By (author) Lucy Jones
A masterclass in the wild crafting, growing, harvesting, drying, storage, and processing of medicinal herbs.
Self-Sufficient Herbalism is the first ever practical guide to the growing, gathering, and preserving of medicinal herbs for a working dispensary. Written by a practising herbalist with a high street clinic, it covers everything you need to know to become truly self sufficient.
Relying on only a small allotment and access to the fields and woodlands of rural England, Lucy Jones provides a masterclass in the wild crafting, growing, harvesting, drying, storage, and processing of medicinal herbs. Her passion for the plants and traditional ways of preserving them for medicine shines through as she explores the deeper implications of self-sufficiency and the transformative impact it has had on her practice.
The guide includes a glossary of detailed notes on the cultivation, harvesting, and processing of 108 individual herbs arranged by the seasons. It is a must read for practising herbalists, herbal students, herb gardeners, and all those who love herbs.
From a technical viewpoint this is a textbook that any budding or even experienced herbalist would be proud to have on their bookshelf. On a more holistic level, it takes the reader on a magical journey starting with an explanation on what it means to be self sufficient, why herbal self sufficiency is beneficial on so many levels - not just making 'cures' - and how to go about doing it.
An important part of herbalism is 'connecting' with the plants that are being used and in the first part of the book Lucy Jones explains how she has personally come to connect with the plants that she uses. She is so obviously energetic and enthusiastic in her pursuit of herbal medicines and their method of production that the reader cannot help but be inspired to follow in her footsteps in the understanding and preparation of herbal remedies.
In the second part of the book Lucy talks in detail about both foraging for and the cultivation of various herbs. Once the herbs have been collected Lucy then goes on to describe how they are prepared, stored and eventually turned into medicines for her patients.
The book concludes with harvesting throughout the 'herbal year' and lists over a hundred herbs and the various methods of harvesting the relevant parts, be they flowers, seeds, roots, leaves or bark and the appropriate season in which to get the maximum benefit from the harvest.
In conclusion, the book is written in an easily accessible form, logically laid out and profusely illustrated and one that we will both be using for the foreseeable future. We really hope that Lucy will write a second volume as it is so obvious that she is both a talented herbalist and a very knowledgeable practitioner.
Julian and Valerie Rutherford