Friday 9 November 2018

Review: Healing Plants of the Celtic Druids

Healing Plants of the Celtic Druids is a book every witch or wise woman who is interested in herb lore should have on their shelf.

It is by Angela Paine, who has a lifetime of both professional and personal experience in the healing powers of plants. She grew up on a hop farm in Kent where her botanist father taught her about all that grew in the nearby woods and hedgerows. Angela went on to do a degree in human physiology, a post graduate diploma in pharmacology, then a PhD in medicinal plant chemistry. She has since collaborated with scientists around the world, publishing internationally in scientific journals. After retiring to the Golden Valley on Welsh border, she continued her research into the medicinal properties of the local, native plants used by the ancient Celts.

As you can see, her credentials are impeccable, but what I really like about this book is style in which is it written as well as its treasures of information. It is as though a good friend or relative is sharing her wisdom - her personal experience as well as her practical skills and knowledge learnt over the years.

The books starts with a history of the Celts and what archaeology and history can teach us of their use of what grew around them. This is interesting enough, but the book really comes into its own with the extensive chapters on the plants themselves. They are fascinating to read and should inspire anyone to make more use of health-giving plants, even if only by adding more herbs to their regular cooking.

Each chapter is dedicated to a different herb our ancient ancestors would have used. Many are still commonly available to us today. A picture of the plant in question is followed by a wealth of information about its properties, where it can be found and how it can be employed, as well as beautiful personal anecdotes from Angela's life.

Publisher Moon Books says on its website:
Following on from Healing Power of Celtic Plants, Angela Paine's latest book covers a new range of Celtic medicinal plants which are native to Britain, as well as a few plants, such as sage and rosemary, which were introduced by the Romans. Combining the latest scientific data on the healing properties of the herbs used by the ancient Celts with recent archaeological discoveries, written in a jargon-free, easy to understand narrative style and offering a botanical description of each plant, an outline of their chemical constituents, and advice on ways to grow, harvest, preserve and use each plant, Healing Plants of the Celtic Druids is an essential guide.
.As that description says, Angela's first book was Healing Power of Celtic Plants, but you don't need to have read that book to appreciate this one. It stands on its own - above many other herbals you will find on bookshop shelves.

Healing Plants of the Celtic Druids is released in December 2018, but is available for pre-order. You can view Healing Plants of the Celtic Druids on Amazon

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