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The Herbal Apothecary: 100 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  365 ratings  ·  34 reviews
“Perfect for anyone just beginning in herbal medicine.” —Mother Earth Living 

Start your path to natural wellness with the safe, trusted advice found in The Herbal Apothecary. With the guidance of naturopath JJ Pursell, you will learn how to safely create your own remedies using plants you know and love. Incorporating traditional wisdom and scientific information, The Herb
Paperback, 292 pages
Published December 30th 2015 by Timber Press (first published November 1st 2015)
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Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. But it seems it should have been called The Herbal Quackery. For all the "medicinal" claims it makes so confidently, there are no sources cited to support them. While I understand that not all folk medicines come with a research pedigree, I did expect a bit more than just the author's say so about what to use for what ailment. I did give the book a couple of stars for presentation and photographs. It is a good looking book, just too many unsubstantiated claims ...more
Terri Lynn
This is a marvelous book for those who would like to use plants for medicinal purposes whether to make a cream for skin irritations to a tea for insomnia. Each plant/herb is shown, information is given about it, and the process of creating products from it -including doses- is given. The author is Dr. JJ Pursell, a board-certified naturopathic doctor who has worked with medicinal herbs for over 20 years.
Anna Nesterovich
Wow! I'll be the first one to give it one star! Such a privilege. The reason for this rating is that science and superstitions intertwined so tightly in there, they are impossible to untangle. I really think those two approaches must be separated into different books, so the reader could choose.
Claudia Turner
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most important book purchases I’ve made this years or ever. It’s very organized and well written, and full of useful information about herbs and holistic whole body healing with herbal remedies. They aren’t a complete replacement for other western methods we need sometimes, and people who think they are need to grow up, but anyone who discredits the importance of these ancient, natural remedies also needs to have their head examined. JJ Pursell is an incredibly informed, intelligent v ...more
Anniken Haga
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
I always find it hard rating books like this, but for once, it wasn't a question.

Often, I find that books like these are written in a very cold way. They're generic and don't really account for all the different people that may read it. That wasn't the case here. I felt like I was sitting down with the author and having a conversation, where they mentioned their own personal experiences with the herb as well as scientific research.

The scientific research is the only reason I'm giving it a 4/5 s
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can say in one word what I thought of this book……AMAZING! If you are interested in medicinal herbs remedies you need to look at this book. The layout cover to back will hold your attention. After a short introduction of the herbalist life the author jumps the reader into the different systems of the human body such as the cardiovascular system or the endocrine system. It helps anyone interested in herbal remedies to understand how the body works so they can understand which herbs would work fo ...more
Rebekka Steg
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Herbal Apothecary is a visually stunning and beautiful book. It covers in depth 100 different medicinal herbs, but also the many ways to store, and use them. How to put together compounds, treatment plans etc. I received an advanced reader's copy from Netgalley, but loved it so much that I am ordering my own copy to keep on hand.
Must buy! I just love the way this book is organized and the quality of information is A+. Simple clear directions. Now, if I could figure out where to find this stuff around Hamilton for free...
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, plants, cookin
4.5- This is a ‘level 2’ book for budding herbalists. It has a lot of background on how the herb works with the body systems and doesn’t give a ton of information about how to collect the parts of the plant. The plants feature nice pictures and easy to read information, along with a medicine cabinet area that specifies how to use it (example- decoction, 3tsp per 12oz water, simmer 8-10min covered, 1-3 cups per day). Probably enough info for old timers, but a little scanty on instructions for new ...more
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent introductory book for the aspiring herbalist interested in holistic, plant-based medicine. While it only scratched the surface, the book was perfectly suited for beginners who are just trying their hand at herbal remedies. It wasn't the most scientific book I've come across on the topic, but Pursell was methodically thorough in her approach; I never felt overwhelmed by the content. I highly recommend this book for those who are considering pursuing herbalism as a serious hob ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book to keep on my health bookshelf. I read most of it when I first got it, then realized recently that I never finished reading the last two chapters! The book is very well organized with information on different ways to use herbs (poultice, infusion, tincure, etc), supplies needed to make everything, descriptions of various herbs, as well as recipes for herbal applications for various problems. Definitely a book to have on hand.
Karen Klassen
Oct 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
It was unclear which statements and recommendations were referenced and which were from the author's opinion. There were errors when describing diseases/conditions that decreased my confidence about the author's knowledge base. Measurements were sometimes in volume, sometimes weight, sometimes metric and overall pretty confusing. Would have been clearer to just advise people to get a scale and weigh everything in grams!
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is well-written, I find myself disagreeing with one or two things, but I find this a common thing in a field like this. I wouldn’t rely solely on this as a reference. It’s good to have but there are more comprehensive and complete sources out there. But for an introduction to some of the herbs listed it is good.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loads of information

What can I say, if you're interested in growing and eating( or drinking) your own herbs. This is the book for you. You wouldn't believe what's already growing in your own back yard that you can make into tea!
Lanigan Vitaceae
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Clear instructions for making tons of medicines for many ailments. Beautiful pics too!
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple, comprehensive book for a beginner or amateur naturopath. Great pictures, well-written and explained, with step-by-step instructions on how to use the herbs the author introduces.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Probably a book I’ll add to my personal library at some point.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A nice overview about what everything is but a lack of recipes
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent information & enjoyable read.

Good book for beginners & intermediate herbalist. Anyone looking for a more holistic approach to healing should start with this book.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a good starter book! Didn't have quite everything I wanted to learn, but it was a good place to begin and find the right direction.
Laurie Stewart
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good intro to herbalism and some great recipes.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for NetGalley.

This is an excellent introductory book for herbal medicine. Dr. Pursell's work is a concise, cogent clearly illustrated primer for anyone wishing to use herbs in a medicinal fashion.

The book begins with explaining the rationale for medical usage of herbs, the history of herbal medicine and the basic systems of the human body and how herbal medicine can affect and heal them.

There are excellent listings of herbal medical technical terms and their definitions, and we
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guide, health, witch, herbs
A great reference book! If you're going to really get into herbalism you'll want more than this, but this book has plenty of recipes and ideas to get you started, as well as beautiful pictures. The plant directory has great concise but detailed information about the 100 herbs listed, including qualities and herbal actions as well as growing/foraging tips. I would love to see more plants covered in this excellent format! I also love the chart included that shows the ideal alcohol percentage for t ...more
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, especially those new to herbs
The photos in this blow my mind. First book I've seen to have actual photos of the bontany-side of the herbs. Some photos show clearly the stamens, pistols, ovaries, etc. It's really great to be able to see such clear photos that will help with identifying those plants. (Oddly, even field guides don't get that clear about it)

It's just a beautifully put-together book. Perfect for beginners and intermediate levels of herbalism, but less so for the well-versed.

I like how this particular book uses t
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the balance of stories and fact based medical information supplied for each of the plants along with the detailed instructions for creating tinctures, capsules, cordials, and other methods to make use of the herbs. Too many books give you all of the details on how a plant can help, but not a drop of practical information on how to get started with them. This book provides both the overview and a strong foundation to get you on the path to an integrated self care stragtey.
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book for a beginner herbalist. It contained a lot of detailed information about specific herbs. I bought the paperback, but am considering buying the e-book as well so I have an electronic copy that I can reference when it is more convenient. I think this one will be used as a reference often. It contains many recipes which I am planning to try. It did leave me wanting more, which is a good thing (thirst for knowledge).
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
What a beautiful book. The information is clear and detailed, everything from the harvesting of herbs to their storage, from how to grow your own to where to buy online. And the photography alone is well worth spending time with. Excellent.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review - thank you.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Definitely more of a reference book than a "read through to learn" book, it was well-written. The book was organized and included varied information. There seemed to be an almost mystical thread running through some of the sections. It did not bother me but I can see it being annoying or confusing to some people.
This book was so comprehensive and thorough. Lovely photos and multiple uses made this book a great part to anyone's collection.
Mar 11, 2016 added it
I'm new to the herbal world but have found Pursell to be informative and encouraging!
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