Get Involved
About Us
Our Members
Healers of the Andes: Kallawaya Herbalists and Their Medicinal Plants.
Joseph W. Bastien. University Press of Utah, 101 USB, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112. 1987. 198 pp. Hardcover. $37.50 ISBN: 0-87480-278-4.

This is one of those books, seldom seen by persons in the herb business, which can best be termed "a deeper." Anthropologist Joseph Bastien spent several years among Kallaway a traditional healers compiling data on their 1,000-year-old herbal tradition. The first haft of the book includes the author's story of his relationship with the people, a description of theft herbal history, sketches of three 20th century Kallawaya herbalists, a chapter on the relationship between Andean and Greek humoral theories, uses of plants, Kallawaya-Andean body concepts and their relationship with modern medicine. The second half of the book, a"Compendium of Kallawaya Medicinal Plants and Their Uses," includes 60 plants. Surprisingly, many are not obscure Andean species, but European plants adopted by the Kallawaya as medicines after their introduction by Europeans. Here, for example, you will find information on Andean uses of chamomile, wormwood, garlic, fennel, eucalyptus, mallows, oregano, nut meg, and rosemary, along with many Andean species related to North American medicinal plants. The book is illustrated with both black & white photographs and pen and inks. Scholarly, yet readable, this book deserves a place on the shelf of everyone with an interest in useful plants.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.