Book Review: Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

If you know me in person, you’ve already heard about this book :)

If you’re looking for an accessible, fun, compassionate, and well-balanced book on herbalism, this title is a great pick.  The bulk of this book is dedicated to specific herbal remedies for everyone in the family — children, men, women, and elders. There are tons of yummy herbal dishes and treats, a section on everyday ailments, and a chapter full of easy and indulgent herbal cosmetic treatments.  The A-to-Z guide of herbs in the back isn’t exhaustive, but it’s extensive and offers some unique information.

Rosemary Gladstar has been called the ‘godmother of American Herbalism’.  She founded the California School of Herbal Studies, the oldest running herb school in the U.S.  She is the founder and president of United Plant Savers. She has written numerous books, including the bestselling Herbal Healing for Women, and has written for or been featured in magazines like Body+Soul, Yoga Journal, and The Herb Companion.  Gladstar has been practicing herbalism for over 35 years, and is considered a pioneer in the field. She lives at Sage Mountain, near Barre, Vermont.

The square layout is nice as well.  The paper quality is lovely and sets off the gorgeous photography in this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in taking charge of their own well-being, whether you want to practice herbalism in-depth or just want a few pointers.

Herb Camp

Welcome back to the campfire!  Or perhaps you never left, and it’s me who’s returned, since I was hardly unpacked from Pennsic when I found it was time to pack up yet again, this time to head to what my sister has affectionately dubbed “herb camp.”  No, I was not off at camp to either recover from or indulge in illicit substances.  Rather, I’m lucky enough to be taking part in what is essentially a low-residency program on herbalism.  I spent the week with an remarkably amazing group of women, one similarly awesome man, a slew of rockin’ plants both wild and cultivated, a whole bunch of gorgeous meals, and such a bulk of information that my mind is still in the process of absorbing it.

I did, though, feel a little sheepish during the introductory meeting, when several of the other students mentioned that they’d had a deep connection with plants even in childhood.  I’ve always loved plants, kind of by default, and I used to garden with my grandmother as a kid.  But I was more likely to be found playing with stones on the beach than with sticks in the woods.  Plus, I used to be afraid of roots and vines.

Not sure why, though I vividly remember reading a story in which parents planted bean seeds on a child who refused to wash – and they grew on and maybe into his skin.  That might have done it.

Luckily, I have since come to terms with the fact that roots have absolutely no desire to eat me and are way more interested in tunneling through the soil and bringing scrumptious nutrients up to the rest of the plant.  Because I’ve made a lot of good (and some really goofy) decisions, but signing up for this course might just have been genius.  If, as Peter Pan said, “Death will be an awfully big adventure,” there are also some pretty sizable adventures beforehand – and I’m pretty stoked about this one.