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The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia: A Complete Culinary, Cosmetic, Medicinal, and Ornamental Guide to Herbs.
Kathi Keville. Illustrated by Roman Szolkowski. 1991. Mallard Press, 666 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10103. Clothbound. 224 pp. ISBN 0-79245307-7.

With the increase interest in herbs and natural healing, publishers seem to be racing to find titles on herbs. This book was originally intended to be a work-for-hire publication which would help fill out the publisher's book list. However, the publishers got much more than they probably bargained for from Kathi Keville, an herbalist with twenty years' experience in growing and using herbs, making herbal preparations, and writing and educating on the vast richness of herbal lore. Kathi is the editor of the American Herb Association quarterly newsletter, a publication that has been around about as long as HerbalGram.

This beautiful coffee table-quality book covers 140 of the most popular herbs used in American herbalism, with beautiful color illustrations. Each section covers a brief description on the herb, its habitat, information on cultivation, where it can he included in herb garden design, a listing of some of the main types of chemical constituents, a brief sentence or two on the herb's history, culinary uses, and medicinal uses. The richness of the text is strong evidence of the writer's vast knowledge and deep appreciation and reverence for the history and world of herbalism. Each herbal treatment contains interesting and unusual facts on the history and various uses of each herb. The book begins with a brief history of herb lore, a page explaining some of the basics of the chemistry of herbs, and practical advice on harvesting and drying herbs and making herbal preparations. An ideal gift for the beginner or anyone interested in learning more about the historical and practical aspe cts of herbs as flavors and as medicines.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.