Summary Paul Bergner says, "This book is broad enough in scope that it contains within it enough material for three books. Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth contains the most up-to-date, detailed information on 192 valuable herbs including, dosage, specific indications, general uses, active constituents, and contraindications. Compound formulations are listed for all the most common ailments as well as some uncommon ailments. They are organized by body systems to make them easier to learn. Another helpful tool is the charts that are used in the book. For those new to herbal terminology, definitions of the words specific to herbal medicine are found in the Properties & Actions section of the book. However, that is not all. Following the easy to understand definitions are listings of all the individual herbs with that property or action. There is a helpful section on collecting, drying and storing herbs with a chart on harvesting and preparation. Additionally for the do it yourself person, there is an extensive chapter on making herbal preparations. Surprisingly detailed information is given for making tinctures, elixirs, suppositories, compresses, capsules, gruels, glycerites, oils, poultices and salves. The author who once owned an herbal manufacturing company gives all the details necessary to make your own products. This one book will give you important information you need to know about harvesting, storage, preparation of herbal products, preparation of formulas, and clinical use of the most valuable herbs known to practitioners. The greatest value of Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth is that it will become a trusted reference book. It will quickly become your most trusted herbal source of information."
About the Author Dr. Sharol Tilgner says, "I have had 30 years experience as an herbalist/Physician, 35 years as an herbalist/herbal medicine maker, 20 years as an herbal farmer and 20 years as a teacher. I am a fourth generation Oregonian, an organic/biodynamic farmer, physician, herbalist, & modern day renaissance woman. I teach others to grow, and preserve their food and medicine and stay healthy via natural methods. I reap tremendous joy from teaching people to take charge of their health care. Writing is one of the best ways to reach people, and share my knowledge as a physician/herbalist/farmer. I use blogging, books, free website information and classes as a way to share tools, as I endeavor to co-create a beautiful world."
I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns. This book is impressive. It covers not only the properties of herbs and the research done on them, it also detailed recipes on how to use the herbs to make various herbal preparations, and also information on when to use and not use certain preparations and herbs. There is even more information in the resources section on how to make a tincture/extract/poultice/etc, as well as how to scale dosages for those of different ages and weights, and a lot more information! Here's a look at the table of contents (sorry about the poor quality pictures--I'm taking these at night while my kids are sleeping!):
I have Dr Tilgner’s other book, Herbal ABC's: The Foundation of Herbal Medicine, as well, and these books work very well hand in hand. These are the kinds of books that inform your mind and leave you knowing what more to research. They are both packed full of information. The Herbal ABCs focuses on the human body’s systems and how herbs affect those systems and why. This book focuses more on the properties of herbs, but also goes into great depth on various recipes for preparations. These books are like the very best teacher, the one who gives you information in such a way that you just want MORE, instead of feeling like you know it all. Because, there is SO MUCH to know about how herbs and our bodies function!
I really appreciate how the herbs featured are ones with scientific studies behind them. It is amazing to have such a resource at my fingertips, where I can read about an herb, see why it does what it does, and have links in the index to more information. This makes it a fantastic resource for those seriously studying herbs and those who wish to convince their non-holistic doctors about the benefits of certain herbs. Each herb has information about it’s properties, it’s description, it’s counteractions, and it’s uses and the studies related to those uses. Here's a look at one page in the Materia Medica section:
After the alphabetical herb section, comes the section on preparations. First it lists which ones to use for which ailments. So for psoriasis, it lists Liver Formula I, Liver Glycerite; Skin Formula, and Tea Tree Essential Oil Salve.
Sadly, there’s no page numbers by these, but you can look up each in the extensive index if you're having a hard time finding them in the herbal preparation section (which is organized by body system). Here's a snapshot of the index:
If there was one thing that I would add to this book, it would be page number references, but I understand how hard that would be to do, when there are SO MANY references through the book. And, the book is updated often (this is the third edition), all those page numbers would need to be updated, rather than just needing to update the page numbers in the index.
Say I have psoriasis, and am looking for some cures, I would then flip to the Liver Formula section, and find Liver Glycerite. I could then find the percentage of ingredients, the dosage for children and adults, and other therapies to go with it, and why these herbs are in that formula, and more information on whether or not to use the formula.
Speaking of dosages, after the formula sections, there’s a very in-depth section on dosages, with detailed information on how to scale them for people’s ages and weight. This section also details how much in tablespoons an ounce of these herbs is, as well as how frequently to take doses depending on how much is in each dose. There’s even a section on calculating drams to ounces!
The book is not finished yet, though! There’s a section on how to collect, dry, and store herbs. It also shows how to make capsules, compresses, elixirs, glycerites, herbal oils, extracts and tinctures, poultices, salves, slippery elm slurries and gruels, suppositories, and teas.
The resources section is impressive, too. There are nearly 1,000 references listed!
(I've no idea what reference number 921 is or why it's missing. But, it is the only missing reference in all 926 references)
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for medical uses of herbs. It is a book that will guide and inform and empower you. It is not a book that says, “Try all these herbs! They all help coughs!” Instead, it goes into why there’s different preparations for coughs and why some don’t work for certain coughs, and when not to use the preparation.
We were out of power and internet and snowed in yesterday. My children got a nasty cough. I was thankful for this book as it had some simple preparations for coughs, and I instantly put it to use when making tea for my children. I think this book is a truly invaluable resource for those wishing to study herbs in depth and wanting to understand the who, what, when, where, whys and hows of herbal preparations.
Good for you Nicole! I bought a similar book ten years ago, i was sick of all the contrarian small books about herbs and wanted one with a scientific approach. It cost me a rib and a leg to buy it, but it saved weeks of being ill and encourages to prevent in stead of only do something when it's really bad already..
Since i started growing all the herbs that I would grow in my climate that are mentioned in the book and make tinctures and balms, teas and sprays. It enriched my life enormously. I've been advising people from the book here in the forums, but had to translate it from dutch to english, which is very time consuming and tedious. I wondered if there is not a similar book in english, and here it is!
I got tremendous respect for the insane amount of work and time that goes into making these extensive books.
Mine came with hard cover, but is ducktaped together now, that's how much i've used it.