by Henriette Kress
Yrtit ja yrtititerapia Henriette Kress, Helsinki Finland 2011
ISBN 978 9 526 75750 6
Practical Herbs is a small attractive book about wild crafting, manufacturing and using herbs for simple acute ailments. The author resides and practises in Finland; however as she points out the herbs discussed can be found in most temperate environments, including Australia.
The book has 150 pages with colour photos and has two main sections. The first provides basic information on picking and preparing herbs for use in tinctures, salves, syrups and teas, and goes on to provide fairly clear and simple instructions on how to make these preparations. The second section consists of 23 traditional monographs (unreferenced) with all the usual information, ending with suggested preparations for simple acute ailments. These monographs include old favourites such as dandelion, horsetail and Calendula, and the less familiar maral root (Rhaponticum carthamoides) and speedwell (Veronica spp). Be advised effects and uses are clearly gauged at the amateur.
This is not a professional text but will appeal to students of herbal medicine and any herbalist feeling nostalgic about what inspired them to practice herbal medicine. Who can resist such gems as tea of beggarticks (Bidens spp) for dry mucous membranes, cinquefoil (Potentilla spp) paste for healthy cuticles or a yummy blackcurrant sugar? There is also an intriguing section on constructing an aromatic rose leaf string of beads. I already have plans to raid my rose garden this summer!
Available for loan from the NHAA library.