Louisiana Herb Journal: Healing on Home Ground by Corinne Martin. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press; 2022. Softcover, 304 pages. ISBN: 9780807177402. $34.95.
Louisiana Herb Journal introduces 50 herbs that are found in Louisiana and includes details about their identification, habitats, distributions, healing properties, and traditional uses, as well as instructions for popular preparation methods, such as tinctures and teas. The author, herbalist Corinne Martin, intersperses these practical details with stories that foster a connection to the natural world, from harvesting mishaps to folk traditions that are passed down through generations. A celebration of Louisiana and its residents, Louisiana Herb Journal reflects on how medicinal herbs can promote personal healing and address current challenges related to the state’s environmental and economic stability, and it advocates for a personal relationship with one’s “home ground.”
Viola: Herb of the Year™ 2022 by the International Herb Association. Jacksonville, FL: International Herb Association; 2022. Softcover, 233 pages. ISBN: 9780578360294. $21.95.
The International Herb Association designated flowers in the genus Viola (Violaceae), commonly known as violets, as the Herb of the Year™ for 2022 and produced this text that highlights these fragrant and beautiful blossoms. The sections “Knowing and Growing Viola,” “Art, Literature, and Poetry,” “Violets in the Kitchen,” and “Healing and Beauty with Viola” cover botany and cultivation, history and harvest, lore, recipes, and medicinal uses. The illustrations, photos, and poetry celebrate violets in other culinary and medicinal applications.
The Intimate Herbal: A Beginner’s Guide to Herbal Medicine for Sexual Health, Pleasure, and Hormonal Balance by Marie White. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books; 2022. Softcover, 256 pages. ISBN: 9781623176631. $18.95.
In this book, herbalist and author Marie White explores modern herbalism through a sustainable, community-oriented lens and the interconnected nature of bodies. The Intimate Herbal prioritizes preventive medicine and promotes a healthy, open-minded relationship with sex and sexual wellness. The text takes an inclusive and accessible approach to herbal healing and seeks to empower readers with the foundations of intimate herbalism. Subjects addressed include breast health, contraception, endometriosis, fertility, hormonal imbalances, menopause, menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian cysts, prostate health, urinary health, and more.
The Mind of Plants: Narratives of Vegetal Intelligence by John C. Ryan, Patricia Vieira, and Monica Gagliano, eds. Santa Fe, NM: Synergetic Press; 2021. Softcover, 528 pages. ISBN: 9780907791874. $24.95.
The Mind of Plants explores human-plant interactions in a cerebral and creative way. This collection of essays, narratives, and poetry also features personal reflections of the editors and illustrations by José María Pout. The exploration of how humans interact with plants and plants interact with each other brings together works from contributors who focus on both the scientific and the spiritual. Plants as commonplace as apples (Malus spp., Rosaceae) and as psychoactive as ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi, Malpighiaceae), as well as many aspects of so-called botanical or vegetal “intelligence,” are described in this text.