Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: Backyard Medicine


I love books. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got an email asking if I'd be interested in receiving a few free books! Of course I'd be interested in free books! All that was asked of me was that I review them here on my blog...and I am more than happy to do that.

I was given my choice of books. One of the books I chose is
Backyard Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal.

I have been interested in herbal and home remedies for some time now. I have looked information up online, I've borrowed herbal books from the library, I've wandered aimlessly in the nutrition store...and in doing these things I've gleaned bits of information here and there. But I have to say, I've always felt a bit overwhelmed with it all.

Well, enter Backyard Medicine. As soon as it came in the mail I thumbed through the pages and knew instantly it was what I'd been looking for in a book on medicinal plants. The author covers 50 different plants that you can harvest from the wild, many from your own yard, ranging from Agrimony to Yarrow. It covers these medicinal plants in depth...many plants that you'll recognize such as Blackberry, Dandelion, Horseradish, Nettle, Oak and Willow...as well as a few that were new to me like Coltsfoot, Lycium and Teasel.

The author dedicates at least 2 pages, sometimes up to 5, to each plant. She shares the history of the plant, what it's used for, where it grows, how to harvest it, how to use it and what to use it for. She presents the information clearly and simply making it very user-friendly.

I am looking forward to trying some of the remedies using plants that are readily available to me...like dandelions! And to think I thought the dandelion was the enemy. Aren't we always trying to rid our huge expanses of lawn of these pesky weeds? Who knew they were so incredibly beneficial? Dandelion can be used for liver problems, constipation, skin problems, arthritis, gout, hangovers and more. You can use the leaves, the flowers, the sap and the roots. Dang near the whole plant! Dandelion can be turned into tinctures and teas, salads and infused oils, even beer! And this is just the dandelion!

On a cautious note, one thing that crossed my mind while reading about foraging and harvesting these beneficial plants was making sure I was harvesting the right thing and not the poisonous thing. To help with this I will purchase a field guide on wild plants, one that shows the differences between good plants and the poisonous plants that mimic them. Just to be sure...wink!

I am so excited about Backyard Medicine...and so excited to learn more about foraging and harvesting plants that grow like "weeds" right in my yard. (And also in my neighbor's yards. I saw a bunch of dandelion's in one yard and some clover in another when I took Reggie for his nightly stroll last night! Won't they be surprised when I offer to pull their weeds for them?)

If you'd like to purchase Backyard Medicine I provided links for you to Amazon.com. I am no longer an affiliate (I'll fill you in more on that next week) so I don't receive any monetary compensation for sharing this information, but am sharing the link to Amazon as part of the agreement with the publishing company.

And I am doing it gladly...I think you will really appreciate this book as much as I do.

9 comments:

LivingSoAbundantly said...

I am with you! I have been trying to slowly but surely get my way into natural medicines consistently. I will have to get a hold of that book for sure!

http://livingsoabundantly.blogspot.com/p/give-back-thursday.html

Denise said...

that does look like a good book!

donnag said...

I would love to buy that book. I have a friend that is in a group taught by some Amish to heal serious burns with burdock leaves. It is really a wonderful process!Thanks for telling us about this book.

Deb W said...

I've been to several blogs where they have been sent books to review. I'm glad you liked this one, and I think it would be interesting too, but ......what if you didn't like it? Could you really give it a bad review?

I purchased a few books lately and REALLY was disappointed in one of them. No one asked me to review, but I liked the other one and thought of doing a review on my blog. Do I keep my mouth shut about the other one, or publish an honest assessment?

Nancy said...

I'll be interested to hear about any home remedies you try.

Abbi said...

That book sounds really neat. I was in the library just today looking for books along that line. I own some myself but am always trying to add more to my knowledge of wild and medicinal plants.

A note to Deb W.- I do book reviews as well and usually I enjoy getting to do a positive review but it has happened that I didn't like the book and I do think it is very important that we are honest with our readers about that. I don't like doing that type but since I agree to do a review that is my job.

Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

Hi Deb W...I have to say, if I am asked to review a book, I will review it honestly...even if it's not that great. I will try to do it in a respectful way...and will try to find some positives as well. But the most important thing for me is to be honest...and to recommend (or not) things here on my blog that I really like and/or appreciate and find helpful. :)

pinkpeppercorns said...

As I was telling someone yesterday, I would LOVE to go on an herb-identification walk. I have a good many such books, but I am too afraid to go by the books because so many plants look the same (at least to me).

He pointed out that there's one (and do you think I can remember which?) that you want to be sure to harvest before it gets buds on it, as it can be poisonous once it gets buds. Odd, isn't it.

Sounds like a great book to get free!

Kimberly said...

love it! wish someone would send me an email like that!