The Whole Herb: For Cooking, Crafts, Gardening, Health and Other Joys of Life

Overview

The relationship between people and herbs has spanned the millennia—and what a relationship it has been! Herbs have been both our medicine and our food, while their fragrance and beauty have warmed our hearts and delighted our senses.They are nature’s pure and precious gifts to man.

The Whole Herb is an easy-to-follow guide to the many uses of these wonderfully aromatic plants. The book begins by looking at the history and benefits of herbs, while subsequent chapters focus on ...

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Overview

The relationship between people and herbs has spanned the millennia—and what a relationship it has been! Herbs have been both our medicine and our food, while their fragrance and beauty have warmed our hearts and delighted our senses.They are nature’s pure and precious gifts to man.

The Whole Herb is an easy-to-follow guide to the many uses of these wonderfully aromatic plants. The book begins by looking at the history and benefits of herbs, while subsequent chapters focus on their many uses, including herbs and health, herbs in the kitchen, herbs around the house, and herbs in the garden. What comes next is an A-to-Z reference profiling over fifty common herb varieties. Each entry provides information on the herb’s background, benefits, and uses, along with helpful buying guides, growing instructions, preservation methods, and safety information. Throughout, insets highlight important facts and techniques, helping you fully enjoy the herbal experience.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beginning herbalists will find an expert's worth of knowledge in this holistic guide to everything one can possibly do with herbs. It's really two books in one, as the first section reviews the medicinal, culinary, ornamental and aromatic uses of herbs in general, and explains how to grow them (indoors and out); and the second part is an A to Z reference of specific herbs, with details on their applications. Beginning with healing uses, Pleasant (Controlling Garden Weeds; etc.) explores how herbs can be made into teas, tinctures, tablets and compresses; and used to soothe skin irritations, calm an upset stomach or ease depression, with a caveat about safety. Pleasant's later techniques on cooking range from basic to creative: she offers instructions on how to preserve herbs by freezing and drying, as well as recipes for herb-infused oils, herb butters, dry rubs and herbed ice cubes made with water and other liquids. Useful margin notes on how to revive dried spices, wash herbs before picking them and other tricks are helpful even for experienced readers. Pleasant's home projects include recipes for mixing potpourri, making sachets and building a wreath with fresh herbs. But the author doesn't recommend doing it all at home (e.g., although essential oils, concentrated herb essences, are ideal for baths and showers, the author guides readers to the store for them). Pleasant perks up her generally serious tone with enthusiastic asides, such as "Exactly what is an aromatic herb? Any herb that smells good!" (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Intriguing, utilitarian herbs appeal to crafters, cooks, and gardeners alike; this book offers something for all of them. In Part 1, Pleasant (Garden Stone: Creative Landscaping with Plants and Stone) conveys the historical importance of herbs and touts their use in current daily life. With appropriate warnings, she discusses medicinal uses, explaining things like decoctions. A chapter on buying and handling culinary herbs includes a nice chart of "culinary compatibles" and recipes. Going beyond potpourri, the chapter about aromatics suggests creating dream pillows, smudge sticks, and nosegays. Pleasant cautions readers that once they use herbs, they are likely to want to grow some, so she includes a chapter on herb gardening fundamentals. Part 2 is a directory of 55 herbs arranged alphabetically by common name. The information here on using each herb is particularly well organized, but readers desiring photos will prefer Jekka McVicar's The New Book of Herbs. Those focusing on herb-garden design would be happier with Yvonne Cuthbertson's Beginners' Guide to Herb Gardening. Recommended for public libraries. Bonnie Poquette, Whitefish Bay, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757000805
  • Publisher: Square One Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Pleasant is a lecturer, columnist, and best-selling author of over twenty books on plants and gardening. She received both her undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Alabama. As a writer, her articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and her work has twice won the Quill and Trowel’s Certificate of Merit, sponsored by the Garden Writers Association of America.

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