The Tree Dispensary

The Uses, History, and Herbalism of Exotic Trees

By (author) Christina Stapley

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Book Details

  • Publisher : Aeon Books
  • Published : November 2021
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 392
  • Size : 174mm(w) x 246mm(h)
  • Catalogue No : 94976
  • ISBN 13 : 9781913504731
  • ISBN 10 : 1913504735
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An exploration of the history, folklore and medicinal uses of thirty exotic trees, beautifully illustrated with the author's own photographs.

From Cacao to Eucalyptus, and Almond through to Frankincense, Christina Stapley takes us on a journey through North America, Oman, the Mediterranean, China and the Caribbean.

The Tree Dispensary reflects a deep and thorough appreciation for trees - the author has studied them for many years as a herb historian and practising herbalist.

Of the trees mentioned in the book, she has experience of growing around a third of them herself, including several from China, and has travelled around the world to study the rest.

The book is categorised into geographical areas and looks at the trees which grow in each location. Each of the thirty chapters looks at a different and unique tree, along with its cultivation, cookery, foraging, history, botany, medicinal use and mythology.

While she was travelling, Christina encountered connections between the trees and cultures in which they grew, and this provides a rich and moving historical thread throughout the book.

The Tree Dispensary: Exotic Trees is the companion volume to Stapley's previous work which explored the history, herbalism and uses of native European trees.

About the author

By (author) Christina Stapley

Christina Stapley is a retired medical herbalist with ten years of practice. She now teaches pharmacognosy, materia medica and the history of western herbal medicine. Christina is a member of the Herbal History Research Network, and for many years has tutored practical historical herb workshops. She is a Royal Horticultural Society lecturer and has written three books on growing and using herbs. Christina has written courses on ageing successfully with herbs and edited a book of 17th century cookery and medicinal recipes.

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Reviews & Endorsements

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Rosemary Gladstar, herbalist and author on 11/01/2022

“The Tree Dispensary is a first-hand account of remarkable trees of the world from a renowned herbal expert. having travelled the world to meet the trees she writes about, the author artfully weaves her personal insights and observations along with a wealth of practical and historical information. Medicinal and edible uses, history, folklore, traditional uses, and recipes and remedies are all included in this inclusive and detailed volume. The author has done a brilliant job representing a wide variety of trees and their importance in our lives.”

Barbara Griggs, author of Green Pharmacy on 11/01/2022

“Most herbals invite you to concentrate your attention on plants growing at your feet. Christina stapley’s wonderful work The Tree Dispensary directs us to turn our eyes upwards, and to study the amazing medical qualities of our favourite garden trees. now she has extended her travels and research to the whole world, in a second collection, which ranges from such treasures as the wonderful stomach-soothing slippery elm of north america through to exotic Frankincense and Myrrh of Oman. all in all, a fascinating sidelight on medical history.”

Chris Etheridge, medical herbalist, President of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy on 11/01/2022

“in this extremely well-researched book, Christina stapley takes us on a rich journey of discovery exploring some of the world’s more exotic medicinal trees. From the mood-enhancing Cacao in Grenada, to the circulation-boosting Maidenhair tree in China and the antimicrobial Mastic in Chios, Christina examines key scientific research into their healing powers. This book is an essential and informative read for anyone interested in the healing properties of medicinal trees.”

Alex Laird, medical herbalist, lecturer, author of Root to Stem on 11/01/2022

“This book is rich with information. Written by a herbalist-historian, it’s driven by a deep feeling for trees and their gifts and for the devastating history of people enslaved to cultivate them. she describes fruits, spices and medicine in their native habitat, picking out nuggets of folklore and historical use. it’s also an excellent guide to applying them creatively and safely today as medicine from one with long hands-on experience.”

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