Rodale's 21st-Century Herbal: A Practical Guide for Healthy Living Using Nature's Most Powerful Plants

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9781609618049: Rodale's 21st-Century Herbal: A Practical Guide for Healthy Living Using Nature's Most Powerful Plants
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It turns out that Mother Nature is a brilliant chemist. Our ancestors have used indigenous herbs in daily life for thousands of years due to these plants' ability to heal and promote good health. Now modern science has identified the compounds that give herbs their medicinal qualities, scent, and flavor. The extraordinary diversity of herbal plants has the potential to improve our health and well-being, and we are wholeheartedly incorporating herbs, both fresh and dried, into our lifestyles—for well-being, healing, gardening, beauty, ceremony, and a richer, fuller life.

Presented in three parts, Rodale's 21st-Century Herbal by Michael Balick first explores the historical relationship between people and herbal plants and how it has evolved over time. In the second part, readers will delve into an A-to-Z encyclopedia of 180 of the most useful herbs from around the globe, not only familiar herbs like bilberry and nasturtium, but also cutting-edge herbs from other cultures, like red bush tea and maca, that are now available in the West. The final section highlights how herbs create a "fuller" life and features herbal cooking techniques, ways to use herbs for beauty and the bath, ideas for daily herbal use (such as green cleaning, fragrances, decor, smudging, and dyeing), gardening and growing how-tos (with illustrated garden designs), and advice for holistic herbal pet care.

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From the Author:

After many years of research and writing, I'm delighted that the "21st Century Herbal: A Practical Guide for Healthy Living Using Nature's Most Powerful Plants" was released by Rodale Press on April 29th. This book was a lot of fun to work on--it's modeled after the "Herball, Or Generall Historie of Plantes" written by John Gerard and published in 1597. His was a remarkable book, a medical self help reference that physicians and families could turn to for healing wisdom, using herbs. I've tried to do something similar, while updating the medical, horticultural, botanical, phytochemical, culinary, craft and gardening information. Included are "Field Notes" or observations made on traditional uses of plants during NYBG ethnobotanical journeys. There is also an extraordinary collection of color photos--180+ herbs taken by my friend Steven Foster, the noted herbalist and very talented plant photographer. I'm grateful that other friends contributed to this project, including Drs. Tieraona Low Dog and Andrew Weil. This book resulted from a discussion that Ethne Clarke and I had way back when during a visit hosted by Tom Newmark at his spice farm and ecolodge in Costa Rica, Finca Luna Nueva. A great environment to think, talk, plan and be humbled and inspired by the wisdom and beauty of nature. Thanks to many friends who contributed in so many ways and to the great folks at Rodale and NYBG for a beautifully designed book and remarkable writing experience!

About the Author:

Author Michael J. Balick holds a PhD in biology from Harvard University and is Vice President for Botanical Science, Director and Philecology Curator of The Institute of Economic Botany at The New York Botanical Garden. An ethnobotanist with a specialty in global medicinal and food plants and the role they play in traditional healing systems, Dr. Balick has conducted field work with indigenous cultures around the world for more than 30 years.

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