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The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide

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This comprehensive, full-color guide provides detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for making and using approximately 250 herbal medicines at home, including practical tips and numerous effective formulas developed and tested by the authors, both expert herbalists with years of experience. Readers who appreciate the health-giving properties of herbal medicines but are discouraged by the high price of commercial products can now make their own preparations for a fraction of the cost. The authors tell you everything you need to know about harvesting, preparing, and administering herbs in many different forms, including fresh, bulk dried herbs, capsules, extracts in water, alcohol, glycerin, vinegar and oil, and even preparations like essential oils and flower essences. The book also covers topical applications of herbs as salves, lotions, poultices, tooth powders, ear drops, and more, and includes an extensive chapter on herbal hydrotherapy.
"The Modern Herbal Dispensary "explains why different preparations of the same herb will obtain better results, demonstrating how capsules, teas, tinctures, or glycerites of the same plant will not have exactly the same effect on the body. Leading herbalists Thomas Easley and Steven Horne have tested and proven the herbal formulas they offer, along with suggestions for treating more than one hundred illnesses. They lay out the principles of herbal formulation and also provide instructions on how to prepare single herbs, a procedure that has been largely ignored in other references. More comprehensive than any other guide, thoroughly researched, beautifully illustrated, and presented with ease of use in mind, this book will take its place as the premier reference for those who want to produce all the herbal remedies they need, and to save money in the process.
Table of Contents
Introduction--Results: The Name of the Game
Chapter One--Preparations and Applications: Understanding the Many Ways of Preparing and Using Herbs
Chapter Two--Fresh Herbs: Growing, Harvesting, and Using Fresh Plants
Chapter Three--Dried Herbs: Using Bulk Herbs, Capsules, and Tablets
Chapter Four--Extracting Herbs: Equipment, Raw Materials, and Potency
Chapter Five--Liquid Preparations: Basic Extraction Techniques for Water, Alcohol, Glycerin, and Oil
Chapter Six--Topical Preparations: Making Liniments, Lotions, Butters, Balms, and Salves
Chapter Seven--Herbal Hydrotherapy: Healing with Enemas, Douches, Baths, and Soaks
Chapter Eight--Advanced Techniques: Percolation Extracts, Dried Extracts, and Chinese Methods
Chapter Nine--Aromatherapy and Homeopathy: Essential Oils, Homeopathic Preparations, and Flower Essences
Chapter Ten--Formulas and Dosages: Creating Formulas and Determining How Much to Take
Resources, Part One--Sample Formulas
Resources, Part Two--Single Herbs
Appendix One: Herbal Constituents and Solvents
Appendix Two: Sources for Materials"

250 pages, ebook

Published November 29, 2016

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Thomas Easley

11 books7 followers

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5 stars
330 (63%)
4 stars
150 (29%)
3 stars
30 (5%)
2 stars
5 (<1%)
1 star
1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews
Profile Image for Dez the Bookworm.
199 reviews62 followers
February 20, 2023
I like the way this book lays all the information out about the herbs and uses. This book contains definitions, origins, herb uses, examples and even recipes for things like coughs and colds. I also like that they give dosage differences for children and adults.

I found this book to be one you can read once and then continually reference thereafter. I added this to my herbal book collection to refer back to and would recommend it as a supplemental to other books in this category.

Highly recommended for beginners through experienced, this book has a ton of helpful information.
Profile Image for Lollita .
205 reviews72 followers
May 10, 2022
well laid out and informative in a more biochemical and immunological way than I expected, very interesting.
Profile Image for Ellen.
269 reviews3 followers
December 5, 2020
Although a little over my head in places, I still think this is a really good resource! It's probably best for people who have already started dabbling in homemade herbal remedies. I'm just interested in making a few teas and other simple things. But it has lots of great directions, explanations, recipes for some common treatments, and then the best part of the book is chapter 13, which is an alphabetical index of what seems to be ALL the plants that can be used in herbal medicine. It gives common uses, warnings (such as don't use a certain herb while pregnant, etc), dosages, and sources to buy the herbs if you can't gather them yourself. I will definitely be referring to that section quite a bit!
Profile Image for Lisa Dolloff.
7 reviews
February 25, 2020
There’s a lot of good information in this book, but the “single herbs” section has enough format inconsistencies that someone not familiar with herbal medicine might question it all. For example, some herbs have a “specific indications” section where a last name (?) is listed, but there’s no explanation of who it is or where the info came from. And white pine, for another example, lists the benefits of the bark, gum, and pollen, but not the needles, but needles are mentioned in the dosage section. Thomas Easley has a lot of knowledge and experience to share, and the book overall is good, I just wish it was edited better. The large formula section is great.
Profile Image for Karli W.
99 reviews
January 5, 2021
This book is exactly what the title says it is. It provides so much info exclusively for the medicinal preparation, making, and using of herbs. It is for those who are the next level (or two) up from a hobbyist. Not quite the book I was looking for, but it certainly gets the job done if you want to learn how to make your own herbal medicines.
Profile Image for Amy Kreydin.
Author 3 books11 followers
February 7, 2017
This is exactly what the title says, a guide on making herbal medicines. It covers a variety of herbal extraction methods from basic tinctures and macerations to soxhlet and percolation extractions and flower essences. The formulations section covers some basics in dosing and then has a number of stock formulas for a variety of wellness goals and conditions.

The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide is a great reference book for formulators and practitioners. Thomas Easley also runs an online course on medicine making via his school the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine.
Profile Image for Charmaine.
22 reviews3 followers
November 3, 2018
The Modern Herbal Dispensatory is exactly what I was looking for to get into herbalism and begin to start making my own herbal medicines. This is an in depth book covering all the various aspects of herbalism for medicinal purposes: from harvesting herbs or obtaining them from reputable vendors, to the various processes used to extract the qualities you want, to favorite herbal blends, and of course, and in depth and alphabetized list of over 200 individual herbs. A must have for any herbalist looking to begin or continue using herbs for medicinal use.
Profile Image for Brooke Criswell.
Author 6 books12 followers
June 15, 2017
An excellent read. Provides solid overview of Modern Western Herbalism. Provides explanation of terminology, foundational concepts then delves into basics of developing formulas, applying energetics, and even gives specific on a host of herbs.
The tone of the book is both easy to read, and explanatory.
I read the book cover to cover, and learned about many aspects of preparing herbal remedies.
Especially useful as introductory to intermediate level reference guide.
23 reviews
September 5, 2020
If you buy just one book on herbal medicine, this is the one! This book doesn’t spend much time on my bookshelf. I am always looking up plants and the best way to utilize their medicine. You will find nearly every plant that has medicinal value, some may surprise you, in this book. If I had to choose just one book to carry with me forever, this would be the one.
Profile Image for Scott Miller.
140 reviews
September 20, 2018
Again, no sources, which I am sure is common with books of this nature. This one does not have the pcitures for each herb, but does focus a good bit on formulas.
Profile Image for Tyler.
44 reviews
January 8, 2023
Rating: Five Stars

Formats Reviewed: Paperback, e-book.

I must first preface this review with a disclaimer, I am not a qualified herbalist, and am new to the subject, accordingly, I cannot pass comment on the herbal remedies and prescriptions, or the accuracy of the herbal information. However, I can comment on some of the preparation procedures and on how digestible the directions are, as well as the overall book.

This book is intended to be an introduction to Herbalism from a contemporary perspective. The authors are both herbalists (as one would expect on a book of this subject). I have little knowledge about the practical creation of herbal remedies, and my previous forays into the subject have come from a place largely of botanical and folkloric interest, rather than trying to understand the practical application of the herbs.
Thankfully, this book excels in just what I was missing. The first eleven chapters (about half of the book) are entirely dedicated to introducing the subject and giving detailed directions on exactly how to make things such as tinctures and balms. It provides detailed and specific instructions about how much of the preparatory ingredients are needed, how long the process takes, etc. Tinctures, infusions, decoctions, compresses, balms salves, and others are all exhaustively covered. Thanks to this book, I am actually making some tinctures! The authors also get into more advanced preparations, such as how to make a homemade Soxhlet extractor, but that is far above my skill level.

A key feature of this book is an emphasis on Humourism, and it does a very good job of introducing the basics to that. It covers the major classes within the system at a basic and understandable level, and explains how the different classes impact the body. I also enjoyed how they carried that information into the herbal section in the back half, a lost of herbals mention the Humours in the beginning, and then drop the practical application of the system later. This book does not. However, the way the system is presented isn’t overbearing enough to detract from the book if you are not interested in the system.

If you’re looking for a practical guide on how to get started with herbalism, this book is fantastic, and you need look no further.

I would recommend the physical book, as there are plenty of charts and tables that were most understandable in the paperback. While the e-book retains the information, it is harder to interpret. Additionally, this is a reference book, and having it on hand to flip through the pages is immensely helpful.
Profile Image for Amber Rae.
102 reviews1 follower
March 11, 2023
This is far and away one of my favorite reference books as a Clinical Herbalist for the simple fact that they include recommended dosage for each herb as well as their favorite menstruums to extract the medicinal properties. I can’t say that I agree 100% of the time, but it’s great for those late nights or early mornings when my brain just isn’t firing at all cylinders and I need a quick jog. I feel like this is THE book I would recommend for anyone’s SHTF library. If you have this book and a good local plant identification guide, you could get yourself out of some pretty sticky situations.
Profile Image for Kayla Dorminy.
58 reviews7 followers
November 4, 2022
Really informative and interesting. If you are wanting more formulaic and the “why” reasoning behind some of the methods then this is a good one. Read alongside other herbal medicinal books. The formulas look like a lot of ingredients, but he has a formula of why he adds them and if you dive deep into that formula you can choose different options or eliminate them to help with your specific need. The single herb section is lacking, but again, read with other sources.
Profile Image for Madeline.
73 reviews15 followers
June 20, 2021
This is my absolute favorite herbalism reference book. Whenever people ask me what books I consider essential, this is one of the few I list. It has a comprehensive breakdown of individual herbs, preparation, suppliers, and more. It has recommended reading at the back and cites all of it sources. I especially appreciate how in depth this book gets on the preparation side of things.
411 reviews
February 18, 2023
I first read this as a young wife and mother and loved it. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s contemplations gave me rest and centered me about my own purpose at that time. I find it less helpful at this time of my life when our children have left our house and my life is less frantic, but it is still good.
Profile Image for sarah.
184 reviews17 followers
September 13, 2019
Some great information & helpful foundational references. It is hard to depend on ONE book when learning herbalism. I am starting to see why reading multiple sources is helpful! Love that this book includes a section of suppliers.
Profile Image for BJ.
74 reviews3 followers
February 25, 2020
This book is about 75% reference, but is also a fantastic introduction to becoming an herbalist and creating your own natural medicines. I bought the ebook initially, and found it to be useful enough to purchase a physical copy as well.

Profile Image for Theresa M.
26 reviews
November 11, 2022
If you already know a ton about herbs, this is the next step up. Not a mere recipe book with cutesie "facial scrub" recipes. Highly recommend if you are looking to further your knowledge on the medicinal wisdom innate throughout nature.
1 review
August 18, 2018
Great book on herbal medicine. I love how it explains every little detail on how to make your own medicine and also how to make your own herbal formula.
Profile Image for Chanti.
148 reviews
February 3, 2020

Excellent reference guide! Full of info on plant constituents, plant properties, indications, preparations, and medicine-making.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
19 reviews
April 18, 2020
Great book if you are even thinking about getting away from Big Pharma and OTC medications.
Profile Image for Pixie Kris.
32 reviews4 followers
March 15, 2021
More of a reference book than a cover to cover read. All the parts I have read covered the topic well and, so far, there hasn't been something I needed that wasn't included.
Profile Image for Dalton Miller.
16 reviews9 followers
June 30, 2021
Extraordinarily useful primer to herbalism at home. I recommend it to anyone wanting to get started. I learned how to make medicinal tinctures by using this book.
Profile Image for Alyson Maier.
Author 5 books3 followers
November 22, 2021
A true gem of a book for any herbalist or homesteader. A valuable resource with well-written examples of dosages, plant actions, historical use. Wonderful book!
May 6, 2022
Really great resource book. I only wish that for the herbs in the back that I didn't need to use a different book for proper identification. But overall, very good.
Profile Image for Lia P.
86 reviews1 follower
June 21, 2022
It is good for a good introduction to herbs and different ways to use them. I kinda don’t like that it is quite repetitive at times but it is useful
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews

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