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Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation Paperback – 1 Dec 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (1 Dec. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937381667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937381663
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Author

More on the inner world of sacred and herbal healing beers
Few of us realize how deep and pervasive the world of "beer" is. Unknown to most of us nearly all the world's indigenous peoples brewed beers and wines; all of them considered it a sacred process. In the legends of the world's peoples we are told that the human capacity for creating art in language (poetry) came from our original ingestion of fermented beverages. In fact, alcohol stimulates just the portion of the brain that creates in language. Beer moved into a new dimension in ancient Europe where those ancient brewers learned to ferment herbal infusions to help heal the troubles of the human condition. Little known is that many of these herbal fermentations were also highly inebriating and sexually stimulating. In reaction the protestant reformists fought for 250 years to pass laws forcing beers to use only hops as an herbal additive. And hops has unique medicinal effects - it puts the drinker to sleep and dulls sexual drive in men. In fact there is a well-known condition in England called Brewer's droop referring to the inability of men to achieve erection from too much hops ingestion. And hops does contain phytoestrogens that work remarkably well in hormone replacement therapy for women in menopause. As I researched this book this whole incredible world of fermentation came alive in ways I did not expect. Truly the whole history of the human species is deeply interwoven with fermentation. It is a remarkable world. Whether you read my book or not I hope you look deeper. Perhaps like me you will find the faces of our ancestors looking back.

About the Author

Stephen Harrod Buhner


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This book is a real winner. I love brewing country wines and beers and this book is packed full of recipes for indigenous trees and plants. I've started some birch sap sparkling wine and a sycamore sap sparkling wine (adapted from the Maple recipe) and plan a few others.

Being long haired, beardy and with a healthy habit of sitting out by open fires in the woods, it's easy to be empathetic with the author and his connection to nature based beliefs. He immerses into the lives and brewing techniques of indigenous people all over the World, past and present, which adds yet another dimension to the interest value of this book. This is a man who works with respect and with immense researching skills.

It's not worth knocking off a star for this tiny point, but I would have been happier with metric measurements in the recipes. Saying that - The conversions are fairly easy.

Happy brewing and foraging.
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If you've been guided to this book then there is probably a good reason for it. This book has opened my eyes to fermentation like no other book. Lots of the recipes are very easy, and ingredients/materials are easy to procure. The history behind fermenting and the process of it including the explanation of yeasts and the very big importance of them on the survival of the species was a big eye opener for me. I almost never drink alcohol but to me, these beers which are made using natural easily accessible ingredients are more like medicine.
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Bought this book on a whim and really didn't expect it to be of such quality. The term "beer" is used loosely as a general term for what seem to be any alcoholic beverage below wine strength as a general rule. Contains folklore, histories, and information on each of the herbs and brews in the book, and well referenced too! Absolutely fantastic. It doesn't have a place on my shelf simply because it's always in use. Well worth it!
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While the author takes a rather dim view of brewing with hops this is a facinating look at the world of old ales predating the introduction of hops. A facinating review of the possible and well worth a space in your brewing library.
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I bought this book for my son who is an enthusiastic amateur brewer who is starting to experiment with brewing using herbs. A quick pick had me hooked on the recipes and info on the herbs and plants; he absolutely loves it!
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Not only is it a great book for the budding brewer but also the picture he paints of our connection to plants and nature is wonderful. I highly recommend.
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There was much to admire in this work, but it is ill-organised. Meads should be a separate title where his depth of knowledge could be complimented by more mead or honey-based recipes.

Some of the ales are not ales; do not seem tested and too many go through the same perfunctory procedure.

Last negative remark: Spanish is liquorice, an ingredient which he could not trace

On the plus side, some fine brews, some excellent research and lots of ideas have been garnered for worts, some already tried.

Much to admire in this work.
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So pleased with this book. The history behind brewing and the different cultures of brewing are fascinating. And there are loads of recipes, old & new to try. The health benefits/information about all the different herbs is invaluable and the psychotropic section is particularly interesting! I love the way he strips brewing back to its bare bones, as it historically was and should be. You really need minimal equipment and ingredients. He gave me the confidence to start simply and experiment, without the need for all those horrible chemicals and expensive additives.

Fantastic!
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