Be Your Own Herbalist!

herbsWhat perfect timing to get Michelle Schoffro Cook’s book for review, just as the warming weather invites one to prowl the aisles of the garden center. The beauty of herbs is that they are absolute powerhouses of flavor, nutrition and medicinal benefits, and anyone can grow them in an indoor pot, outdoor container or garden bed. Dr. Cook’s book is a beautifully conceived reference book that takes beginners by the hand and leads them gently up the garden path to truly becoming your own herbalist.

The book starts with an overview of the different ways of preparing and preserving the herbs, including drying, teas, ointments, tinctures, syrups, vinegars and more. Herbs are listed alphabetically, and each herb’s chapter includes a description and history of the herb, its uses in cooking and medicine, how to grow and harvest it, the best varieties, the latest research on their use for specific conditions, the best ways to prepare each herb, and both medicinal and culinary recipes. Herbs are powerful, so while they can replace drugs, they can also interact with them, so observe the cautions.

Reading the specific uses of these herbs was a real eye-opener. I was astonished to discover that many herbs I’m already growing have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, can be used as beauty aids, brain boosters, insomnia reducers, adrenal supporters, and the list goes on. Whatever issues you are dealing with, you’ll likely find some pretty powerful support from mother nature in these pages, and the seeds are easily available online. This book is a wonderful gift to yourself and your loved ones. I would recommend it as an essential addition to any cookbook collection.

~Reviewed by Miriam Knight

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