Practical Herbalism: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Powers is a necessary addition to the herbalist’s library (Whitman Publications ISBN 1-885653-22-0). It includes 46 of the most common and most easily cultivated herbs and a plethora of information needed to find and use these herbs. The author, Phlip Fritchey, MH, ND, CNHP, does an incredible job of researching and providing a great deal of information on all of these herbs. This book is a great reference tool for any herbalist from beginner to expert.
Chapters 1 and 2 include history of herbalism dating back to 1500 B.C. and lessons on how to identify and gather fresh herbs and how to preserve herbal preparations including: dried herbs, infusions, decoctions, tinctures, oil extracts, salves and ointments. Chapter 3 discusses the definitions of desired actions to the body and the herbs that will accomplish said actions.
The main body, ordered alphabetically by herb, is divided into sub-headings including: “Physical Features,” “Historical Information”; “Primary Constituents”; “Action”; “Tissues, Organs & Body Systems Affected”; Preparations & Dosage” (includes internal/external); “Indicated Usages” (includes internal/external); “Special Considerations”; “Notes”; “Energetics”. Dosage and usage information are laid out in easy-to-read charts that address each condition, recommended preparations and other herbs that compliment each treatment. Located in the back are an extensive glossary of terms and a thorough appendix of source citations for further reference and study.
The amount of information on each herb included far surpasses that of any other herbal book I’ve read thus far. I’d recommend it for anyone who has a newly budding or already active interest in herbs and medicinal plants.