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The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth [Paperback]

Stephen Harrod Buhner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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March 1 2002

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The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth + Secret Teachings Of Plants + Sacred Plant Medicine
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Astonishing Work! March 26 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book - the cover pulled me in. What I found was incredible! This book is an amazing blend of personal stories, poetry, and a deep analysis of the underlying reasons for the escalating human damage to the natural world. But the author doesn't stop there - he takes us even further, into solutions to the problems that face us as a species. He reveals the amazing language of plants - a language that human beings have always been able to tap into. And he shows how our modern emphasis on defining the world as a machine of interchangeable parts causes tremendous problems. The book explores how our machine analogy of the universe has led to the rise of pharmaceuticals in medicine and he explores, as I have seen nowhere else, the frightening impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment - many of which exceed agrochemicals in quantity. He contrasts this with plant medicines - ecological medicines - and reveals how plants have been used for medicine for millennia - how plants can alter their chemistries based on the information they receive from their surroundings - how they maintain all the earth ecosystems. The book outlines many exercises to help restore the ability to understand plant language and ends with stories from four environmental activists who also hear and understand the language of plants: John Seed in Australia, Rosemary Gladstar in Vermont, Carol McGrath in British Columbia, and Sparrow in Ecuador. This book truly is poetry and medicine for the soul.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have you ever tasted wild water? March 31 2002
Format:Paperback
Stephen Buhner asks us, "Have you ever tasted wild water?" This is the question of heart in his book. From his own life he tells of his experiences with the world around us; his taste of wild water. It is poetic and beautiful and makes one long for a similar experience.
He goes on to explain what we have done to our environment that has affected the wild waters, plants, animals and land. Even simple things such as taking an aspirin affects the world around us. He shows why it is important to realize that we must be in relationship with the earth/water around us.
Most importantly he explains how to attain that relationship. Simple things that anyone can do.
It is a beautiful, poetic book of great substance and heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Silent Spring" for our times Dec 20 2002
Format:Paperback
This is a book you should read, and unlike many "should" reads, this one is a real pleasure. Stephen has taken on a huge task with this book, and almost tries to cover too much ground, but he pulls it off with style and art. Once you get past the wonderful language and the perceptive viewpoint you will stumble on a scathing and accurate depiction of what mainstream medicine is doing to the environment. It is a picture that makes "Silent Spring" seem tame in comparison, and the book as a whole will lift you up out of your chair and get you moving to find answers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows consciousness in all things Dec 29 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Technical but not difficult to read. Shows how much we have lost by seeking the magic pill! Anyone interested in personal health should read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! March 8 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Once you pick it up you can't put it down. Page after page is pure brilliance. A wealth of information but be prepared that it is hard to put down.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars listening to plants March 2 2003
Format:Paperback
A couple of summers ago, in the midst of a blackberry glut, I decided I should harvest some Oregon Grape berries to mix with blackberry for a good, sour jelly. But I needed a whole patch, and a few individual plants were all I knew. Before I got around to looking, I found myself on a walk, huffing and puffing up my favorite steep hill. In the middle, I just stopped - for no obvious reason - and looked up. All around me, in the midst of the salal, was a thicket of Oregon Grape, laden with berries! My brother-in-law and I came back and filled up buckets. The deep purple, astringent berries made a stunning blend with the blackberries, and the jelly set up beautifully. But most stunning, even after we ate it all up, was how the plant showed itself in a place I'd been through a hundred times before without ever noticing it.
Is that language? Maybe not But even if it only meant that I could make my jelly, it did have meaning, and to convey meaning is, after all, the purpose of language. The Lost Language of Plants is a book about meaning: not whether plants speak, or even how they speak, but what they say to us and we to them.
Buhner says there is meaning to Life, and that plants communicate it clearly and fully through their chemistry and biology. In human industrial culture, however, the common values of Life - birth, growth, death, and renewal - have mutated into progress, wealth, and poverty - the trinity of economic growth. As a result, billions of years of evolution are being pushed to favor waste over renewal, and death over Life. Under human control, Life is a mere by-product of a soul-less, cosmic machine that happens to have produced "resources" that we can consume until they're gone or until Life ends, whichever comes first.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
We are polluting the environment with pharmaceuticals developed to heal, and are losing the planet's natural healers and stabilizers in the process. In the The Lost Language Of Plants, Stephen Bohner sees plants as sentient beings adjusting to the environment: the discussion focuses on the importance of preserving plants which hold the key to healing both man and environment.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Language of Plants
Wow! What an inspiring book. It is an incredible eye opener on how we affect ourselves, each other, and all we love (or hate) by our choices, and actions, as well as our inaction. Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2011 by Island Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating, Informative, Eye-Opening
Fascinating, informative and eye-opening, "The Lost Language of Plants" by Stephen Buhner shows us the life of evolving plant chemistries, revealing the science in the 'magic' of... Read more
Published on July 6 2002 by "medicinehillherbs"
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a mind altering substance...
I am halfway through this book and plan to start right over again when I'm finished. I think that this is one of the most fascinating things I have ever read. Read more
Published on June 4 2002 by catbird
5.0 out of 5 stars Offering a way for humanity to relearn and better understand
The Lost Language Of Plants: The Ecological Importance Of Plant Medicines To Life On Earth by educator and environmentalist Stephen Harrod Buhner is a scathing expose about the... Read more
Published on May 12 2002 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pharmaceutical Silent Spring
A Pharmaceutical Silent Spring
. . . is what the publisher calls Stephen Buhner's new book, and they're right: The Lost Language of Plants is a book that everyone needs to... Read more
Published on April 9 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars PROFOUNDLY INSPIRING
I am deeply moved and inspired by the eloquence,the well thought out and researched information and the insights of The Lost Language of Plants. I find myself enthralled. Read more
Published on April 5 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the Circle of Life
The Lost Language of Plants takes the reader on a journey from our innate and ancient connection with the living Earth to our disconnection from it and the ensuing wounds. Read more
Published on April 4 2002 by "ceremony6"
5.0 out of 5 stars Have The Plants Spoken?
Yes they have! It is time for all the people of this world to listen to them. This book will wake you up, if you have not listend or unable to the plants. Read more
Published on April 2 2002 by Ellwood T. Bear
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