This book is part herbal medicine, part cookbook, part foraging manual, and part pagan spirituality; major emphasis is on the herbal medicine. Short essays are arranged alphabetically like a primer, “A is for Apple”, “H is for Hawthorn” etc. (note: it’s more extensive than this makes it sound; many letters have multiple entries). In front of this is an almost 40 page “How to use this book” section, giving the tools you’ll need, basic processing methods, and kitchen pantry basics.
I enjoyed this book a great deal. It’s not just good information (and, for me, information on plants that grow in this area; the author lives in the same county I do) but it’s fun to read. Shababy writes with an easy style that reads like you’re out in the garden (or countryside) with her as she works. She’s also very careful; she repeats endlessly that you go to the doctor for anything serious and gives warnings about dangerous plants. She is NOT in the ‘chew on this foxglove for your heart failure’ school of thought, which makes me trust her advice a lot more than I do many herbals.
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