The Enchantment of Western Herbal Medicine

Herbalists, Plants, and Nonhuman Agency

By (author) Guy Waddell

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Book Details

  • Publisher : Aeon Books
  • Published : January 2020
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 342
  • Size : 152mm(w) x 229mm(h)
  • Catalogue No : 93356
  • ISBN 13 : 9781911597568
  • ISBN 10 : 1911597566
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A thought-provoking selection of interviews with British herbalist, illuminating the the importance of our relationship with plants, alongside how such 'enchantment' has influenced the narrative of their lives.

Some herbalists have visible entryways into studying, such as personal experience of taking herbal medicine, a search for a new career or a love of nature. Other entryways are more hidden, with many noting 'crossings' and 'callings' with plants at a young age.

The Enchantment of Western Herbal Medicine, addresses tje sensual ability of herbs to raise questions about the agency of living plants and of herbal medicines. It discusses in depth how the relationship between herbalists and plants may be reconceived.

Meetings with plants and herbal medicines allow herbalists to draw easily from a diverse range of influences that others may see as incommensurable.

"This fascinating, original and challenging book convincingly explores modern-day herbalists understanding of their place in the complementary health world, against the backdrop of encroaching professionalisation, legitimacy and scientism.

In his case study interviews with herbalists, Guy Waddell draws our attention to the enchanting power of plants and their agentic qualities.

About the author

By (author) Guy Waddell


Guy Waddell PhD fHEA MNIMH is a herbalist and educator who lives and works in London. He is Director of Studies at Heartwood Education, which provides foundation and professional level courses in herbal medicine. Previously, he was a lecturer in herbal medicine in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Westminster. He has authored The Enchantment of Western Herbal Medicine: herbalists, plants and nonhuman agency (Aeon Books, 2020). He has a particular interest in how humans and plants know each other and what may come of this. 

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