Targeted to the millions of consumers treating common ailments with herbal remedies, this authoritative guide to 100 essential herbs is chock-full of crucial information for the health-minded consumer, wellness advocate, gardener, and naturalist.
Written by the executive director of the American Herbalists Guild, National Geographic Herbal features backyard weeds like dandelion and red clover, culinary herbs like rosemary and garlic, classics like blueberries and chamomile, as well as less familiar medicinals like ashwangandha, Japanese knotweed, and shatavari. You’ll discover the healing properties of herbs and spices like turmeric and ginger, and which learn which popular herbs deserve special conservation attention, such as rooibos and ginseng.
Blending traditional lore and current science, the information found in these pages stretches from tips for the kitchen garden and home apothecary to news about activism in the global arena. Illustrated with vintage botanical drawings and vivid contemporary photography, it highlights hallowed traditions, from ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic principles to the Latin American curanderismo lineage and Gullah Geechee practices in the American South.
Comprehensive and user-friendly, this beautiful book will help readers make sense of the ever-growing selection of herbal remedies on the market—and enhance their health through a deeper knowledge of the wonder of plants.
About the Author
MIMI PRUNELLA HERNANDEZ, MS, RH (AHG), is an internationally recognized clinical herbalist and ethnobotanist with a Master of Science in Herbal Medicine. She is a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild, and has served as the Guild's executive director for more than ten years. An award-winning student of the revered ethnobotanist James Duke, she has been practicing and teaching herbalism for more than two decades. Hernandez lives in the foothills near Asheville, North Carolina, where she stewards and advocates for native medicinal plants on the PonderLand Sanctuary. @herbalforager
"Beautifully designed and illustrated, thoroughly researched and presented with wisdom, passion, knowledge and love by the incomparable Mimi Hernandez, the National Geographic Herbal is a treasure that will delight and inspire plant lovers of all ages and in every nation." —Wade Davis, PhD, ethnobotanist, professor of anthropology, and author of One River and The Serpent and the Rainbow
"What an astounding and unusual idea the publishers had for this book: to create an Herbal that will reach the general public, filled with detailed, accurate information based on both science and tradition, and written by an experienced clinical herbalist. The book is visually stunning, with step-by-step instructions for home remedies and recipes as well as the history and lore of these wondrous plants. This is one 'coffee table book' that deserves to be read cover to cover and referred to over and over." —David Winston, RH(AHG), author of Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief
"Like sharing a cup of aromatic herbal tea with a friend, this beautifully written book by Mimi Prunella Hernandez weaves together the rich cultural traditions that inspired her path as an herbalist with sound scientific data to create an essential reference for herb enthusiasts and herbal practitioners." —Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH(AHG), author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians
"Mimi Hernandez’s book is an extraordinary work of art, scholarship, humanity and wisdom of herbal traditions, past and present. Her stunning skill in writing allows the depth and dedication she has for plant medicines to infuse her keen sense and admiration for the sciences. Just when you think you can not come across another herbal of great value, Mimi’s book rises to the top of the list. Beautifully illustrated and written with practicality for the home herbalist and clinician alike, this book is truly destined to survive the tests of time." —Kat Maier, RH(AHG), author of Energetic Herbalism and founding director, Sacred Plant Traditions
"Mimi Prunella Hernandez’s book, National Geographic Herbal, brings the reader into the sensual world of herbs with lovely herbal illustrations and story. This book captures a wealth of herbal knowledge arranged in a user-friendly fashion with hints of a traditional herbal. The magic of this book is felt throughout the pages, recipes, and Mimi’s personal journey on the herbal path." —Dr. Mary Bove, naturopath and medical herbalist
"Weaving together folk and scientific insights into the healing powers of specific plants along with essays highlighting key issues and approaches to herbalism in the 21st century, the beautifully designed National Geographic Herbal offers something for new and experienced herbalists and plant lovers alive." —Ann Armbrecht, PhD, author of The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry
"The National Geographic Herbal is a thorough collection of herbs drawn from Mimi's extensive expertise and diverse journey into herbalism consisting of both traditional practice and scientific uses and applications. This is an outstanding resource to include in your studies or practice, and it will become a favorite reference for many years to come!" —Mary Colvin, RH(AHG), clinical herbalist and host of “Herbology Talk” podcast
“Oh, how I long to sit around a kitchen table with Mimi, chopping herbs, drinking peach leaf tea and listening to her stories of plant kin and community. Instead, an ocean away, I read Mimi's writing and am absorbed into a warm and welcoming space of wild plants, wisdom and wonder. Mimi guides us gently and surely along a journey of herbalism, from sensory and experiential to weedy and wonderful to community medicine and global ethics within herbalism. The way Mimi has written about each herb is engaging, articulate, accessible and informative, and this book is a welcome addition to the homes or libraries of anyone and everyone interested in plant medicine.” —Amaia Dadachanji, MNIMH, practicing herbalist and founder of Wild Apothecary
“Mimi’s ‘insatiable quest to learn about the inner workings of the body and the outer workings of the natural world’ bears glorious fruit in this remarkable book. It so clearly comes from her heart, and her love for the plants shines through its pages. She animates profound insights with powerful stories that transcend her personal experiences to reach us all. These are grounded always with a rational scientific underpinning that means they make sense in our modern culture too. As Mimi asks, keep this book by your bed and take it with you as a guide on your outings!” —Simon Mills, FCPP FNIMH, herbal practitioner, co-author of Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, and self care lead at the UK College of Medicine
"Mimi Hernandez's book is like a stroll through a well-designed herb garden on a crisp summer morning. Using the world of herbal medicine as her palette, Mimi has woven a pleasant presentation of individual herbs on a backdrop of thoughtful introductions to many of the world's herbal traditions. There really is something in here for everyone." —Thomas Avery Garran, PhD, president, Herb Whisperer, Inc. and executive director, East West School of Planetary Herbology
“If you want to get a feel for herbal medicine, this is your book. Brilliantly written in almost poetic script (yet peppered with science), these lyrical descriptions of medicinal plants and their effects will turn you on to the influence of herbs on your remarkable body. This Herbal will guide you to discover the subtle (and sometimes robust) power of botanical medicines. Add to this the practical tips for having fun in your kitchen while making remedies, and you have an exceptional self-study guide to assist you on your journey into the kingdom of botanical medicines.” —Kevin Spelman, PhD, MCPP, founder of Health, Education and Research Consulting and co-founder of the first Master of Science program in Clinical Herbal Medicine at the Maryland University of Integrative Health
“The author skillfully explains the geographic distribution of 100 plant species and descriptions made by different cultures. Whoever wants to learn about different topics related to useful plant species can find them in this book. It includes luxurious illustrations from past centuries as well as current photographs. I invite people to read and enjoy the useful flora described in this beautiful book.” —Dr. Rocio Alarcon, PhD, ethnopharmacologist and founder of the Iamoe Center