I received advanced copies of these two new herb books; The Healing Power of Herbs, and The Herbal Medicine Cookbook. Both are written by fellow herbalists that I have known for many years. Both are appropriate for those who are new to herbs and those who have used herbs for years. I think you will enjoy both.
The Healing Power of Herbs; Medicinal Herbs for Common Ailments, by Tina Sams, 2019 by Althea Press
I’ve known Tina Sams for many year now through an online herbal group she manages. Her enthusiasm for herbs is contagious and she has started many people on their own path with herbs.
Don’t be intimidated. This book is not a technical discussion of herbal properties meant for advanced herbalists. This book is meant for Mothers, housewives, and friends. Those who want to live a more herbal lifestyle and be helpful to those around them. It’s about how to take those first steps of living a more earth centered lifestyle and becoming more aware. It’s about staying healthy rather than curing disease (where you might want to consult with a specialist; herbal or other). It’s about how to be comfortable using herbs in a number of different ways on a daily basis.
In the book, Tina gives instructions in somewhat general terms, so you can adapt them to what works best for you. I like that she emphasizes labeling things. A tincture should have the name of the herb, the date made, the ingredients, and what it’s used for. Believe me, it’s frustrating to have to throw your goods away because you are sure you will remember what they are, but after a year or two, no one remembers!
She also includes a brief, understandable explanation of individual energetic constitutions as well as herbal energetics. Tina chose 30 essential herbs to discuss. And encourages the reader to pick 5-10 of their favorites to familiarize themselves with and use those to make teas, syrups, elixers etc from. This is a great way to start feeling comfortable with herbs. She includes recipes for each herb to get you started. My favorites from her list are calendula, echinacea, elder, sage and of course lavender!
Grab this book and curl up over the winter learning about herbs. Then pick a few to plant in your garden this spring.
The Herbal Medicine Cookbook; Everyday Recipes to Boost Your Health. Susan Hess and Tina Sams, 2019 by Althea Press
Susan Hess is another herbalist that I have known and followed for many years. Her new book, written with Tina Sams has beautiful photos that draw you into the herbal lifestyle. Tina and Susan have always been willing to offer their opinions and advice on how they would use a given herb and it’s great to see it put down in a book now.
Susan advocates for a lifestyle centered around the kitchen and around using herbs in cooking. While the idea of the kitchen and cooking as the center of life was once a given, now it seems almost revolutionary. Using seasonal foods along with herbs can help nourish both body and soul.
Recipes in this book utilize familiar herbs and ingredients and Susan spells out in detail what tools and supplies are needed for your kitchen. Cooking does not mean it has to be gourmet food as is often the thought today. These are simple recipes, all of which contain herbs. She also talks about growing and harvesting your own herbs.
Although I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, I am eager to try Eggs with Polenta and Bitter Greens, White Bean and Escarole Soup, and Sweet and Savory Nuts with Three Herbs.
Being a vegetarian, it would be easy for me to substitute non meat options in some of the recipes that include meat. Hummus has become a popular food that is easily found in the grocery in recent years. But do you realize how easy it is to make? Susan includes a recipe for hummus in this book too that is very similar to one I make often.
There are recipes for herbal vinegars, syrups, infused honey, and shrubs. While most of the recipes are quick and easy, a few you might want to save for a weekend when you have more time.
Winter is a great time to start to make some simple changes in your routine to welcome these healing herbs into your diet. So grab this book and enjoy the darkness of winter while you try some new recipes.