- Flexibound: 304 pages
- Publisher: DK; 2nd Revised edition edition (16 Nov. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0751327662
- ISBN-13: 978-0751327663
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.8 x 21.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,969,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Herbs (Handbooks) Flexibound – 16 Nov 2000
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The visual recognition guides in this series are designed to make identification as simple and accurate as possible. Each volume contains clear photographs and artwork with text. This title focuses on herbs.
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She is also too ready to present the medicinal benefits of herbs without qualification. In one entry – for comfrey – she says that it has been “linked to liver cancer” then adds that “further research suggests that the plant may have anti-cancer properties.” Of garlic, she says “New tests suggest it has a role in treating lead poisoning, some carcinomas and diabetes.” These are serious claims so how about some factual evidence, Ms. Bremness?
Obviously some herbs do have medical benefits but this is an irresponsible approach and could encourage people to turn their backs on scientifically developed drugs in favor of herbs.
I also found some of her geographical references odd. For example, she describes the habitat of citrus as S. E. Asia and the Pacific Islands. Brazil, for example, is the biggest orange juice producer in the world so I thought it would be mentioned, along with other places like the United States and Mediterranean countries.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Still, there are many 'Herb-herbs' listed, your more commonly known Valerian, Chamomile, St. John's Wort, etc., as well as tons of others I've never heard of. One source of confusion for me is that some of these herbs are listed as being found in Europe or other countries, when I know they grow wild in the United States as well, but there's no mention of that. So I'm not sure what that's about, but be aware that these are herbs as being listed as from all over the globe, so many you won't ever see, depending on your region. On the plus side however, the format I've become used to from the DK Handbook line is still there, with excellent photos of the plants from several angles (blossom, stem, overall plant), uses (whether that be medicinal or cosmetic) and other remarks that are noteworthy. It also lists the Family, Species, Local Name, Habitat and Parts of the plant used. Most herbs get a full page, others are two-to-a-page, and a few three on a page. Every single herb gets a photo or more, so you won't be disappointed as with some books that preview photos and actually turns out to have very few. It's a solid, packed book, with no page wasted. Heavy but small enough to carry in a backpack or hold comfortably in your hand.
It does have some helpful introductory pages in the front that briefly talk about preparation, gardens, cooking, etc., but do not buy this book for that information, it's only a few pages. The vast majority of the book is more of a field guide identification book, NOT a home herbalist how-to and there are no remedies/recipes or anything like that. I knew that when I bought it, but I thought I'd mention it for others who may be wondering.
It will certainly not be my only herbal identification book, as I was looking for something focusing a bit more on medicinal herbs that I'd find foraging locally, or can grow myself, and this book has a lot of trees, shrubs and herbs I will likely never come across or use, but it's still an excellent reference book in general and I'm very glad I have it as part of my herbal library.