Book Review: Herbal Medicine: From the Heart of the Earth

Author: Dr. Sharol Marie Tilgner
Publisher: Malloy Lithographing, Inc.
Publish Date: 2009

We have all grown up knowing that ginger will aid an upset stomach, that aloe will soothe a burn or that Echinacea is good for a cold. But perhaps most of us never understood why these treatments alleviated discomfort or what other natural remedies will aid the ailments we suffer from.

Dr. Sharol Marie Tilgner (physician, herbalist and founder of Wise Woman Herbals) has kindly answered almost every question one may possibly have about the medicinal use of herbs in Herbal Medicine: From the Heart of the Earth.

The book is broken up into three main sections. The first is “Herbal Formulas,” which explains herbal use according to the body’s systems, such as digestive, endocrine, and circulatory. This classification is extremely helpful and informative. Not only does this section cover all areas of the body, but it is laid out in such a way that one can easily locate a remedy they are seeking or diagnose a specific ailment, without having to feverishly flip through the entire book.

The second main section is “Dosages.” It is difficult to know, and can even be dangerous to judge, the proper amount of specific herbs to ingest or use in a concoction. Here, Tilgner explains the difference between dosages in liquids and solids, as well as how to decide on what dosage to use. This experienced herbalist also provides readers with charts to explain the different measurements in herb dosages, as well as a dose-duration chart.

The third large section of this encyclopedia-type book is “How to Make Herbal Preparations.” Readers are given instruction on everything from collecting, drying and storing  herbs, to how to make your own capsules. Of course, not all herbal preparations are as time consuming as preparing capsules. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a warm cup of herbal tea? And for that, she has plenty of user-friendly recipes.

Throughout the book, Tilgner also includes information on: the properties and actions of herbs; formulas for specific health conditions; a dictionary of herbal preparations; an explanation of the numerous herbs written about in this book—including the parts to be used for herbal medicine, tastes and smells, tendencies, constituents, use and more.

Herbal Medicine: From the Heart of the Earth is for anyone who is interested in incorporating herbs into their daily lives. With near 200 herbs detailed, including the herbs’ respective dosages, specific indications, general uses, active constituents and contradictions, and an index to help locate the information, there is something everyone can take away from this big book in the herbal sky.

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