The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Third American Edition by Andrew Chevallier is a DK book (Dorling Kindersley). They’re famous for their beautifully packaged books. In this one, not so much.
0 out of 10 stars. Clearly this wasn’t put together with its intended audience in mind. There are more culinary herbs and vegetables in here than actual medicinal herbs. The title of the book is “Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine”. That’s not what this is.
ORGANIZATION: Any medicinal herb book should have herbs listed by their common names, NOT their species name. Few people know the species name and when you’re in a hurry, that’s the last thing you’re thinking of while shopping for seeds and nursery plants. Also, barks should be in their own section, roots should be in their own section, seeds should be in their own section, and leaves should be in their own section.
REGIONAL: Any medicinal herb book should have herbs that can be grown in that country. Plants that can only grow in Africa are not helpful to me. Neither are Chinese herbs that are used to a different climate. This book is full of those but has few North American medicinal herbs.
MEDICINAL HERBS: Any medicinal herb book should have only medicinal herbs. Corn is not a medicinal herb. Carrots are not a medicinal herb. Yes, the beta-carotene and Vitamin A in carrots is beneficial to the body, but you’d have to eat massive amounts of carrots to get the same amount found in medicinal herbs. And this is a medicinal herb book, not a vegetable gardening book.
INDEX: Any medicinal herb book should have an index that includes ailments, preparation methods, herbs listed by common name, and herbs listed by species at the very least. This does not.
PREPARATION: Any medicinal herb book should have a section with plenty of photos for preparation of medicinal herbs into the various methods of internal and external use. That section in this book is only 6 pages long and has very few photos. The few photos it does have are very small and virtually worthless.
PHOTOS: Any medicinal herb book should have a plethora of photos of each and every medicinal herb taken from different views at different times of years, along with methods of harvesting. That is the major use of this book. Without those, then this becomes nothing more than a coffee table book, interesting to pick up and browse through, but not useful at all.
0 out of 10 stars. I was completely shocked when I opened this book. I can’t imagine what the publisher was thinking. The title has nothing to do with the content and the content isn’t useful to anyone. The most common herbs in the US are kelp, black walnut, uva ursi, comfrey, red clover, and horehound. None of these are in this book. :0 In fact, they are in such demand that they are getting rare and hard to come by which has spawned a need for books to identify them, describe how to harvest them, and make them into supplements. You’d think this book would do that, but it doesn’t.