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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I have a wide selection of books related to herbs, but this is the only one that I know of that deals specifically with adaptogens, and since everyone could benefit from boosting his immune system and helping the body to effectively deal with stress, this is one of those books that may help anyone to enjoy better health.

The main adaptogens covered in this book are American ginseng, amla, ashwagandha, asian ginseng, astragalus, cordyceps, dang shen, eleuthero, guduchi, he shou wu, holy basil, jiaogulan, licorice, lycium, prince seng, reishi, rhaponticum, rhodiola, shisandra, shatavari, shilajit - interestingly enough most of them seem to be either part of Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine, and there is not much mention of herbs that may be traditionally used in western herbalism.

With the herbs covered in this book, he author has listed the history of the herb, where the herb grows, modern uses of the herb, dosage and safety, and there is a mention of few related studies. Herbs are also grouped in relation to different health issues, so you'll find herbs that may help with stress, those that may be helpful for breathing problems, herbs that may be helpful with athletic performance, those that may be helpful when dealing with cardio-vascular problems, those that may be helpful with musculo-skeletal problems, and so on - though if you do have any such problems, you may benefit from also looking into other herbs that are not mentioned in this book.

The author has added a small section on additional herbs that are helpful as nerve tonics - like chamomile, passionflower, skullcap, lemon balm and few others; and a section on herbal nootropics like bacopa, gotu kola, bhringaraj (which is otherwise popular for boosting hair growth), and few others.

Included are some popular herbal formulations from Traditional Chinese Medicine (bu zong yi qi tang, sheng mai san, etc.), and from Ayurveda (chyavanprash, and triphala), as well as some recipes for incorporating adapogenic herbs into food or making teas with combination of different herbs.

On a side note, there is a minimal mention on any herbs which have been traditionally used by western herbalists that will help you to boost your immune system, many of which you may find in your local grocery store, and add to food like turmeric, oregano, thyme and other spices, or make tea out of cinnamon, ginger and cloves - as will garlic and lemon, but they are beyond the scope of this book. Perhaps the greatest benefit of this book is that it covers herbs that many people in the west may be less familiar with.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2009
For anyone who like me is slowly beginning to question the values of the pharmaceudical industry then this book will be invaluable to your health whether you have a health issue or not.I myself am an active person,involved in sports and have known all about the benefits of the herb Rhiodiola Rosea which i have been taking for 2 years now,which is still one of the best in my opinion for boosting my mental and physical endurance.What i would like to say is that if you are suffering from stress or depression at any level you owe it to yourself to read this book and give some of the herbs within a try,they really DO WORK and are very affordable and unlike pharmaceudical drugs are completely safe and actually enhance your health in other areas of your body too.10/10 great read.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 28 July 2009
This book is by a highly knowledgeable herbalist but can be easily understood and used even by laymen with no previous herbal background. Adaptogens are explained repeatedly in different ways, including as a general tonic, for balancing hormones and other body systems, to help build up reserves in the body, and increase our ability to adapt to, and avoid damage from, the environment. Who, in today's world, wouldn't want all this?

As an informative and helpful starting point to such herbs, I could want nothing better than this book. You could pick and choose from the 40 or so herbs that are so well-described here and, with a little luck, get some benefit. For all these reasons I have given this book 4 stars.

Unfortunately, for me, it has a fatal flaw: it doesn't really seem to have an integrating philosophy or central principle by which I could work out where to start and how to take further steps. It is a sort of dictionary. You pick any one symptom (perhaps night sweats) or medical term (like cholesterol) and there are a number of possibly useful herbs. You might shortlist several and end up trying one of them, or combining several because they are said to work better that way, but it's basically guesswork.

Too many books on nutrition and nutritional supplements (vitamins, minerals, fats, etc) are like this - homeopathy and herbs too. They lack any focus on causation, there is no consideration of a unifying thread or starting point which, when addressed, could clear a number of seemingly different symptoms. (Homeopathy claims to do this but why, for example, is ignatia overwhelmingly given for just one symptom - grief?)

Those who have studied Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) understand my point. CTM looks for, and addresses, a root cause for all the symptoms presented by a specific person. Too many health books, just like the conventional medical system, see patients as a collection of parts, or of diagnoses, each separate item to be fixed by a different specialist or herb or nutritional supplement (or combinations), for example.

I would like to see more health books "boiling down" to main, or "umbrella", causes and issues. The body is not a machine such as a car, in which replacing the battery (perhaps a kidney or a heart in a human) or adding engine oil (the equivalent say of putting a few selected adaptogens or vitamins into a body) will put it back on the road in good working order.

Also worth knowing: "Cancer Salves" by Ingrid Naiman is possibly the most brilliant book on herbal remedies.

LATER NOTES: I eventually was diagnosed, by a metabolic specialist, with severe adrenal dysfunction and serious low thyroid issues. The thyroid issue had been getting worse for 2 decades, whilst "standard" medicine denied I had either, repeatedly assuring me all their tests "proved" this. Turns out you have an 80% likelihoode of one or both, if you have a chronic health issue. - thyroiduk[dot]org[dot]uk offers a list of the very few thyroid sympathetic doctors in this country.

It's also worth knowing about "The Calcium Lie II" an intriguing book plausibly claiming to explain the root cause of most illnesses.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2009
I bought this book for my wife who was in training for her license as a Master Medical Herbalist. She tells me it proved to be comprehensive and useful, which seems to say it all.
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on 18 November 2015
Very useful, especially as adaptogens are such an interesting and potentially important group of herbs in our era of chronically stressed people.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2012
This book is packed with some really interesting information, but really badly written. If you do purchase it prepare for many errors within the text itself. Other than than an interesting book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2014
This book was recommended from a lecturer at University. It is a brilliant book.Clear, concise and affordable!
Would recommend this book to anyone.Thanks.
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Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Thomas Bartram (Paperback - 29 Oct. 1998)

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