Friday, November 21, 2008

Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs & Spices

As you can see, I copied the picture from Amazon's listing. Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs & Spices is a simply wonderful resource. I ordered it used and received it quickly and I've been reading in it ever since. I had first gotten a copy from the library, but it was so good and useful that I had to get my own.

As with most encyclopedias, this isn't something you sit down to read through. There's too much information for that. It is a book to browse, or to check for certain information.

Here's what the back cover had to say about John Heinerman;

John Heinerman is a medical anthropologist whose research has taken him to 33 countries, where he has worked with folk healers as well as top doctors and scientists. Widely known for his lectures throughout North America, Dr. Heinerman has appeared on television and radio and has written hundreds of articles in the area of folk medicine, herbs, and nutritional healing for The Herbalist, Folk Medicine Journal, and Vegetarian Times. He is also the author of over two dozen books, including the bestsellers Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices; Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Nuts, Berries, and Seeds; and Heinerman's New Encyclopedia of Fruits and Vegetables...

Considering that the book is so inexpensive bought used through Amazon (and my copy is truly as good as new), everyone interested in herbs and nutritional medicine should get a copy. I'm finding it very interesting as well as containing tons of information, great stories of how herbs have helped heal many physical problems, case histories, examples from scientific/medical journals, anecdotes from folk healers around the world, and all kinds of recipes--nutritional and medicinal.

Here's a section on using juniper berries for flu that is representative of many entries:

Knocks the Flu for a Loop

When influenza hits, it usually spells a long period of aggravating miseries, which seem to change with the infection going through its several different stages of activity. The worst part about the flu, however, is that it is usually tends to linger for days, even weeks, after the worst symptoms have passed.

There are a number of herbal remedies for coping with the flu. But none of the herbalists I know or the books they have written have ever suggested hot jumiper tea for this problem. In fact, I didn't even know myself how good it was until an old Navajo shaman years ago acquainted me with it when I was an invited guest in his hogan, located out in the middle of nowhere.

I somehow picked up the flu "bug" before I got there, and it didn't take very many hours to aggrfessively dominate my body. In plain words, I felt like hell! But my friend, Ned Many Sheeps, boiled me up some tea by throwing a handful (probably one-half cup) of juniper berries into an old coffee pot sitting on top of an old iron stove situated in the center of the dirt floor and filled with one quart of boiling water. A series of black stove pipes snaked their way up through a hole in the rounded clay roof firmly packed down on top of sawed juniper planks laid next to each other in a circular fashion and expertly supported together in the middle without the benefit of a center column.

Between the strong juniper scent and the hot tea he kept pouring into me every couple of hours, I got better in a big hurry. I can assure you. The warmth of the tea felt good going down and induced the perspiration I probably needed to throw off the excess poisons within me. The strong disinfectant properties within the berries themselves went a long way in killing the viruses responsible for my miseries.

Not only did I quickly recover, but I fully recuperated. I'm not being redundant with this statement. Remember earlier how I said that remnants of the flu usually tend to hang on for days or weeks after most people have gotten over the worst parts of their infections? Well, in my case, there was no additional eveidence of anything lingering; when I got well, that was it, period.

There are nearly 500 pages of information like that--plus scientific studies done on rats or mice and reported in the medical literature. Heinerman not only reads about folk remedies, but he obviously keeps tabs on many medical specialities.

The introduction discusses how herbs can and should be incorporated into daily use: The Ten Cardinal Rules of Herb Usage. Then there's a symptom index, where readers can look up their symptom, and the herbs to use for it are listed; an Herb and Spices content list, and hundreds of pages on the herbs and spices themselves.
Here's a tidbit from the entry on cayenne pepper:

Brings Down Blood Sugar Levels

A report in the West Indian Medical Journal (31; 194-97) mentioned how a pack of mongrel dogs picked up off the streets in Kingston, Jamaica were given powered cayenne pepper. The result was a dramatic plunging of their blood sugar levels for up to several hours at a time.

If you're diabetic an average of 3 capsules of Nature's Way or any health food store brand of capsicum will help bring down high blood sugar levels very nicely. If you're hypoglcemic, you'd better avoid cayenne altogether, both in food and in herbal formulas as well.

Cinnamon can help prevent cancer, elderberries is great for constipation, rosemary oil can make a wonderful linament for sore muscles--there is a world of information here.

This is an excellent resource. I highly recommend it.


Mon said...


Over from Tammy's blog.

I'm always on the look out for yet another herbal, so thatnks for mentioning this and including the snippets.

Patricia said...

Hey Mon--yes, Heinerman's a good one.