by Matthew Wood
In this companion volume to The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants, Matthew Wood, an expert herbalist who has used medicinal herbs with tens of thousands of patients over a twenty-five-year career, provides detailed descriptions of New World (North American) herbs and their uses. Organized as a materia medica (names and descriptions of herbs/plants are listed alphabetically), the book explains the use of the whole plant (not just “active ingredients”) in the treatment of the whole person and describes symptoms and conditions that the plants have been successful in treating—from digestive ailments, headaches, and high blood pressure to asthma, skin rashes, and allergies, to name a few.
Wood, who has systematically studied ancient and traditional herbal literature, takes a historical view and presents information in a thoughtful, engaging, nontechnical style. In addition, he provides remarkable case studies as well as insight into the “logic” of each plant—its current and past usage, pharmacological constituents, and other elements that together produce a comprehensive portrait of each herb.