Matthew Wood is a practicing herbalist and homeopath; in this book he gives sympathetic treatment of practices he terms "Vitalism" (defined as "the recognition that the physical body is animated by a vital life force"). Homeopathic practitioners are a particular focus of the book.
This book provides a general history of herbalism and related practices, focusing primarily on seven figures: Paracelsus, Samuel Hahnemann (the founder of Homeopathy), Johann Gottfried Rademacher, Samuel Thomson (the "root doctor," known as the "father of herbalism"), James Tyler Kent (who developed the "philosophy" behind Homeopathy), James Compton Burnett, and Edward Bach (of "Flower essences" fame).
Wood considers the Renaissance alchemist and physician Paracelsus to be the source for the "Law of Similars" principle, usually expressed as "Like treats like."
Wood concludes the book with a chapter summarizing the "Vital Doctrines of Vitalist Medicine."
This book contains a lot of historical information as well as current comments of relevance to those interested in herbalist and homeopathic methods.