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Herbal ABC's: The Foundation of Herbal Medicine by Dr. Sharol Tilgner


Learn the foundational building blocks of herbal medicine.
  • You will learn the actions and applications that western herbal medicine is based on.
  • Herbal ABCs is organized by body systems with a physiology review for each organ system.
  • It has up-to-date information on uses, dosages, contraindications of the most commonly used herbs.
  • There are over 1200 scientific citations to support the traditional and clinical information.

  • With knowledge of herbal medicine you can turn a common plant into an amazing tool for healing.
    This herb book provides wisdom in the form of basic building blocks that Western herbal medicine is built on. You will be introduced to herbs through their actions and properties within the context of the bodies major organ systems. Each chapter has an introductory physiology review of the organ system it covers. Paul Bergner put it succinctly when he said, Herbal ABC s contains the elements of four books including a traditional herbal, a clinical herbal, a scientific herbal, and a general reference for the application of herbal medicines. This is a book for the serious herbalist/practitioner or layperson who wants to get into the nitty-gritty of understanding all the fundamental hows and whys for the use of the most common herbs in western medicine. Due to its inclusion of up to date scientific data with over 1270 supportive research citations, even practitioners well versed in herbal medicine will find new and interesting facts about herbs that will keep them riveted until they finish the book. Do not be fooled by the name, Herbal ABC s. This is not a simplistic book and it includes many scientific terms. However, if you seriously want to understand the foundation of western herbal medicine, this is the book for you

    Sharol Tilgner is a fourth generation Oregonian, an organic/biodynamic farmer, physician, herbalist, & modern day Renaissance woman. She teaches others to grow, and preserve their food and medicine and stay healthy via natural methods. She takes great joy in teaching people to be in charge of their own health care. Writing is one of the best ways she can reach people, to share her knowledge as a physician/herbalist/farmer. She uses blogging, books, free website information and classes as a way to share tools, as she endeavors to co-create a beautiful world.

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    Also by Dr. Tilgner

    Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth

    Related Websites

    Herbal Transitions: Health & Herbal Education for Practitioners
    Wise Acres Farm
    Dr. Tilgner's Blog
    Wise Acres Farm's Facebook Page

    Where to Get It:
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    Posts: 20971
    Location: Pacific Northwest
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    I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns! This really is a marvelous resource. By looking at the title, you might think that you're getting a book that goes from a-z about each herb. Not so! This is, in my opinion, much better. Dr Tilgner goes through each system of the body and explains what various attributes of herbs affect that body system, and why. She then gives case examples of when she used those types of herbs in a clinical setting, and also picks a few herbs with those attributes to go into further detail of ALL of those herbs uses, as well as their contraindications and chemical composition.

    For example, in the chapter about the Digestive System (a very useful chapter for me, considering my husband has Crohn's!), Dr Tilgner first gives a very indepth--while still understandable--description of how the digestive system works, and what makes a healthy digestive system. Anatomy and Physiology is not my forte, but her writing made it understandable for me.  She then moves on to describe various digestive system herbs and their actions, such as for example, Digestive Bitters. She explains how these bitter herbs, such as dandelion, and aid digestion--especially for those that have partially undigested stools. And, then she gives some in depth profiles of some digestive bitters.

    Until reading this book, I had no idea how many different properties there were to various herbs. I knew, for example, that dandelion was good for the digestive system, and so was fennel and flax. I did not know that they are all beneficial in different ways, and are optimal in different situations. Dr Tilgner also explains which herbs are okay for long term use, and which are not, and which are actually curative and which just reduce symptoms. I had known, for example, that drinking tannin-rich tea with meat reduced absorption of nutrients, but I did not know how. That "how" is important! My husband thought that, if tea was drank 20 minutes before eating meat, it would be out of the stomach before the meat entered the stomach, so everything would be okay. But, the tannins don't just bind to the proteins in the meat, "unbound tannins then complex any dietary proteins being eaten as well as metabolic proteins such as stomach or gut bacteria, enzymes, and the cells lining the inside of the rumen and gut." (pg 54)

    I have learned so much from this book, and have already started using it as a reference. When my husband woke with a head ache, I looked in the Index for headache and was lead to a page full of herbs that help with headaches. One was, surprisingly, rosemary! I did not know that rosemary affected the nervous system, but there it was, listed as helping alienate headaches. I went outside, picked some rosemary and made a tea from it. Within a few minutes, my husbands headache was much improved!

    This book is an excellent resource for both the most common herbs--like mint, dandelion, and garlic--as well as the more potent herbs like ginkgo and black walnut. It does not, however, cover some of the less common and potent herbs, like self-heal. One thing I wish I could have seen would be a list of all the plants and their indepth analysis, by common as well as scientific names. As it is, one must look through the index in the back, and some herbs are listed by their common name (like lemon balm) and others are only listed by their scientific name (like mint).

    This book has sections on Digestive System, Liver Herbs, Immune System, Respiratory System, Cardiovascular System, Musculoskeletal System, Nervous System, Endocrine System, and Urinary Tract system. Tucked neatly into the Endocrine System is information about both male and female reproductive systems.

    Here's the table of contents, just to give you an idea of all that's covered in this marvelous book.

    I really recommend this book, as a excellent resource and text to really give you an understanding of how the various systems work, but also why and how various herbs impact those systems in different ways!
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    My wife is starting to learn about the American SouthWest herbs and so far the information she is relaying back to me is pretty impressive!!! I am excited to learn more!
    master pollinator
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    I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

    Dr. Tilgner begins each chapter with an overview of our body’s major organ systems, and how they work. She then describes the actions an herb must have to be beneficial to that organ system. Next is a list of herbs that exhibit these actions. She highlights several herbs from this list, describing parts used, constituents, dosage (of infusion, extract, decoction, as appropriate), use (antifungal, antimicrobial, etc.), and more.

    Included are references to 1273 contemporary scientific research papers backing up her assertions of herbal uses, or actions.

    Now, rather than memorizing extensive lists of herbs and what they treat, this book has already helped me to substitute one herb I have on hand for another I had run out of.

    Also if you have several organs to treat, she lists secondary actions of covered herbs. For example, now I can use dandelion as a diuretic, and support my liver at the same time.

    This is an excellent book. As the family herbalist, I own several other books. This book will help me to better use the information in those.
    master gardener
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    I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

    What can I say, I asked for a recommendation and Permies really came through. What an incredible resource and tool to have on hand to learn from. This book takes an easy to read format giving descriptions of different medicinal herbs and breaks it down in a clinical fashion. The author puts an effort in to cite throughout the book experiences as well as treatment plans for many patient experiences. I especially appreciate the warnings that come with certain herbs and sensitive populations to keep an eye out for. The writing in this book is easy to comprehend as someone who is new to herbal medicine and it gives me confidence as I learn the scope of each plant. The author brings the reader through the different systems of the body as a kind of organizational framework for what conditions and plants are going to be spoken about. While at first I thought this only to be a neat thing, it really is functional for a reader researching ailments someone might present. It is really a novel approach to organizing a book! I am thoroughly impressed and appreciate that I could find a copy of this book easily.

    I would recommend this book to anyone interested in herbal medicine.
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