Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Excellent book, would've been better with informative pictures
on 5 October 2017
This is a very informative book. It would be better if it had more pictures of the plants and less unnecessary, full-page, decorative ones either of the author making the recipes or of the finished recipes. I found this a bit annoying, as while the book points out where to go for detailed descriptions/pictures of plants for collecting (or even for buying - plants are not always labelled with their Latin names), it would've been better, surely, to include good pictures of the plants, hence only 4 stars. The book has a section describing the basics, so what basic ingredients and equipment you need, the different ways you can use and prepare plants, then the recipes and last a section about the plants. It doesn't require buying expensive equipment, most of the items listed are cheap, readily available and many will already have most of them, same for ingredients. While this is about growing your own drugs, the book also includes many items that can, or in many cases, will need to be bought (unless you make your own essential oils and have a very large, well-stocked garden), so there is something here for those who have only a very small garden or no garden. He mentions plants that can be grown on a windowsill, and some of the recipes use only a few ingredients that you can either grow in the smallest of spaces or buy from a supermarket, or collect from parks or the wild. There are lots of recipes, for common ailments and for cosmetics, all of which are quite simple to make, and many which use only a few ingredients, but still sound effective. In the section about plants, there are further uses listed for each, sometimes with additional recipes, and a brief description of how to grow or where to find. There's also a resources section at the end, for the specialist items mentioned (which are few). As it is, I am very impressed by the contents, and will doubtless try out some of the recipes, but if this had also included good pictures of the plants, I would've been utterly enthusiastic about it, as the stuff is all achievable and easy, while still very helpful. But the pics let it down: the big, full size pictures are all in the section with the recipes and even where they show one of the plants used, it doesn't tell you which this is. In many cases it is obvious, or the ingredients, such as conkers, are really well known, but it still wouldn't have hurt to label the pictures. Then, in the plant section, the pictures with the plants are tiny, and often only show the part you're supposed to use, so you don't ever get to see the whole plant for identification purposes. Also, it would've been useful, with some plants, where there are different varieties, to explain which ones are better or preferable, if any. It seems you can use all types of eucalyptus, although it's not very explicit about this, and one specific type of hawthorn is mentioned, but no others. Annoying, if like me, you've got access to a hawthorn bush but not sure whether it's this variety or not.. Although that's a far more minor issue. Overall, was pleasantly surprised by this book - was a bit dubious about whether it was worthwhile, not having heard of the author before, and with plenty of books about making your own herbal remedies being disappointing. But am so pleased I bought this. I bought this 2nd hand, and it was in excellent condition, so very good value, but this would also be a good present and probably well worth the new price.. Definitely recommend it, despite the pics..