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The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants
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The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants [Format Kindle]

Matthew Wood

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From "Herbalism and Holism"I have called this herbal “earthwise” to contrast it to other herbals reflecting the pharmacological approach. It is based on sources that the scientific approach ignores: historical uses, folk medicine, folk practitioners, the experience of actual herbalists, intuitive concepts of energy, plant properties, and medicine, daydreams, and dreams. It is, however, “scientific” in a broader sense of the word because it follows an organized and reasonably critical approach to understanding plant medicine. The Earthwise Herbal is organized around the concept that each plant has an innate intelligence or core “essence,” as the ancients would have said, binding together the disparate properties and uses into a meaningful and logical or intuitive whole. The compounds in the plant, its appearance, growth habit, ecological niche, and medicinal properties are united by this common personality, intelligence, or essence. This knowledge not only represents the “inwardness” of the thing—as the Quakers would say—but it represents the whole that unites the parts. This approach is thus set upon a holistic foundation.Because the emphasis is placed on the inwardness of the herb, The Earthwise Herbal is more expressly concerned with the use of individual herbs. It describes the properties of individual herbs and does not address their interaction or formulation. It is not written in opposition to formula-making, but in an attempt to help clarify and describe the properties of individual plants.In ancient times single herbs were known as “simples,” in contrast to combinations, or “compounds.” Those who used single herbs were called “simplers.” In general, they were less educated than the college physicians who developed extensive doctrines or systems, classified herbs according to properties (first with energetic systems and later with pharmacology), and used complex preparations (at first compounds, later pharmaceutical products). This herbal follows the approach of the simplers, not only in their use of individual herbs, but in their methods for determining the properties of herbs. As Dr. W. T. Fernie (1914, 1) explains: These primitive Simplers were guided in their choice of Herbs partly by watching animals who sought them out for self-cure, and partly by discovering for themselves the sensible properties of the plants as revealed by their odor and taste; also by their supposed resemblance to those diseases which nature meant them to heal.The simplers have been laughed at because of their use of the “doctrine of signatures” (the plant looks like the disease or organ), but there is a great deal of shrewdness in the observations of Nature made by people who live close to the natural world. Mother Nature is very efficient: plants are streamlined representatives of the forces that have formed them. No shape, color, or pattern is accidental. Form is related to function.I have also attempted to build a knowledge of plant properties based on the scholarly tradition. This started with energetic systems—that is, analysis of plants and diseases by hot or cold, damp or dry, yin or yang, or four or five elements, and so on. These analytical approaches, suited to the intuition, can help to describe herbal properties. Simple pharmacological information has also been included. The knowledge of plant constituents is often helpful in recognizing their potential properties. Taste and odor, referred to by Father Kneipp and Dr. Fernie, are very closely related to energetics and pharmacology.Plants are much older than we are. They have survived ruthless natural selection and have been honed by millennia of threat and stress to become the individuals that they are. Although not intelligent in the sense that we are, every molecule of the plant is held together by a common purpose—survival—and if we can understand the core essence that binds the whole together we can understand what the plant will do for us as a medicine...

Revue de presse

“In The Earthwise Herbal, Matthew Wood has revived the richness, depth, and dignity of the herbal medicine of the old masters, while at the same time endowing it with a new cosmopolitan, cross-cultural flavor that lifts it to a genuinely planetary level.”
—Rudolph Ballentine, MD, author of Radical Healing

“Matthew Wood propounds with great clarity, wisdom, and his own experience the gifts the earth in its wisdom has given us in the form of amazing medicines for almost all our ills, whether of body, mind, emotion, personality, or constitution. How refreshing it is to find a new herbal that explores the depths of each plant’s contribution and does not attribute its powers solely or even mainly to its chemical constituents.”
—Anne McIntyre, English Herbalist

“What [Matthew Wood] brings to herbalism is a first-hand sense of the old Western herbal knowledge with each plant steeped in its historic role.”
The American Herb Association

“Another valuable resource by Wood, a practicing herbalist with 25 years experience under his belt. Part of a two volume set, this complete guide to old world medicinal plants describes the characteristic symptoms and conditions from a holistic perspective.”
—Within Kingston Magazine

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1780 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 594 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1556436920
  • Editeur : North Atlantic Books (5 juillet 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.8 étoiles sur 5  19 commentaires
36 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For those who wanted another 'Book of Herbal Wisdom'... 2 juillet 2008
Par David Ryan - Publié sur
I was lucky enough to be able to use a draft version of this text in conjunction with one of Matt Wood's Herbal classes for most of the last year, and it fills virtually every hole [half the holes really] left open by the authors' earlier *Book of Herbal Wisdom*; a true masterpiece which I and all of my fellow healers turn to over and over.

BoHW had only 40 or so herbs and an excellent if brief Therapeutic Repertory at the end. This tome - or 1/2 tome really - has begun the process of providing a nearly complete Western Herbal Materia Medica; the like of which has not been seen since the Eclectics demise far back in the early 20th Century. And indeed goes beyond the Eclectics usual bare-boned and dry essentials for prescribing. Matt knows most of these plants like we know our friends. Like Tolkien's 'Smith of Wooten Major' he has been given a passport to go directly into the worlds of the plants soul and spirit, and while we may never have such direct access ourselves, Matt gives us a travelog in this [and all his books] simply unsurpassed in all of the worlds Herbal Literature [or at least the big slices that have made it into English!]

Another aspect makes this different from all other herbals out there is that it is a continuation of all that is good and true in most of the Schools of Western Herbology:
*Hippocratic and Galenic Humoralism
*Paracelsian Natura Sophia and medicinal specifics
*Physio-medicalism [Thompson and Dr. John Christopher]
*The Eclectics [Jones, Rafinesque and Scudder]
*Homeopathy - especially referencing the more eclectic Homeopaths like Burnett and Clarke - Matthew prefers the single remedy when possible but like most good herbalists - will use compounds if well indicated - and likely to benefit the patient]
*Chinese Medicine - which the author studied independently and with famed underground Herbalist/Acupuncturist William LeSassier also receives not just it's due, but it's still living energetic/elemental tradition updates and infuses the authors revised western system of 6 tissue states [below] at nearly every turn.
Constriction/Tension [TCM=Wind]
These are the Western equivalent of Chinese Medicine's Differentials - culled primarily from a 19th Century Physiomedical text but really being the medical/quasi-energetic terminology used by most 18th and 19th century healers of all schools to describe the conditions of all organs/glands/muscles etc [thus 'tissues'] as they could be perceived through palpation, pulse tongue and facial diagnosis.

For an acupressurist/homeopathic bodyworker like myself wanting an herbal-homeopathic system rooted in western plants but open to/informed by chinese medicine and human energetics, his system is exactly what I was looking for.

Keeping in mind this is ONLY Old -World plants [new world in the next volume due out shortly] undoubtedly many will find a plant or two they wish was covered, but far more importantly Matthew gives us the method [especially within his last books *Book of Herbal Wisdom* and *Practice of Traditional Western Herbalsim*] of seeing plants multi-dimensionally [essence and energetics, physical constituents, traditional uses], whether he has included them in his herbal or not!

Matthew has taken the hints of Bach for a new medical system; the potential equal of Homeopathy but based on the virtues of plants instead of the poisons of metals, chemical compounds and toxic plants, and combined it with the Eclectics TCM-like differential diagnosis and has essentially called Traditional Western Herbalism out of it's tomb like a 21st century medical Lazarus.

If you are wondering whether or not to buy this - the real question should be, as it is with *The Book of Herbal Wisdom* whether or not to buy 2. Because you are going to use it so much that you will quite possibly be loathe to loan your only one out.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Magnificent Achievement 16 novembre 2008
Par Prokopton - Publié sur
This book and its New World sister are far more than herbals. To make a herbal of just this type, now, is a statement about the way medicine needs to go, and perhaps even civilization too. So it had to be done just right - which it has been.

Wood's approach is best conveyed in his own words:

'I have called this herbal "earthwise" to contrast it to other herbals reflecting the pharmacological approach. It is based on sources that the scientific approach ignores: historical uses, folk medicine, folk practitioners, the experience of actual herbalists, intuitive concepts of energy, plant properties, and medicine, daydreams, and dreams. It is, however, "scientific" in a broader sense of the word because it follows an organized and reasonably critical approach to understanding plant medicine.'

What a treat this book is! Respectful of every herbalist's approach, and of every herb, Wood places us back amidst a true and genuine western holism. Noting the systems of the Greeks, Chinese, and Ayurveda, he takes a simple approach (with which his readers will already be familiar) based on tissue states and actions. And Wood points out with perfect correctness that holism cannot take place without such an energetic approach.

Although, as he says, much of what was 'alternative' not so long ago is now 'complementary', and doctors are considering lifestyle and temperament issues just as much as biochemistry, even most 'holistic' western doctors haven't taken the plunge to a full western energetic concept as has Wood. They will look at bodily systems and say that all need to be addressed 'as a whole' - but (so far as I'm aware) most have had no overall concept by which to look at the human system as *one thing*, unless they were importing it from the East; this book will change all that.

Wood looks at *everything* about a herb. He wants you to understand its essence, its geist, its character and personality, the thing that makes a herb itself as a particuar entity. Of course he doesn't ignore molecular biology - why would anyone do that? - but he does acknowledge its huge limitations as a method of understanding the action of herbal remedies.

He will look at absolutely any piece of information that he can give which helps to form a picture of a herb - its taste is very important to him, for example, and in terms of indications he will give physical, emotional or mental symptoms as appropriate. Wood Betony, for example, is good for bronchitis or fear of vomiting, is traditional for demon posession, and thus good for those who are hysterical, good for 'tall persons, disassociated from their bodily instincts', etc. - from this plethora of well-organized detail a picture emerges, like a snapshot of 'what the herb is'.

This makes the herbal perfectly well suited for the amateur, but equally, more or less essential for the professional who wants to expand their knowledge, their instinct, and indeed their knowledge *about* instinct. Needless to say the list of herbs covered is very thorough (including bee propolis for example, or a dozen medicines made from grapes).

I have to say, the bibliography is no less interesting. The voices of Wood's favourite teachers and colleagues continue to ring through his work, passing on not merely particular information but also a general attitude - imaginative, awake common sense perhaps says it best.

This is a book about how to heal; it may yet heal, not just many of the maladies from which we suffer, but our relationship to illness, wellness and herbs as well.

12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fanastic information for herbalists 23 septembre 2008
Par Beverly Lach - Publié sur
Those who are interested in herbs of North America will love this book. The authour provides detailed information about many poorly researched herbs that are valuable in natural medicine practice. He melds homeopathic provings with botanical information to create a full picture of each herb that he reviews!
For example, Lactuca is just a sleep herb, right? The authour reveals an entire personality and specific conditions that respond well to wild lettuce. Truely useful in any natural medicine clinical setting.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Informationally thorough, but missing convenient appendices 6 février 2009
Par J. Rough - Publié sur
I consider myself a beginning herbalist and I love this book. I don't consider it hard to understand, but that may be because it reminds me of Pitchford's "Healing With Whole Foods" in the way that it describes herbs. I would recommend Pitchford's book for anyone having trouble understanding this one.

Wood seems to use not only "old world" plants, but old information, which makes the writing style- the quotes, rather- interesting.

My only complaint is that the general index is lacking. I can find many remedies for many different plants, but few remedies that I have looked for can be found in the index.

4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A favorite go-to herb reference 8 février 2012
Par Diane Kidman - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
I've had both volumes of The Earthwise Herbal for a few years now, and they spend a lot of time off my bookshelf. I have countless herbalism references, but Woods's volumes are some of the first I grab whenever I need to look something up. I love the history behind the herbs, as well as the layout. Very practical and useful. This one, which focuses on Old World medicinal plants, is great for us in the New World, since these are plants that have managed to find their way here. And as an herbalist, I like learning where they originated from. Worth reading from cover to cover; and don't skip the intro. Fascinating!
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