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Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation Paperback – Sep 18 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation
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  • Sacred Plant Medicine: The Wisdom in Native American Herbalism
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  • Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (Sept. 18 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937381667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937381663
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Filled with nourishment for the soul, body, and mind, this book is a unique view of the intersection between herbal medicine and fermentation. It will delight anyone interests in herbs, honey, brewing and folktales. Great Book! -- Susan S. Weed, Author of Healing Wise

From the Back Cover

Fermentation and plant use--as medicine, as psychotropics, as teachers, as companions on life's path--are an inescapable part of our exploration of what it means to be human. Thus, this book conflicts with a number of popular beliefs about alcohol, plants, and the nature of material reality. It is, therefore, not politically correct.

. . . The ancient beers, created . . . between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago, were quite different from what we know as beer today. Many were sacred beers, and hundreds contained medicinal herbs.--From the book

The author's beautiful and provocative exploration of the sacredness and folklore of ancient fermentation is revealed through 200 plants and hive products. Includes 120 recipes for ancient and indigenous beers and meads from 31 countries and six continents--and the most complete evaluation of honey ever published.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I didn't expect to find in this book both the wonderful herbal and the beautiful exploration of brewing that I found. The book's deep research reveals the intricate relationship that plants have had with brewing throughout history and shows how hops were added to beer only recently in the history of brewing. The plant information is backed up with lengthy sections about historical usage and scientific review of their efficacy. Though some of the more straitlaced readers of this book have cried wolf: plants with potentially toxic effects that were often used in historical fermentations are clearly labeled and all contraindications for each herb are listed. It is not surprising that this book won four awards. It is simply the best overview of historical brewing, the use of fermented herbal infusions in healing, the sacred place of fermentation and plants in human society, and one of the best general herbals I have ever seen. In addition the author is an extremely gifted storyteller. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Paperback
I find this book fascinating! Months after buying it, I find myself sitting down to look for a recipe to try, and spending hours reading the historical and herbal notes. Never would have expected the best herbal I own to be a beer book! There is also information on the religious practices of early Celts and Norwegians as they relate to the use of herbs, as well as lots of information on the spiritual use of herbs by modern traditional peoples.
As for the beers themselves, Buhner takes a relaxed attitude. Indigenous people make beer without fancy equipment, and we can too. What matters most is what tastes good to us--which means we have to do a lot of experimenting! There are lots of recipes to try here, from the Middle Ages up to the present. But the choice is not as wide as it first looks, because not all of the ingredients are easily available. If you get into this, the next book you'll want may be "The Brewer's Garden."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating read. Lots of lore and bits of useful info on the history and processes of traditionally fermenting beer and mead. The recipes are not super detailed so it is not a recipe book for a beginner, but it is inspirational for anyone who brews and wants a bit of info on the herbalism and magical side of this craft.
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Format: Paperback
I loved the heck out of this book. Although I'd
never brewed beer/ale before, I was able to
brew a satisfactory batch of gruit ale, from the
information provided and homebrewing guidelines
freely available online.
Next, I'm going to try saffron ale. Maybe others
later on.
Also, in response to an earlier post, the section
on henbane ale is extremely clear on the hazards
involved. Buhner has great respect for the
powers of the plants he uses.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book hoping to find some interesting receipies. What I found was much more. The historical information is facinating. I was very surprised by the depth of information presented on the herbs used. I would highly recommend this book to both brewers and herbalists.
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By A Customer on May 30 2002
Format: Paperback
I had heard about older brewing, beers before 1500 almost never used hops, and was lucky enough to come upon this book when trying to find out more. Wow! What a book. I read many beers books - how boring they are! Most brewing books are as dry and bitter as the beers they describe - a certain prescription for sleep (again, like the beers they describe). But not this one. There is great poetry and magic in this book - it is an enchanting and endearing read. The beauty and wonder of ancient brewers comes through in the author's language - even more wonderful, the book contains an extensive, up-to-date overview of the medicinal actions of the herbs used in beers throughout time. Please, read this book, and help begin the move away from hopped beers to more healthy, wonderful tasting beers like yarrow ale, elder ale, and ginger beer. I can't recommend this book enough!
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Format: Paperback
While the author has obviously worked very hard and done a lot of research, the book he has produced is a lot like many other things in nature - beautiful but also deadly and carrying few warning labels. While I don't advocate kneejerk acceptance of FDA opinion, I do object to presentation of recipes for beers which include henbane and jimson weed and other potentially toxic or damaging herbs. By all means, buy this book if you are seriously into brewing, it contains a lot of good information and background. But at the same time, I also urge that it should not be one's only source of information. Be especially careful when working with unfamiliar herbs, and consult at least two other sources before using them. Herbal field guides are a good place to get accurate, scientific information about herbs.
The author's point of view is spiritual rather than scientific. It's ironic in the section about the "Corn Woman" that he makes a nod to science, but in general his view of the scientific method is antagonistic. It would have been nice to see a *balance* between the scientific and the spiritual instead.
In closing: nice effort; and yes, worth buying, especially if you are a serious brewer...but BE CAREFUL.
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