Practical Herbs Paperback – 25 Mar 2013
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About the Author
Henriette Kress learned her first herbs at her grandma’s knee and has studied herbs and their uses ever since. A practicing herbalist since 1998, her website, http://www.henriettesherbal.com, is one of the oldest and most comprehensive on the Internet.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The world-wide, time-honored way of learning herbcraft is apprenticeship, be it inside a family or with a master herbalist. Unfortunately for the West not to mention the individuals, there was a huge gap created in the system back in the times of the Inquisition in Europe and in the USA when it is estimated that somewhere between 60,000 up to as high as 9 million people (mostly women) were burned as witches. The sad news for Western Herbcraft is that those were the lineage-holders, consequently, the Western lineages of herbcraft have that huge gap.
There's been a lot of work since to fill that gap by trying to recover some of the old lost European information, and by incorporating information from other sources, especially Native American in the USA. (For more info, google "eclectic medicine" without the quotes.) In the last 20-30 years or so, there are quite a few people emerging as herbalists and teachers who are now becoming the new Elders of the herbal Path (for just a few, see Matthew Wood The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines, James Green The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook: A Home Manual, Susan Weed Healing Wise (Wise Woman Herbal Series), Rosemary Gladstar Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use, Michael Tierra The Way of Herbs: Fully Updated with the Latest Developments in Herbal Science... and oh so MANY MORE... just look up those names here on Amazon and then look at the books that people who bought books from those authors also bought.) We've even lost a few lately, for just one example, google "Michael Moore herbalist" without the quotes (also see here Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.) As tragic as that is for me and all current herbalists, it's also, to me, a hopeful sign of the true resurgence of a viable lineage of Western botanical medicine--we've been around again long enough to be into our 2nd generation of Elder Teachers!
Henriette Kress is a (maybe *the*) pioneer of the Path of Botanical Medicine in the Computer Age (remember that term out of the Dark Ages of computer technology?) She's run a website, from almost the beginning of websites, that must by now be the primary source of authentic herbal information on the entire internet, and that's really saying something! To find her site, just google her name.
This, her first book, is a wonderful grounding in herbcraft for anyone. People who are brand new to the use of herbs will be able to understand and actually begin to use a few herbs in a few different forms from this book alone. People such as myself who have been on the herbal Path for decades may even find something new... I know I did.
One more piece of good news is that Henriette is releasing her SECOND book! I pre-ordered it today. Sadly, I cannot find a link here on Amazon to pre-order. I pre-ordered from her website. If I find it in the future, I will edit this review to incorporate the link.
DISCLAIMER: I have corresponded with Henriette enough over the years to consider her a mentor-friend. However that in no way prejudices my review. I would say all the same about her work if I had never exchanged a single word with her.