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Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition: An Ethnobotany of Britain & Ireland [Hardcover]

David E Allen , Gabrielle Hatfield
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Jan 2004
Assembled by two of the most distinguished botanical and ethnological scholars in Britain, this book chronicles the medicinal uses of more than 400 species used by the plain folk of Britain and Ireland. The history of these plants' usages has been mined from rich firsthand accounts captured by surveys, from more than 1000 manuscript volumes of the Irish Folklore Commission, and from close to 300 other published and unpublished sources. The book includes chosen illustrations from herbals such as those by Bock, Fuchs, and Brunfels, and a selection of color photographs by Deni Bown.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (15 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881926388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881926385
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 787,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


Perfect for plant lovers, historians, and those interested in folklore. -- —The Bookseller, April 9, 2004

About the Author

David E. Allen studied archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge. An long interest in field botany led to his becoming president and an honorary member of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, and past president of the Society for the History of Natural History, which has awarded him a Founder's Medal for his substantial contribution to the study of the history of natural history. He is the author of numerous botanical books. Gabrielle Hatfield studied botany at Cambridge, followed by a doctorate from Edinburgh on the history of the use of plants in medicine in Scotland. Her research on plant remedies in East Anglia was recognized by the award of the Michaelis-Jena Ratcliff Prize. She is a research associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a member of the council of management of Ethnomedica, an organization formed to collect and preserve a fast-disappearing aspect of the British heritage - its medicinal plant traditions.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a herbal 18 Jun 2011
First things first, this book is NOT a herbal. It is a historical record of the medicinal uses to which plants have been put, in the folk tradition, not the orthodox medical, in Britain and Ireland. It is an attempt to record knowledge that is in the process of being almost completely lost, and as such is both exhaustive and scientific, Geoffrey Grigson as reinterpreted by a B.Sc. I'm not sure who it would be useful to, outside of academic libraries, but if you are interested in folk medicine it is a book to consult alongside Mrs Grieve and others who have produced traditional herbals.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical herbal 3 Feb 2011
This is a very comprehensive survey of herbs and the history of their use, but if you are after information as to how to use herbs yourself it doesn't go into doses or which part of the plant to extract the active ingredient from.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethnobotany for europeans--finally! 28 Jan 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I absolutely adore this book. I work in a laboratory that focuses on native american herbs and wanted to break free of the pack somewhat. While there is, naturally, some overlap in use between the two cultures, there are some uses and herbs that are not discussed in north american herbals. A must have for anyone serious about herbology!
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for Herbalists and Historians 26 Feb 2014
By Ellen E. Hopman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book that herbalists and those interested in herbal lore will find valuable. I will likely use it as inspiration when I write future fiction and non-fiction about the Celtic lands.
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