I have had the book Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar for probably at least two years and I had started and stopped reading it a couple of different times. I finally decided to finish the darn thing. This is becoming one of my new reference books. I think with a combination of this book, Period Repair Manual by Dr. Lara Briden and Women’s Bodies by Dr. Christiane Northrup you probably have at least 95% of women’s hormonal health covered.
Despite the fact that I have never seen any crazy benefit from herbs (I’ve also never tried anything crazy, I’ve only used it to help like a supplement would), I am super drawn to them. I love how helpful they can be for people and I LOVE that you can find so many in your own backyard. Obviously, it’s a bit of a romantic notion for me ;)
But books like this inspire me to be more adventurous and try out more herbs. Let me tell you about what’s in this book and what it covers.
This book is pretty much a complete herbal book in that it’s more than recipes. The first two parts are about herbalism in general and about preparing herbs. From this you learn a lot about the benefits you get from different ways of preparing herbs, which is really cool.
The next parts focus on different stages in a woman’s life. Menarche (first getting a period and those teenage years), childbearing years, herbs for pregnancy and childbirth, and herbs for menopause.
These include sections on what to do about acne and other skin issues, cramps, light or heavy bleeding, PMS, endometriosis, vaginal infections, genital herpes, breast problems, fibroids, ovarian cysts, infertility, problems in pregnancy, and more.
These include all kinds of specific recipes. There is also a lot of information both for general health and to fix particular symptoms, which I find really helpful.
Then, there are a bunch of resources including information about the herbs used for women’s health, other great herbal books, and places to order herbs (though everything is addresses, because this book is dated ;)).
One of my favorite parts about this book is how it’s written. I think sometimes herbalists can get a little woo for my taste, but I found Rosemary very practical and even mentioned in the beginning that herbs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (Get it? I’m hilarious.), even saying that one of her daughters was much more likely to reach for conventional medicine and the other herbs. Ah, the wisdom of women with age!
Overall, I’d recommend this book if you are drawn to herbs and want to learn more about herbs and women’s health. It’s an amazing resource.
I’d love to hear from you about any of your favorite herb books or women’s health books in the comments. Let me know what you’re reading!