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Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Applications and Profiles, by Peter Holmes. Philadelphia, PA: Singing Dragon; 2019. ISBN: 978-1-84819-304-8. Hardcover, 552 pages. $75.00.

This text builds on the materia medica (or, as it is deemed in the book, “materia aromatica”) and fundamentals on the use of essential oils from Volume 1 (2016). It contains 40 new profiles and guides readers through more advanced information about essential oil administration. Holmes takes a holistic approach to health through aromatic botanicals, including a global look at traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Ayurvedic medicine systems, and details the physiological, psychological, and medicinal functions of oils. In addition to the more technical aspects of essential oil use, Holmes also describes the oils’ geographic origins, historical uses, and other interesting details that offer a broader look at these increasingly popular and widely used ingredients.

Caper: The Genus Capparis by Ephraim Philip Lansky, Helena Maaria Paavilainen, and Shifra Lansky. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2019. ISBN: 9780367379209. Softcover, 345 pages. $74.95.

Now available in softcover, this book is a pharmacognostic and ethnopharmacological exploration of numerous species in the genus Capparis (Capparaceae). Starting with history of use and a survey of the historical record, the authors then cover more scientific areas such as the chemical compounds present in Capparis species, their potential therapeutic uses, and information about propagation. The medicinal indications of Capparis species, stretching from the ancient Mediterranean to modern times, are explored in their own section in the book and include diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, rheumatism, and others.

Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine by Rosalee de la Forêt and Emily Han. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc.; 2020. ISBN: 9781401956882. Softcover, 424 pages. $29.99.

This beginner’s guide to foraging and herbal medicine includes 75 recipes for food and herbal oils, salves, teas, and other medicinal preparations. De la Forêt and Han explain the benefits of 24 common wild plants and provide instructions on how to cultivate them in a home garden. Illustrations and color photography aid in accurate plant identification, and foraging safety and sustainability are emphasized. The authors invite readers to form a closer relationship with the earth and embrace a natural mode of living and healing, aided by the world of plants and herbs.

Plants that Cure: Plants as a Source for Medicines, from Pharmaceuticals to Herbal Remedies by Elizabeth A. Dauncey and Melanie-Jayne R. Howes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; 2020. ISBN: 978-0691200187. Hardcover, 224 pages. $29.95.

Plants have been used as medicine for millennia, but modern science often focuses on isolated compounds that they contain. Plants that Cure recontextualizes many of these compounds by celebrating the plants that produce them. The text is filled with color photographs and diagrams and is organized by body system, detailing plant compounds and their uses for conditions such as arthritis, circulatory problems, dementia, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress, respiratory infections, and cancer. The authors, a plant toxicologist (Dauncey) and a pharmacologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Howes), examine the mechanisms of action of these compounds and explain how some of the compounds contribute to the functioning and survival of the plants themselves. The book is intended for herbalists, botanists, and others who are interested in natural remedies and drug discovery and provides an authoritative natural history of important medicinal plants.