Book Review: “Herbal Revolution”

Everyone needs more than one book on herbal medicine. Some books focus on how to grow each plant and the healing properties they offer or how to make medicine in many forms; some delve into the deep science and teach exact ratios. Each approach broadens our knowledge and builds our resources. I thought owning books by Stephen Harrod Buhner, David Winston, Deb Soule and Richo Cech covered most of what I would ever need for my herbal practice. Kathi Langelier’s book, “Herbal Revolution,” changed my mind.

“Herbal Revolution: 65+ Recipes for Teas, Elixirs, Tinctures, Syrups, Foods, and Body Products That Heal”
By Kathi Langelier
Page Street Publishing Co., 2020
192 pages, paperback, $21.99

Langelier is a salt-of-the-earth Mainer. Anyone who has met her at the Common Ground Country Fair, in her booth or at an herbal talk, knows that she exudes a confidence grounded in herbal knowledge and years of experience. She has received numerous awards over the years from the American Herbalists Guild, International Herb Symposium and New England Made. Her business, Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary in Union, Maine, offers deeply nourishing, supportive herbal remedies, teas and salves. Her book reflects her world, filled with practical and healing medicinal recipes with a here-is-how-to-get-it-done approach.

The body of this book is over 65 diverse recipes. I love that everything you need to know and do is right there on the page. The recipes inspire the reader to try new creations or switch up and add new approaches to your standard ways of making remedies. Usually if I have a need for a remedy, I research the herbs, research the best ways to make that remedy, then figure the ratios and recipes. Langelier’s collection of recipes and the combinations used is a refreshing angle on making my own medicine. She teaches so much about the herbs and tells why one would combine certain ones as well as when to omit them.

Each recipe is prefaced with a few engaging paragraphs on the specific herbs, their relationship to our bodies and health benefits; each is infused with Langelier’s practical experience. I have been making herbal medicine for over 40 years and I learned from every page, particularly from Langelier’s recommendations for herbal combinations and how they work together.

The book is organized in eight sections, including sections on everyday nourishment, digestive health, year-round immunity, whole-body vitality, women’s health, the physical and emotional heart, the brain and nervous system, and skin, muscle and bones. The section on plants covers the 35 plants used in the book, each infused with more of Langelier’s experience.

In the words of Langelier, “So please, go and get dirty. Get your hands in the dirt and grow a relationship with some plants. In my opinion, this is where the medicine and healing begin.”

– Roberta Bailey, Seven Tree Farm, Vassalboro, Maine

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