for medicinal purposes, and therefore viewed as an “herbal” remedy for certain conditions (chronic dry, irritable coughs!!)–or kill you if you ingest an excess. ….

    EHM is not much concerned with the manufacture of floral sachets or assembly of ingredients for pot pourri, or how to lay out your herbal garden for that matter. In fact, my suspician is that the average EHM reader will probably consult the health food store for herbal items, and not grow herbs in the back yard or try to harvest them in the nearest park. ….

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  2. Michael C. Hines
    Michael C. Hines May 22, 2011 at 3:52 am | | Reply
    58 of 64 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Yes it is an Encyclodedia., August 5, 2006
    By 
    Michael C. Hines (Woodhaven, NY, 11421) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments (Hardcover)

    Book Report:
    The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH
    Publisher: Dorling Kindersley, Limited

    I first decided to buy the book in hopes that it would be a good, up to the minute, desk reference on Medicinal Herbs. It turned out to be a little more of a text book to study by and what some book publishers call a coffee table book. A coffee table book is a book as large as a magazine, hardbound and full of color pictures, which would be entertaining even to people not interested in the subject yet. It is a good study help because of the sections in the back on how to use and administer herbs.
    The first section tells about how medicinal herbs work by affecting different systems of the body with a number of chemicals working together to effect change. The book does divide the body’s system up a little differently than the Heart of Herbs Course, Making it a little confusing for those of us trying to study both texts at the same time. The authors system is:
    The Skin, using herbs that are Antiseptic, Astringent and depurative.
    Immune System, using herbs that are Immune stimulants
    Respiratory System, using herbs that are Antiseptic, antibiotic, Expectorant,
    Demulcent, and spasmolytics
    Endocrine Glands using herbs that are adaptogens, hormonally active, and
    Emmenagogues
    Urinary System, using herbs that are antiseptic, astringent and diuretic.
    Musculoskeletal System using herbs that are analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, and
    Antispasmotic.
    Nervous System using herbs that are nerviness, relaxants, stimulants and tonics.
    Circulation and heart using herbs that are cardiotonics, circulatory stimulants,
    Diaphoretics, and spasmolytics.
    And the Digestive Organs using antiseptics, astringents, cholagogues, choleretics
    Demulcents, hepatics, laxatives and stomachics.
    Having all of the systems spread out with the medicinal actions associated with each one helps me to understand the medicinal action a little better.
    The next section explains active constituents. I never noticed it before but these active ingredients are arranged in ten basic classes: Phenols, Volatile Oils, Flavonoids, Tannins, Proanthocyanins, Coumarins, Saponins, Anthraquinones, Cardiac Glycosides, Cyanogenic Glycosides, Polysaccharides, Glucosilinates, Bitters, Alkaloids, Vitamins and minerals. The last two, most of us all ready understand.
    After a short discussion on quality control of herbs, there is a long history of Herbalism. People have been using herbs at least since 3000 BC, in Egypt, the Middle East, India and China. In the early times, Herbalism was connected to spiritualism, but it began to break away about 500BC. Hippocrates (460-377 BC) believed that an illness was a natural rather than a supernatural occurrence. Herbalism was well founded by trade between Europe and Asia through India and the Middle East from 300 to 600 BC. In Europe up through the so-called dark ages, people seemed to have a very good understanding of Herbalism. On the other side of the world an Herbalism tradition developed in the Maya, Aztec and Inca Civilizations unbeknownst to the Europeans.
    Between 1000 and 1400 AD, Universities, Hospitals and Medical schools were established which used Herbalism and in that time period Herbal medicine was the only medicine. International trade during the middle ages contributed to the development of herbal tradition, by making formerly exotic herbs available everywhere. Following the discovery of digitalis in the herb foxglove by Dr. William Withering, in 1795, techniques were developed to extract the chemicals out of herbs in order to use the basic medicines and gain better control over quality.
    From the early 19th century, laboratory produced medicines began to supplant mother nature as a source of medications. In 1803, narcotic alkaloids were extracted from opium poppies and a year later insulin was extracted form Elecampane, and in 1838 salicylic acid (Aspirine) was extracted from willow bark. From 1850 to 1900, conventional medicine established it’s own monopoly by trying to outlaw the use of medicines by any one not trained in a medical school.
    As late as 1930, 90% of the medicines sold in drug stores, were of herbal origin, but in the last 50 years synthetic chemicals have taken over the medical industry. Now the tide is beginning to turn back toward Herbalism, due in part to bad mistakes and bad experiences in the use of chemicals such as thalidomide and in the poor state of health in Western Societies.
    The next section of the book deals with the various herbal traditions, which have developed in such places as Europe, India, China, Africa, Australia, North America, and South America. Each location developed a slightly different tradition based on local tradition, religion and plants, as a…

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