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Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments [Hardcover]

Andrew Chevallier
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Herbal encyclopaedia Oct. 24 2011
Format:Hardcover
It arrived on time and in good order. I find the product itself a very useful, excellent and interesting reference point
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for medicinal uses..... Dec 10 2000
Format:Hardcover
With the wide selection of books on herbal uses confronting the average herbalist or curious reader, how is one to choose which resource is best? The answer is that it is impossible to use only one resource. Chevallier's books come close to being the one resource to use for employing herbs for medicinal purposes, but because the misuse of herbs can be deadly, I rely on a variety of material and crossreference my applications. In other words, if anyone says an herb has proved poisonous, I am careful. ....
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBAL MEDICINE (EHM) by Andrew Chevallier is an update of his book THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS (EMP). EHM covers most of the same plants as EMP, but contains more up-to-date information from various sources conducting research on the properties and uses of herbs, including herbal systems in other parts of the world such as the U.K. and Germany, (i.e. not exclusively reliant on the actions of the FDA or USDA for all it's information).
EHM, as did EMP before it, includes one of the largest selections of plants for medicinal uses. Not all the plants are botonacally speaking "herbs." Black Cherry, for example, is a tree, but like many other trees has constituent parts that may be used for medicinal purposes, and therefore viewed as an "herbal" remedy for certain conditions (chronic dry, irritable coughs!!)--or kill you if you ingest an excess. ....
EHM is not much concerned with the manufacture of floral sachets or assembly of ingredients for pot pourri, or how to lay out your herbal garden for that matter. In fact, my suspician is that the average EHM reader will probably consult the health food store for herbal items, and not grow herbs in the back yard or try to harvest them in the nearest park. ....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  94 reviews
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My medicinal herb bible Nov. 29 2006
By Michelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have used herbal medications exclusively for about 10 years now, and I depend on this book as my herb "bible." It is always smart to double-check medicinal advice from several sources, but I have never found this book to be wrong or lacking in pertinent information. It is very well arranged, and information is cross-referenced which adds to the ease of use.
115 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for medicinal uses..... Dec 10 2000
By Dianne Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
With the wide selection of books on herbal uses confronting the average herbalist or curious reader, how is one to choose which resource is best? The answer is that it is impossible to use only one resource. Chevallier's books come close to being the one resource to use for employing herbs for medicinal purposes, but because the misuse of herbs can be deadly, I rely on a variety of material and crossreference my applications. In other words, if anyone says an herb has proved poisonous, I am careful. ....
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBAL MEDICINE (EHM) by Andrew Chevallier is an update of his book THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS (EMP). EHM covers most of the same plants as EMP, but contains more up-to-date information from various sources conducting research on the properties and uses of herbs, including herbal systems in other parts of the world such as the U.K. and Germany, (i.e. not exclusively reliant on the actions of the FDA or USDA for all it's information).
EHM, as did EMP before it, includes one of the largest selections of plants for medicinal uses. Not all the plants are botonacally speaking "herbs." Black Cherry, for example, is a tree, but like many other trees has constituent parts that may be used for medicinal purposes, and therefore viewed as an "herbal" remedy for certain conditions (chronic dry, irritable coughs!!)--or kill you if you ingest an excess. ....
EHM is not much concerned with the manufacture of floral sachets or assembly of ingredients for pot pourri, or how to lay out your herbal garden for that matter. In fact, my suspician is that the average EHM reader will probably consult the health food store for herbal items, and not grow herbs in the back yard or try to harvest them in the nearest park. ....
91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but still lacking May 9 2010
By Lily - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book looking for a complete reference book for herbals for my family. I have two young boys, and it has been very challenging finding at home remedies for them when they have been sick. I don't like making too many trips to the doctor's office if I don't have to, and I'm more of a hands off, let nature take it's course kinda gal. However, when the boys or my husband are sick, I like to have something on hand that's not the most potent OTC you can buy, or even the herbal mixes they sell at the health food stores unless I am certain that what's in there is going to do no harm, and actually help them. That being said, this book falls short of what I was looking for. The full color pages are nice, and there is quite a bit of information available on each herb represented. It is also nice that there is a special section on kids in the back which tells you what the proper dosage is for little ones. However, I am concerned to find very little information on contraindications or cautions, for instance, herbs you should never take if you are pregnant are not noted except in a small section in the back. Kind of an awkward way to read the book. Specifically, the herb Lobelia has no mention of the fact that many herbalists don't use it because large doses can be fatal...might be good to know, eh? The organization is weird for the lay person (by scientific name), and there are some commonly found herbs in herbal remedies I have bought before that are not listed in the book. Overall, maybe good to have on hand, but not the one reference book you must have.
93 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes it is an Encyclodedia. Aug. 5 2006
By Michael C. Hines - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Book Report:

The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley, Limited

I first decided to buy the book in hopes that it would be a good, up to the minute, desk reference on Medicinal Herbs. It turned out to be a little more of a text book to study by and what some book publishers call a coffee table book. A coffee table book is a book as large as a magazine, hardbound and full of color pictures, which would be entertaining even to people not interested in the subject yet. It is a good study help because of the sections in the back on how to use and administer herbs.

The first section tells about how medicinal herbs work by affecting different systems of the body with a number of chemicals working together to effect change. The book does divide the body's system up a little differently than the Heart of Herbs Course, Making it a little confusing for those of us trying to study both texts at the same time. The authors system is:

The Skin, using herbs that are Antiseptic, Astringent and depurative.

Immune System, using herbs that are Immune stimulants

Respiratory System, using herbs that are Antiseptic, antibiotic, Expectorant,

Demulcent, and spasmolytics

Endocrine Glands using herbs that are adaptogens, hormonally active, and

Emmenagogues

Urinary System, using herbs that are antiseptic, astringent and diuretic.

Musculoskeletal System using herbs that are analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, and

Antispasmotic.

Nervous System using herbs that are nerviness, relaxants, stimulants and tonics.

Circulation and heart using herbs that are cardiotonics, circulatory stimulants,

Diaphoretics, and spasmolytics.

And the Digestive Organs using antiseptics, astringents, cholagogues, choleretics

Demulcents, hepatics, laxatives and stomachics.

Having all of the systems spread out with the medicinal actions associated with each one helps me to understand the medicinal action a little better.

The next section explains active constituents. I never noticed it before but these active ingredients are arranged in ten basic classes: Phenols, Volatile Oils, Flavonoids, Tannins, Proanthocyanins, Coumarins, Saponins, Anthraquinones, Cardiac Glycosides, Cyanogenic Glycosides, Polysaccharides, Glucosilinates, Bitters, Alkaloids, Vitamins and minerals. The last two, most of us all ready understand.

After a short discussion on quality control of herbs, there is a long history of Herbalism. People have been using herbs at least since 3000 BC, in Egypt, the Middle East, India and China. In the early times, Herbalism was connected to spiritualism, but it began to break away about 500BC. Hippocrates (460-377 BC) believed that an illness was a natural rather than a supernatural occurrence. Herbalism was well founded by trade between Europe and Asia through India and the Middle East from 300 to 600 BC. In Europe up through the so-called dark ages, people seemed to have a very good understanding of Herbalism. On the other side of the world an Herbalism tradition developed in the Maya, Aztec and Inca Civilizations unbeknownst to the Europeans.

Between 1000 and 1400 AD, Universities, Hospitals and Medical schools were established which used Herbalism and in that time period Herbal medicine was the only medicine. International trade during the middle ages contributed to the development of herbal tradition, by making formerly exotic herbs available everywhere. Following the discovery of digitalis in the herb foxglove by Dr. William Withering, in 1795, techniques were developed to extract the chemicals out of herbs in order to use the basic medicines and gain better control over quality.

From the early 19th century, laboratory produced medicines began to supplant mother nature as a source of medications. In 1803, narcotic alkaloids were extracted from opium poppies and a year later insulin was extracted form Elecampane, and in 1838 salicylic acid (Aspirine) was extracted from willow bark. From 1850 to 1900, conventional medicine established it's own monopoly by trying to outlaw the use of medicines by any one not trained in a medical school.

As late as 1930, 90% of the medicines sold in drug stores, were of herbal origin, but in the last 50 years synthetic chemicals have taken over the medical industry. Now the tide is beginning to turn back toward Herbalism, due in part to bad mistakes and bad experiences in the use of chemicals such as thalidomide and in the poor state of health in Western Societies.

The next section of the book deals with the various herbal traditions, which have developed in such places as Europe, India, China, Africa, Australia, North America, and South America. Each location developed a slightly different tradition based on local tradition, religion and plants, as a combination of what was locally grown and what was brought in from other parts of the world.

The center section of the book is what I really wanted. It is divided into two parts, the first is a Materia Medica of the 100 most used herbs in detail with full color pictures of the herbs and the preparations. The habitat, constituents, actions, traditional and current uses are covered for each herb. The next section has another 450 herbs in it that are less commonly used or used only in a few places. The same type of information is included but not in such great detail as in the previous section. The only drawback to the Materia Medica sections is that the herbs are in alphabetical order but only by their Latin names.

The first herb is `Yarrow', because the Latin name for the plant is: Achillea millefolium and that is first in the alphabet. That would decrease the value of the book as a reference tool except that there is a General Index beginning on page 323 that lists all of the herbs in the book by their common names, even for the herb that have more than one common name. When I looked up Yarrow, it gave me page 56, in bold type, and that is where the material medica for Achillea millefolium is located.

I don't usually read an index to a book unless I am using it as a reference, but in this book, I noticed that behind the General Index is an Index of Herbs by Ailment. In this index, one can look up an ailment like Blood Pressure, High and be directed to: Blackcurrant 261, Buckwheat 301, eggplant 270, Garlic 301, 319, Ginger 301, Ginkgo 102, Hawthorn 90, Indian Snake root 260, mistletoe 283, olive 240. That index may be worth the $25.00 that the book costs to someone who is practicing as an herbalist trying to choose an herb to recommend for a particular ailment, especially if one herb does not help and a new one must be chosen.

In between the herb (material medica) sections and the index, there is a section giving the procedures for making infusions, decoctions, Tinctures (they make no difference between Tinctures and Extracts), ointments, creams and poultices. The procedures are very well illustrated as is the rest of the book, but the only thing new that they add is the use of a wine press to separate the oil or alcohol from the herbs after the infusion or extraction process. The last section before the index is an abbreviated guide of health problems and the herbal remedies that can be used to treat each group of problems.

I would recommend this book to just about any one but a very experienced herbalist. It is entertaining, easy to understand, and very informative.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herbs Feb. 28 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am taking a medicinal botany class and was not satisfied with the information the text book gave me and wanted to know more I saw this book and ordered it. I love it. It is a must have for someone interested in herbs even my instructor found it helpful. I also ended up ordering two more for classmates.
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