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Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes [Kindle Edition]

Susan Lynn Peterson , Carolyn Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Winner – 2011 USA Best Book Award
1st Runner Up – 2011 Eric Hoffer Award
Editor's Choice – 2011 IP's Highlighted Title Award
Editor's Choice – 2011 IP's Living Now Award

Healing with herbs has long been a tradition in the martial arts. Most martial artists are aware of this legacy; few are fortunate to study with teachers who understand and can teach the traditional Chinese formulas. The rest of us pick up what we can, whereever we can. This book is for the rest of us. Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes explores herbs that are readily available in the West. Sixty-four herbs common to Europe and North America are considered. Each herb is examined for its effectiveness, safety, and how to specifically use it to enhance martial arts and contact sports training. Readers will be able to choose an herb to meet a specific need, understand how to purchase it, prepare it, and use it safely. This book will be an asset for your library, don't put it on the bottom shelf, because you will refer to it often.

Product Description


..".a great read for martial artists, contact athletes, people with injuries, and anyone interested in herbal treatment. The spectrum of herbal remedies described here will arouse interest in the most skeptical mind."--Richard Skaff, Book Reviewer for ForeWord Reviews

About the Author

Susan Lynn Peterson Ph.D. holds a 5th degree black belt in Shuri-ryu karate, author of five books, including two martial arts, and an award winning theology text. She is a contributing writer to martial arts magazines and health & fitness websites. Peterson has spent many years and thousands of hours investigating the way herbs have been used in various cultures to treat injuries. Susan teaches karate and operates her communications business in Tucson Arizona.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 18951 KB
  • Print Length: 378 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594391971
  • Publisher: YMAA Publication Center (1 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005BOMP62
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,004,322 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Alt. herbalists 27 Feb. 2013
By Hoots
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You have to be a martial artist to benefit from this book, I try to use
herbs and remedies when injured, plants and trees are of the Euro/N.American varietly
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Reference for Martial Pains 1 Oct. 2010
By Derek Olsen - Published on
I am very impressed by this book. When I first saw a book on herbs coming from a martial arts press, I assumed that it would give instructions on using Western herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but that's not what this book is about at all. Rather, it is a clear and accessible guide to basic Western herbal treatments that combine traditional practices with medical research. (And glancing at the dates of the studies in the footnotes, it relies on recent research as well--not just a couple of old studies from 40 years ago...) The book doesn't try to be comprehensive and treat all herbs or prescribe for all disorders--like the title says, it focuses on the specific herbs that will address common injuries and ailments associated with heavy physical training.

The book is clearly laid out into six sections. The first introduces the purpose of the book and places a clear emphasis on good sense and safety. In particular, the author gives 9 principles for safety when using herbs, then a set of "good herbal habits." The second section is a herbal listing sixty-four herbs. Each description is broken into five parts: 1) an introduction giving common names, a photo, and information on traditional use; 2) What is it good for?: this lists the condition the herb treats, citing both traditional and modern Western medical opinion and gives a rating of 0 to 5 leaves based on the likelihood of effectiveness; 3) How do you use it?: this identifies the best preparation methods for releasing the herb's good stuff; 4) Dosage: How much do you use?: this gives clear dosing directions for the preparations recommended in the previous section; 5) What should you be aware of before using it?: this is the warning label section that provides cautions and identifies some possible interaction issues with medicines or other herbs. The third section gives directions on herbal preparations like decoctions, tinctures, creams and the others. The fourth discusses common injuries or conditions found in martial arts training and recommends a variety of treatment options; again, safety is foregrounded and the author sensibly reminds that herbs are not a substitute for medical attention when necessary. Section five is a (very) brief set of lists describing classes of herbs (i.e., "Herbs that may lower blood pressure" or "Herbs that have a laxative effect") and herbs that should not be used with certain medications. The sixth section offers a list of books and websites for further resources. A glossary and footnotes follow. Actually, the footnotes could be considered a seventh section on their own (you can tell that the author is an academic researcher!).

When I checked in the herbal on some of the herbs that I currently use, I was pleased to a) find most of them and b) to see the medical evidence presented on their effectiveness. In each case the use was clearly described and the comments on effectiveness seem to match fairly well with my admittedly limited observations.

In short, this is a great book! If you have any interest in herbal treatment and engage in martial arts or other strenuous sports or activities, this is definitely a text to own and refer to frequently.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable addition to the martial art literature for the serious practitioner of any martial art or contact sport 1 Nov. 2010
By Alain B. Burrese - Published on
In the last number of years, there have been many resources on Traditional Chinese Medicine and healing practices of Asia, including using Eastern herbs, published in English. However, some of the herbs and ingredients for the Eastern remedies are difficult to come by in the West, and some remedies just don't jive well with the way many Westerners believe and think. Those who study Asian martial arts have most likely been introduced to some of these remedies, being a part of many advanced martial art practices. However, that still does not get around the lack of ingredients or the way some feel about such potions, even if they have embraced other Asian practices and arts. This problem has been solved by Sysan Lynn Peterson, PH.D. Her new book, "Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes: Effective Treatments for Common Sports Injuries," focuses on Western herbs that will help the martial artist with bruises, scrapes, cuts, sprains, muscle strains, breaks, and dislocations. There are also herbs that help with breathing, managing adrenaline, and other anxieties. The book is a great resource for all martial artist's bookshelves.

Peterson describes herself as a researcher, not an herbalist. She is also a 5th degree black belt in Shuri-ryu karate. With this background, she has written a book that is very user friendly and aimed at martial artists. I especially like that she uses a grading system regarding the various herbs and treatments that goes from Universally recognized by conventional medicine and alternative medicine, to tests that the herb does not work for a specific condition. This grading system is found throughout the book and helps you know which remedies are most useful.

The book starts with a chapter on using herbs safely, and the proceeds to chapter two "The Herbal." This second chapter is almost 200 pages long and contains an alphabetical list of herbs. Nearly 70 herbs are described in this section. Under each selection you find the scientific name, information about the herb, what it is good for, how to use it, how much to use, and what you should be aware of before using it. These entries are all backed up with a huge amount of research notes. There are 1798 notes in the "Notes" section at the end of the book. Enough research material to keep the person who wants to see where Peterson found her information busy for a long, long time. Personally, I'm so glad to have a researcher like Peterson put all of this information into a single easy to use and understand volume.

The third chapter is a short chapter on preparing herbs, where chapter four focuses on applications and uses. This chapter is organized by some of the more common ailments that you can use herbs to remedy. The fifth chapter is only two pages long and contains a few herbal contraindications regarding bleeding, blood sugar, blood pressure and a few others. Chapter six contains four pages of additional resources and then there is a short Glossary and the Notes section.

If you are a martial artist here in the West and have an interest in herbal therapies, this is the book to get. It is a fantastic resource on the subject that is easy to read and understand. It is a valuable addition to the martial art literature for the serious practitioner of any martial art or contact sport.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of the Lock On Joint Locking Essentials series.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for everyone! 7 Oct. 2010
By Dolores L. Sparrow - Published on
This book is for everyone--not just those who are martial artists and athletes. It is a well-written, concise manual that encourages novices and experts alike to make informed decisions about using herbs for medicinal purposes, in this case, herbs that grow in Europe and the Americas. This text is well researched and thoroughly documented. Not only is each herb illustrated and its healing properties detailed, but also clearly explained is when to use it, as well as when not to use it. The author emphasizes safety first and encourages medical treatment when needed. The major portion of the book is about the herbs, which includes nearly full-page illustrations, recommendations, and other important information. An entire chapter explains and illustrates how to prepare your own infusions, poultices, powders, creams, and decoctions; another chapter lists appropriate applications, which is followed by a chapter that explains possible interactions. A significant table of contents, glossary, and excellent index lets you easily find what you are looking for. This book is enjoyable and easy to read, as well as being very informative.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go Natural! Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes 17 Oct. 2010
By NorthStar - Published on
Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes is a diligently researched and extremely useful guide for the medicinal use of over sixty herbs commonly found in Europe and North America. Due to the complexity of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the difficulty obtaining indigents for Chinese herbal mixtures, (bear gall bladder, etc.) Western Herbs is essential for anyone who wants to treat injuries and ailments with herbs commonly found in this part of the world.

Though the title suggests that the book is geared towards martial artists and contact athletes, I'd recommend it to anyone who uses, or is interested in using western herbs to treat common injuries (sprains, fractures, bruises, etc.) and ailments (common colds, insomnia, anxiety, etc.) and for anyone who wants to know a specific herb's safe usage, effects, possible side effects, limitations and dangers.

Although color photos would have been a nice addition for easier field identification, each herb is clearly illustrated with black and white photos in the herbal section (chapter 2). Besides a thorough herbal, the book includes chapters on using herbs safely (careful - herbs can kill you!!!), preparing herbs (infusions, decoctions, essential oils, compresses, poultices, etc.), applications and uses (for injuries and ailments), herbal contraindications, and additional resources for research.

Dr. Peterson has obviously done a tremendous amount of research (which she describes in her introduction) to produce a remarkably informative and useful guide to western herbs and how to use them effectively for healing injuries and ailments. "Western Herbs" is packed with a wealth of valuable information. Unless you're an experienced herbalist, if you use - or want to use - herbs in any capacity, you should have this volume on hand.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Book For A Do It Yourself Herbalist 8 Jun. 2011
By Demitri Pevzner - Published on
This is without a doubt one of my new favorites. It contains information crucial to the average athlete for maintenance of health and mending of injuries. While the experienced herbologist might have a clear understanding of various herb attributes and the inherent danger of interaction when mixing the plants, vegetables, and extracts, the average layman does not. The reason I enjoyed the book as much as I did, is that the information presented here caters specifically to the average layman in clear concise baby steps.

The author gives a checklist of what to look for in herb/extract selection, how to best prepare the herb, and most importantly what not to do. A particular point she drives home repeatedly (and in my opinion something that needs to be driven home more frequently) is not to overuse any particular plant or extract, as too much of anything could be toxic. She also makes another crucial point often overlooked by many beginners. In the author's own words, just because you are taking something for a particular ailment, does not mean it is good for the whole body. A fact many should take to heart.

The list of plants and herbs is limited to the 64 most commonly found in Europe and North America. In my opinion this is both good and bad. Good, because you are given a variety of herbal stock you will most likely have easy access to, in your own language. This will spare you having to browse the local Chinatown herbal shop, and in most cases being unable to read the label, thus making an educated and for the most part less risky selection. On the other hand the limited selection means you will not be able to obtain recepies for Dit Da Jow, Qi tonification formuals, and the like.

The herbal section is informative in as much as an amature hobbyist would need it to be. Without going into too much detail and losing the reader, the book presents a photo of the herb being described, the Latin and common names of the plant, a brief history and background of how the plant had been used, what the herb had historically been used for, and a 0-5 rating for how effective the particular herb had been for this purpose. The bottom section of the herbal description covers how to prepare the plant, dosage specifications, and appropriate precautions for each particular herb. The only down side here, is that the photos of the herbs are black and white. White it's true that one should not memorize herbs merely via photos, a colored description would go a long way in helping establish a better name to image association.

The back section of the book goes over the various methods of preparing herbs, covering everything from decotions, syrups, tinctures, oils, poultices, and plasters, to infusions and creams. The descriptions are very helpful, and can help the average hobbyist create moderately effective treatments.

The final section of the book deals with various injuries, and how to best treat them, going over the previously covered material, and the best methodology for applying the various treatments. The book has an excellent index, allowing you to search by specific injury or ailment, herb, or preparation method. The glossary at the back covers medical terminology and herbal classification used throughout the book, explaining various descriptions of herbs, such as diurrhetic, antispasmodic, haemostatic, etc.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in herbology basics, and treating martial arts/sports related injuries.
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