The pioneer of herbal veterinary medicine has again thoroughly revised, updated and expanded her book on natural and organic cures and farming methods, first published in 1952 and now a classic in its field.
When I first started to keep goats, I was told by all the other goat keepers that it was absolutely essential to own a copy of The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Baïracli Levy. I spent ages searching for a copy and eventually bought a brand new one when it came back into print, It soon became my animal-care 'bible', though my copy is starting to show its age...
Juliette de Baïracli Levy was an English herbalist and author noted for her pioneering work in holistic veterinary medicine. After studying veterinary medicine at the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool for two years, Bairacli Levy left England to study herbal medicine in Europe, Turkey, North Africa, Israel and Greece, living with gypsies, farmers and livestock breeders, acquiring a fund of herbal lore from them in the process, most notably from the Gypsies. She has written several well-known books on herbalism and nomadic living in harmony with nature, in addition to fiction and poetry illustrated by Olga Lehmann.After living for some time on the Greek island Kythira, de Bairacli Levy resided in an old age home in Burgdorf, Switzerland
After the introduction there is a chapter on gathering and preparing medicinal herbs, followed by a rather substantial section on Materia Medica Botanica, which constitutes nearly half the book. This is *not* an identification guide - you will need her other book, The Illustrated Herbal Handbook, if you want to see illustrations of the herbs, and even those are rather basic line drawings. This section is purely an alphabetical compendium of the herbs she uses to treat animals with a paragraph about each one followed by notes on use and dosage. After the discussion of individual herbs, she turns her attention to minerals and which herbs supply them, hay and its uses, cleansing of pastures, management of cereal supplies, cleansing of farm buildings, hedgerows, the moon, and rats.
There are then separate chapters of Herbal Treatments for Sheep, Goats, Cows, Horses, Poultry and Sheep-dogs, and a short chapter on the Natural Care of Bees. She sums up her thoughts on animal health in the conclusion and explains her thoughts on fasting and her suspicions about drug companies, DDT and modern science. The book was first written in 1952 and was rather visionary in its approach in my opinion. I think it deserves a place on the shelf of any animal keeper interested in drug-free, natural ways to look after any animals in their charge.
I give this one 8.5 out of 10 acorns. The layout and dosages are super user friendly, the range of topics is impressive (everything from bees, to bovines...and don't tell the FDA but there's good stuff for people in here too!). I really like the crossover from beast to beast in the herbal applications along with the specific dosages for different applications which I've found hard to come by in this genre. Most just list what the herbs might be good for with very little in the way of dosage or diagnosis. The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable provides good insight into both!
This is one of my go-to books whenever I have health issues with my goats. I like it because it is the most complete and comprehensive book I have found so far for treating farm animals with herbs.
The book begins with "Gathering and Preparing Medicinal Herbs." This includes not only foraging, but planting your own either in herb gardens or by sowing herbal leys in pastures. Discusses the best times for collecting various parts of plants, how to preserve, and how to prepare them for use. Also, includes instructions for various applications of herbs and their recommended dosages.
Chapter 2 is a materia medica botanica and offers a large selection of common herbs, including descriptions and uses. This chapter contains other good information as well: minerals found in medicinal plants and their actions, hay, pastures, cereals (grains), farm buildings, hedgerows, the moon, and dealing with rats.
Chapters 3 through 8 are dedicated to herbal treatments for specific livestock: sheep, goats, cows, horses, poultry, and sheep-dogs. I find it interesting that sheep-dogs are included as livestock, but they are common farm guardians. (The author has a separate book for pets, entitled The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat.) Each chapter is organized according to ailments, problems, and potential problems, and discusses symptoms and treatments for each.
Chapter 9 covers the natural care of bees, and is a good resource for anyone interested in natural beekeeping.
The appendix offers a condensed list of common wild plants for those wishing to gather their own, and a list of those best bought. It also includes sources for purchasing herbs in England, Canada, and the US.
Three indexes are included: a general index, an index by species for herbal treatments, and an index of herbs in both common and botanical names.
If you're looking for a good herbal handbook for livestock, I highly recommend this one.