Book Review: The Wild Medicine Solution, by Guido Masé

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I’m giving a great big virtual cheer that The Wild Medicine Solution: Healing with Aromatic, Bitter, and Tonic Plants has been published and is on my shelf. I’ve been anticipating this since I first heard last May that Guido Masé – clinical herbalist, cofounder of the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, part of the team at Urban Moonshine, etc. – was writing a book. It’s even better than I’d hoped.  Why?

  • It presents a system for using herbs in daily life that’s so accessible it goes beyond simplicity into elegance.
  • Guido both speaks hard science and can translate it for laypeople.
  • Storytelling is a skill near and dear to my heart, and Guido uses storytelling to great effect to both illustrate the uses of herbs and to communicate how powerful these plants are – physiologically, spiritually, and culturally.
  • The recipes included are easy and delicious.  I’m particularly enamored of the hot chocolate recipe, which tastes smoothly bitter and rich, everything I’ve always wanted coffee and Guinness and hot chocolate to taste like.
  • The herbs that Guido focuses on are easy to find and generally very pleasant to take: Think chocolate, ginger, and peppermint.
  • The photos are gorgeous.
  • While many books on natural health can leave you feeling like you’re fighting a losing battle (as though to be healthy, you must rid your home of every molecule of plastic, drink only spring water newly burst from the earth, eat tons of fish, never eat any fish because they’re all contaminated, and spend every waking hour doing mindfulness exercises), The Wild Medicine Solution is inspiring.  You come away from this book feeling that your body is strong and resilient, and can deal with the challenges of modern life if only you give it the right tools.

The upshot: If you have to deal with the stress and stressors of modern life, please read this. Accessible to non-science geeks and very appealing to those who like some soul served up with their science, this book is also a good one for skeptics who want scientific proof before they’ll buy into the validity of using herbs.

If you still have doubts, you should wander on over to The Wild Medicine Solution page on Guido’s blog:  You’ll find that this book is also recommended by David Winston, Susun Weed, David Hoffman, Michael Tierra, and others, including Rosemary Gladstar, who said:

“I have a new favorite book in my herbal library. What is most masterful about Guido’s teachings and writing is the way he weaves folklore, tradition, and science flawlessly together, making a sensible cohesive argument for the daily use of these common and important plants. Guido has written a classic.”

Hear, hear.