The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke

(No Series)
  Nonfiction / Herbal

Thousands of safe, natural remedies lie untapped in jungles, forests and herbal gardens throughout the world. Now America's foremost authority on medicinal plants and herbs shares his knowledge of these hidden reserves of healing power.

Duke's knowledge and expertise in the fields of research come across loud and clear without him having to pronounce it boldly. Reading the back of the book and seeing his credentials was almost as enjoyable as reading the book itself. Much of the text is taken over with research, combined with his own uses, things he's heard, seen, and believe.

I do find a fault. I have to credit Henrietta Kress for this, though, as she said it first and I realized I agreed with her but it had never clicked with me before. One of those things you can't put your finger on:


""I have the 1997 edition of this. It's a book written by a researcher, not by a practitioner, and it shows in some of the herbal recommendations. Don't trust it, get one of the books written by a practitioner instead."" (End Quote)

You know, she's right in a way. I always found it strange that throughout the book he mainly suggests soups, pills bought, standardized pills, etc. He never gives many personal experiences with something other than a single remedy used as a food addition. This is not saying this book is not worth it - far from it - but it is bringing up the valid point.

Also, there is another thing that DOES bug me is the "make your own medicine" section. A few pages long, so not actually a section, but you get my drift. For tinctures he says to let it sit about a week and then strain. A week? Every other source states 2 weeks minimum. Nothing is mentioned on sun either or any heating.

Also, on salves he recommends not making your own but buying it from a store, saying that it's "messy stuff". Of course he does say that he doesn't have luck making salves, where they turn out too dry or runny, so this could be the reason he says this.

Beyond these small gripes though, this really is an excellent book. I always return to it when wondering on a condition. Sure it's not advanced herbalism in any shape or form, but it works and for good reason. He gives plenty of information and doesn't seem rushed like so many books out there do. He recommends more than just herbal remedies as well. Sometimes I don't agree with what he says, but for the majority of the time I do (and that's not the point with reviews anyway), but at least he always explains his reason. He doesn't just say: Don't take this or, This causes liver damage. He says WHY and I appreciate that.