By Heather Walters
Homeschool Student, age 16
For Christmas I received a book called The Complete Woman’s Herbal - A Manual of Healing Herbs and Nutrition for Personal Well-being and Family Care by Anne McIntyre. The book has wonderful illustrations of herbs and other useful plants, and facts and tips that are must haves for natural self and family care. I don’t have a family of my own yet, but I am preparing by reading this book on an almost daily basis.
The book has three sections: Herbal Wellbeing, The Seasons of Womanhood, and Practical Problem Solving.
Part One – Herbal Wellbeing: The basics of herbs, their chemistry and primary use, and instructions for poultices, salves and creams, and herbal baths are outlined with illustrations. Included in the illustrations are notes about what part of the plant is used, its chemical makeup, and other information about its history and uses.
The Well Woman covers basic health, the importance of a balanced life, how to lower stress, and how emotions play a part in everything that goes on in the body. The systems of the body are outlined with full illustrations and information focused primarily on the female body. Good nutrition is discussed, including sugar, vitamins and minerals, refined carbohydrates, caffeinated drinks, and smoking. There is a diet chart with very organized information about protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, what foods to get them from, and how they help (or not).
Part Two – The Seasons of Womanhood: This section covers not only the facts but the philosophies of womanhood, from puberty to menopause and later years. There are herbal remedies for pretty much anything you could ever think of wanting a remedy for from puberty through menopause, plus facts about why and how these things happen, which is what I particularly like learning about.
Part Three – Practical Problem Solving: This covers herbal first aid, herbs for healing the body, herbs for beauty, and herbs for housekeeping, with many recipes to try and how to grow, harvest, and store herbs.
Overall, this is the most helpful book I have ever read. It has answered so many questions that I have had all my life and never found answers to, and has further inspired my passion for midwifery and overall natural health care.