When you want to dig into your herbalism and wish to understand it more thoroughly, you’ll want to get yourself a copy of Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine. Written by David Hoffmann, FNIMH, AHG, this manual gives the more serious herbalist a look at herbs with a thorough and scientific approach without stripping that something unexplainable that happens when we use herbs as medicine. Hoffman starts the book with overviews on phytochemistry, pharmacology, and the formulation and preparation of herbal medicine. He then takes the reader on a tour of treatment approaches by body system, providing specific remedies and prescriptions. This section of the book is quite easy to use and to reference. With 250 pages of such useful remedies (a 650-page manual in total), it also includes a full material medica and additional sections such as “Phytotherapy and Children” and “Herbal Actions”.
I have a strange obsession – I read reference manuals cover to cover, straight through every page. So I don’t mind telling you I have not yet made my way through the entire manual. I have read much of the first half, however, and have spent time searching through the rest of the text to familiarize myself. This is no lightweight volume – it is loaded with such valuable insight that I will be taking my time reading the rest page by page. I’ve already found myself referencing it for a few remedy needs around the home and have also used it to reference remedies for others in need as well. This book has not even seen my bookshelf yet, and will probably maintain its place on the end table, even after I’ve finished reading it through, where I can grab it readily. Hoffmann’s style is straightforward and informative containing a fascinating depth, making Medical Herbalism a reference tool any herbalist will reach for without hesitation.
(Also by Hoffmann is The Herbal Handbook: A User’s Guide to Medical Herbalism which also looks like a reference worthy of checking out.)