Herbs

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Links to additional information:

Page 2 Herbal Companion Planting
Page 3 Ginger
Page 4 Saw Palmetto
Page 5 Jewelweed
Page 6 Stevia

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The Gardening pages.



Much of the information on these pages is contributed by those interested in herbs and from information gleaned from a variety of materials. All information should be considered educational only. Consult your health care practitioner for all advice and treatment. "The information stated here has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration", and "is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." Anyone interested in using herbs or plant matter for the purpose of medication should consult a qualified and licensed practitioner.

To begin, how to define an herb? Herbs (pronounced "herb" like in Herbert or "erb" like in Herbert too, sans the "H") may be defined as any plant or part of a plant used for its aroma, taste or medicinal quality. Of course there are other definitions, however, this is the one that I like best because it doesn't preclude trees, shrubs or other plant material. Then what is a plant? The dictionary I consulted defined a plant as a living organism lacking the power of locomotion. Although I don't believe that to be the best of definitions it is sufficient for the purposes of this website.

To further define what may or may not be an herb there are some who claim only those plants whose parts (root, leaf, bark, etc.), aromas or tastes can be used curatively may be called an herb and not those plants that have a purely decorative purpose. On the other side of the coin are others such as the late Euell Gibbons who is said to have "made his mark by finding beauty and utility in what-nots and weeds".


Clicking on any of the book titles will open another window to Amazon.com where additional reviews and information may be found.


Title Author Description
The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine Simon Y. Mills An excellent basic reference book with indications of which parts of herbs are used and information relating to extraction and application.
Edible Flowers from garden to palate Cathy Wilkinson Barash Enticing recipies, nice photos, some good information, however, incomplete and not for reference. Describes quite a few from Anise Hyssop to Yucca.
Herbal Emissaries bringing Chinese herbs to the west Steven Foster and Yue Chongxi Mr. "Chongxi is a pharmacognosist" and author of numerous works on herbal medicine. "Mr. Foster has authored several herb books and coauthored The Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants". Together they cover some 50 plants, in detail. "An excelent resource".
The Natural History of Medicinal Plants Judith Sumner Imagine, plant chemicals didn't come about for our medicinal use but instead as a defense mechanism. Ms Sumner gives an Interesting and novel look at the how and why flora developed compounds in defense of those who would use them as a food source. Provides insight and understanding of prey, predator relationships between plant and insect/animal.
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants "Wildman" Steve Brill with Evelyn Dean Mr. Brill is a likable character who truly knows "edible and medicinal" plants and Ms. Dean provides excellent drawings of many plants. Not a field guide but chock full of usable information on finding and using wild edible plants in nature.
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs Rodale Press An excellent resource alphabetically arranged from Aconite to Zatar ("tastes like hearty thyme") with history, uses and cultivation given for each herb. Information on herbal baths, the dangers of herbs, teas from herbs and very much more.
The Herb Book John Lust An excellent resource, extremely informative. Addresses obtaining, drying, storing, how to make and use preparations and just about everything else anyone would care to know about herbs except how to grow.
Edible Wild Plants Roy Genders Interesting histories and photographs with an extensive plant lexicon, however, out of print.
Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America David W. Fischer and Alan E. Bessette This book has received mixed reviews and I haven't as yet taken my first step in mushroom hunting. Interesting photographs though and much information regarding lookalike poisonous varieties.
American Medicinal Plants Charles F. Millspaugh Artistically illustrated describing some 180 plants with descriptions, history and habitat, the part of plant used and the preparation.
The Complete Medicinal Herbal Penelope Ody An easy to understand herbal written by a homeopathic healer. Provides instruction on tinctures, salves, infusions, decoctions giving application and cautions. Very easily read with excellent photos.
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Andrew Chevallier A definitive text covering more than 550 Key Medicinal plants and their uses. Provides histories, preparations, traditional and current uses, parts used, information on constituents and their actions. Explains growing, harvesting, processing, buying, drying, storing and explains how to make infusions, decoctions, tinctures, capsules and powders.
Edible Wild Plants A North American Field Guide Thomas S. Elias and Peter A. Dykeman "A season to season guide to identification, harvest and preparation of over 200 of the most popular and edible plants of North America"
Herbs and Spices Waverly Root An interesting guide to culinary seasoning. Herb definitions, lexicon.

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