Sunday, March 10, 2013

Herb books can be unexpected books.

I was recently at a really nice two-hour workshop where the woman, Rachel Liester of Red Road Herbs, hit on a lot of herbal topics in a short amount of time.

One of the topics was books about herbs.

I remember one of the first books I ever looked at was "The Herb Book" by John Lust. I borrowed it from the library and later bought a copy because of the encyclopedic nature of what you can do with herbs. It was amazing.

I also tried earnestly to learn words like "galactagogue," "emetic," "purgative," and "vermifuge." Some of the other cumbersome terms for the actions herbs can have on a human are still in that book but certainly not in my brain.

Just the size of a mass media paperback, yet chock-full of herbal knowledge. Not a ton of pictures, though. I have other books for that!

And I remember enjoying the herbalist portions of Clan of the Cave Bear, the first of an interminably long series of books set in prehistory.

It was an interesting and thought-provoking book. I thought it made it obvious that all of us at one time in our histories knew a lot more about the natural world, and in particular we knew a lot about plants. And not so much, the more time goes by.

But why not again?

And I want to put out there one more book, that only had a small part that was herbal, Cold Mountain. If you saw the movie, you met my favorite character because visiting her was part of his odyssey; the Goat Lady.

I liked how she was busy keeping up with the natural world in her journals and she mentions that she doesn't want to "get behind." We might think a hermit living in the mountains with a few goats doesn't have a lot going on, but she was a busy woman!

If you liked the movie and you like to read at all, that's a good book. It's a re-reader for sure.

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