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New Society Publishers initially contacted me a few months ago and asked if I would be interested in reading a pre-publication galley for Heal Local: 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare, and if I liked it, write up a short blurb that could be used to promote the book. As soon as I saw the concept and the table of contents, I knew this was the book for which I’d been searching for years.
Author Dawn Combs covers everything you need to know to start creating your own homegrown herbal medicine cabinet. She talks about growing herbs, as well as what to do with them after they’re grown, including the various methods of preparing herbs to use medicinally.
Part three of the book has an alphabetical listing of twenty herbs that can be grown and used from boneset to yarrow. Within each herbal listing, there are tips on harvesting, which type of preparation works for what types of medical conditions, and even how you can use the herb in food. While it might seem obvious what to do with an herb like cayenne, not too many people are accustomed to eating chickweed.
Part four is an alphabetical listing of first aid situations where herbs can be used, from asthma attacks to wounds. Finally, part five covers various body systems, such as respiratory, with information on conditions that may be chronic or acute. For example, under “allergies,” Dawn lists the various herbs that can be used and the best ways to use them.
I especially appreciate the scope of the book. Focusing on only twenty herbs makes the task of creating your own homegrown apothecary seem possible. Even better, the author chose herbs that are useful with more than a hundred different medical conditions, meaning that when you are done reading it, you have a great deal of useful knowledge.