Book Review: Mama D’s Practical Herbal Guidebook
My first impression of this book is that honestly its way to short. While there is all sorts of information in this book I honestly felt that it was way to short. There should have been more chapters. The author could have done so much more to not only give the book more information but also to help with those new to herbalism and herbal work in any form.
I do think that the author could have spent more time providing some resources for herbs. Places online and other resources. Some of the herbs mentioned are easy to find as they are in many culinary cabinets or they can be found in your backyard like dandelions. Knowing which herbs can be found in the wild and which herbs may need to be ordered would be very useful. There are many small and large businesses online that sell herbs.
As part of the resources I believe that some sort of image or representation of the plants in the book would have been very beneficial. Even if not every herb listed had an image but every two or three it would make things much easier. Not only would the book have had the information on the uses of the plants but it would also have information on how to identify some of the plants.
The author does list a few herbal resources. Unfortunately she also mentions quite clearly that one of the resources is no longer in business. It would have been better if a website that was still in business and still had useful information had been posted instead of one that the reader shouldn’t even bother to find as they are no longer in business.
The best thing the author does in this book is provide an excellent disclaimer. There are many herbal books on the market that cover medicinal aspects of herbs and provides home remedy instructions. However without a lot of personal study and knowledge a person can do more harm than good from trying alternatives to modern medicine. For this reason the authors disclaimer is perfect. It protects her information and explains that using these remedies is at your own discretion and risk.
One thing I really do like is how simple and direct the information is. The author organizes and presents the information provided to you by both type of ailment and herbal associations. For me this is a great way to present the information as you see the associations and uses in two different formats.
In the listings I find it a bit of a relief that the author makes note of a few of the herbs that could be problematic and explains what some of those issues are. This information is essential to anyone who has any sort of reaction to aspirin or who may use an herbal supplement longer than prescribed because its natural and not chemical. Just because its an herb doesn’t mean it wont have an effect on the body that could be negative.
I do wish that the author had provided more recipes and information on making your own. In the recipes section there are only a handful of teas and incenses covered. Incenses and teas are only one way you can work with these herbs for health and magic. I would have liked some information on adding to foods and tinctures or other workings with herbs. A few more specifics on step by step preparation would have also been useful.
In the end I am going to continue to use this small guide as a reference in my practice of magic and herbal wellness. I would like to see it expanded into a larger volume with more information on the herbs and more ways to work with them.