“Mother Nature’s Herbal” is One Bad Mother!

Those of you who know me, know that nature and I do not get along.  I am allergic to just about anything that grows: trees, flowers, grass, and hair on all the cuddliest of pets.  This may cause you to ask, why in the world would I ask to review “Mother Nature’s Herbal” by Judith Griffin.  Easy, I never developed any food allergies and this girl loves to eat!  I was excited to learn what things I ate and drank that may already be beneficial and if there were any other yummy options out there to try.
Well “Mother Nature’s Herbal” met, and exceeded, my expectations.  After being out of print for nearly ten years, I can understand why it has been brought back.  Firstly, the book is a visual dream.  The cover has a beautiful aged Victorian appearance, and there are delightful vintage illustrations throughout.  Enough about the visuals though, because books are to be read!
This book is insanely thorough.  I’ve read my fair share of “herbals” before, and the amount of information here buries all of them combined.  Section one is entitled “A Cultural Herbal” and man she isn’t kidding around!  Native American, Mayan, colonial America, medieval era, Indian, Oriental, Mediterranean, and other cultures are all represented here.  Unlike other books, Griffin doesn’t just give you a list and move on.  Each chapter gives you a lesson in the culture and history of herbal use of the region, along with the author’s personal experiences of learning and working with the herbs.  In addition, the big pay off for me…recipes!  For instance, want to know how to make a colonial Thanksgiving turkey, pesto genovese, or paneer?  Then buy this book!  Now, not only can I justify my love of Indian food because of its herbal health benefits, I can try making some of my favorite dishes!
The second section of “Mother Nature’s Herbal” is “Grow and Use Your Own Herbs”.  Not being the hands in the earth kind of gal, this part wasn’t nearly as exciting.  That said, it was detailed, but written plainly enough, that even a indoors gal like myself could clearly understand how to grow a garden.  Griffin covers just about anything you may want to know: how to grow your herbs organically, landscape plans for themed herb gardens, using old roses, and so much more.
After that, she advises you on what to do with your herbal harvests, such as herb vinegars, no salt herbal blends, teas, and again, much more.  There is also a section devoted to the use of essential oils and flower essences that you may make out of your harvest.  There’s even a growing guide, nutrient guide, and purchasing guide in the appendices.
“Mother Nature’s Herbal” is a fabulous resource, whether you’re a gardener, or just someone who likes to learn more about the food you eat.