I would like to dedicate this book to the British School of Yoga for their practitioner training in Herbalism and Making Aromatherapy and Natural Health Product courses. Also to my son Christopher who shares my love of herblore and got me the mortar and pestle set shown on the cover to celebrate my graduation.
1 History of Herbal Healing
3 Aromatherapy Uses
4 Herbal Action Classifications 16-21
5 Herbs for the Body Systems
6 Herbal Identification
7 Making Herbal Preparations
8 Herbal Teas
9 Herbal Plant Dyes
10 Potpourris & Incense
About the Author
I would like to acknowledge the British School of Yoga for their training and my herbal suppliers for their products and information and the
organizations dedicated to promoting herbal knowledge such as Baldwins, The Herb Society, the Royal Horticultural Society and the American
1 HISTORY OF HERBAL HEALING
Ancient Egyptians used hundreds of herbs for healing and rituals. The Ebers Papyrus dates from around 3550 BC. Ancient writing of Hippocrates (lived 460 to 370 BC) and Materia Medica (Science of Healing Drugs) of Pelanius Dioscurides (AD 40 to 90) wrote a compendium of more than 500
plants that remained an authoritative reference into the 17th century.
Ayurvedic (Indian) herbal medicine has the Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta in the 6th century BC) describes 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources, and 57 preparations based on animal sources.
TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine also has a long history of herblore and practical applications. The Shennong Bencao Jing, compiled during the Han 3
Cara E. Moore
Dynasty but dating back to a much earlier date, possibly 2700 B.C., lists 365 medicinal plants and their uses.
Medical schools known as Bimaristan began to appear from the 9th
century in the medieval Islamic world, and Ibn al-Baitar described
more than 1,400 different plants, foods and drugs, with over 300 of which were his own original discoveries, in the 13th century.
The nun Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179) was an authority on
medieval herbal medicine and wrote Physica of Plants.
The experimental scientific method was introduced into the field of Materia Medica in the 13th century by the Andalusian an Arab botanist Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, the teacher of Ibn al-Baitar. Al-Nabati
introduced empirical techniques in the testing, description and
identification of numerous Materia Medica, and he separated
unverified reports from those supported by actual tests and
Both Henry the Eighth and Elizabeth the First were avid herbalist,
Henry the Eighth passed laws (1543) allowing people to continue to
practice Herbal medicine so the ordinary person would have access to medical care.
The English Physician Enlarged (1653) by Nicholas Culpeper included traditional medicine with astrology, magic, and folklore was ridiculed by the physicians of his day yet was very popular. The Age of Exploration and the Columbian Exchange introduced new medicinal plants to Europe. The Badianus Manuscript was an illustrated Aztec herbal translated into Latin in the 16th century.
The WHO recognizes that for most of the world, herbal
treatments are used as a necessity and Herblore is a vital tradition.
Further herbal resources
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