Book Review – How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life? by Isabell Shipard

How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life?: Over 500 Herbs, Spices and Edible Plants: an Australian Practical Guide to Growing Culinary and Medicinal Herbs

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How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life?: Over 500 Herbs, Spices and Edible Plants: an Australian Practical Guide to Growing Culinary and Medicinal Herbs by Isabell Shipard is one of the best practical books on growing and using herbs that I’ve read. I know that’s a big statement, but this is what I’ve used as my reliable go-to reference book for herbal remedies for many years!

The information is in this book is authoritative and well-researched, and the author Isabell Shipard really knows her stuff. You can tell the information she shares is drawn from her extensive experience of growing and using herbs throughout her life.

Even though the author is Australian, as the title suggests, the book is quite universal as it covers a wide range of herbs, both traditional western ones and eastern ones also, that are grown all around the world. If you’re in the US or UK, this book will cover all the herbs you’ll ever encounter and then some.

This large format book is A4 page sized, making it easy to read, and with close to 400 pages of information it’s very comprehensive, with detailed information on more than 500 herbs. The addition of glossy colour photo sections throughout the book are a wonderful addition, they really help with plant identification and also make the book even more educational.

The publisher’s described the book as follows:

“The information presented in this herb book for growing spices, rare edibles, herbs and other plants with culinary and medicinal uses; and the research on how herbs can be used for alternative medicine, herbal remedies, herbal nutrition, alternative pain relief, is relevant and applicable to many countries, climates and cultures throughout the world. Through reading this herb book you will learn about herbs that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and natural antibiotics, and how, many herbs have valuable alkalising benefits.

You will gain an understanding of how herbs relate to health, how herbs contain pain-relieving properties, support the innate healing process, and strengthens the immune system. And you will grow in an appreciation of how, many medicinal herbs can be used as preventative medicine.”

The layout of each section is really well-structured, making it easy to find the information that you need.

Under the title of each herb is the following information:

  • Common names of the herb
  • Botanical name
  • Botanical plant family

The Description provides all the information that a gardener requires to grow the herb and more:

  • Detailed plant identification information
  • Propagation information
  • Growing requirements
  • Additional useful information such as where the plant is native to, its history, and other plants that are often mistaken for the plant discussed.

Also included is a summary of the properties of the herb:

  • Constituents, such as active ingredients, nutritional components
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Actions, such as antibiotic, diuretic, expectorant, etc.

The Medicinal Uses information is very detailed, thoroughly-researched and extensive. Every single possible medicinal use is covered for each herb, as well as any other herbs that it’s usually combined with to treat specific conditions. I really like the addition of the ethnobotanical knowledge, the explanations of how the plants are used traditionally in the countries where they grow natively.

If there are any special processes required to prepare a herb for use, these are described very clearly, and the step-by-step instructions are always very easy to follow.

  • Doses are always specified, as well as duration, how often a herb needs to be used. If there are any precautions which need to be observed, these are clearly stated.

The Culinary Uses are included in this book, and this is a clever consideration, as many herbs are also culinary, and many foods are medicines.

Other Uses of each herb beyond the medicinal and culinary, describing every other possible practical use of the herb imaginable, everything from insect repellents to fabric dyes.

Like all good books on the subject of herbal medicine, the index lists herb common names, botanical names, and medical conditions. This allows you to use the book in two ways.

  1. If you’ve got a herb growing in the garden, you can become better acquainted with it by looking up its name and discovering all the ways in which it can be used, which is quite exciting!
  2. For a specific ailment, you can look it up to find which herbs can be used to treat it, which is very handy. There are several herbs listed for each condition, so if one herb is unavailable, or cannot grow in your location, a substitute can easily be found.

Seriously, this is a brilliant book, and one of those books I’m so glad I bought. I only wish this book was available in eBook format so I could always have the information handy at on my smartphone whenever I might need it!

Book Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher : David Stewart; Seventh Edition (January 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10 : 0646422480
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0646422480

‘How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life?: Over 500 Herbs, Spices and Edible Plants: an Australian Practical Guide to Growing Culinary and Medicinal Herbs’ is an excellent reference book for everyone interested in growing and using medicinal herbs. It really lives up to its name, as it’s a super-useful practical guide on how to use herbs (plants useful to humans) in every aspect of your everyday life, and make the most of the herbs already growing in your garden. A wonderful book that is highly educational, informative and transformative, the information between those green covers can truly enrich your life and enhance your connection to nature. This book is highly recommended!

Deep Green rating for “How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life?: Over 500 Herbs, Spices and Edible Plants: an Australian Practical Guide to Growing Culinary and Medicinal Herbs” by Isabell Shipard is 5 stars!

five out of five stars

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