Health and Wellness, Nutritionally Speaking

Nutritionally Speaking: Read all about it: ‘Herbal medicine’ releases third edition

Updated version of Dr. Sharol Tilgner’s expanded third addition of ”Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth.”

Whenever possible I am excited to share with you my favorite resources that empower us to help ourselves as we work towards better health. These days, DIY (Do It Yourself) is trending, and learning to make our own herbal remedies is one of my favorite DIY pastimes.
I received an exciting New Year’s gift in the mail recently: Dr. Sharol Tilgner’s updated and expanded third edition of her book, ”Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth.” Originally published over 20 years ago, this book – which I have previously reviewed here – has been a helpful resource for many practitioners as they have supported their patients’ health goals, and it is now available for everyone – readers beginning their herbal medicine explorations as well as seasoned practitioners.
The author is a naturopathic physician (ND), herbalist of 35 years; founder and past owner of Wise Woman Herbals, located in Creswell; has owned and operated herb farms; and has organized national herbal events.
Included in this book is the most up-to-date detailed information on valuable medicinal herbs including dosage, specific indications, general uses, active constituents and contraindications. As noted herbalist/educator Paul Bergner states in the forward, ”’Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth’ is broad enough in scope that it contains within it material enough for three books.”
There is an introduction to the actions and uses of medicinal herbs, a concise materia medica containing monographs of each herb. Next we find a complete section of herbal formulas organized by body systems. There is also a step-by-step guide to making your own herbal preparations. This book also includes an appendix, which contains useful harvesting and preparation charts, and ends with many pages of reference notes, so we can be assured that all of the information in this book has been painstakingly researched.
For the beginning student this text starts off with a description of the properties and actions in our bodies of the individual herbs. For example, along with a list of anti-inflammatory herbs is a description of the various ways these herbs can help reduce inflammation. In the section, ”Dictionary of Herbal Preparations,” Dr. Tilgner describes various types of preparations including information that will help the reader determine which herbal preparation is best for them, or for a particular situation.
The materia medica is a detailed description of each herb, including the parts used, taste/smell, whether it is cooling or warming, and a description of the herbs’ constituents. Also a farmer, the author includes information for those interested in growing these herbs. She includes the various uses of the herbs and ends the section for each herb with contraindications and any applicable herb/drug interaction data.
There truly is enough information for at least three books here, and the section about herbal formulas could certainly stand alone as a useful guide for practitioners and lay people alike. As a nutritional therapist, I appreciate that Dr. Tilgner has started this section with formulas that support the digestive system. In this column I have often stressed that we look at supporting our digestive health first as we strive to be our healthiest.
Rarely will you find a text on herbal formulas that includes suggested percentages of each component. This section also includes the rationale for each herb’s inclusion in the formula, which is not commonly found in most herbal texts. Each formula includes a dosage chart for the various ways to prepare them as liquid extracts, teas or elixirs.
In her illustrated section on making herbal preparations you will find detailed instructions to make any of the formulas found on the preceding pages. The easy-to-follow instructions will assist the experienced herbal practitioner and beginners alike. The useful herb chart for harvesting and preparation of liquid extracts tells us when to harvest, which part of the plant to use, and whether to use fresh or dried herbs.
As a physician, herbalist, educator and farmer Dr. Tilgner has presented us with a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide to herbal medicine that gets better with each edition, and which you will find an important addition to your library. With the financial challenges our society is experiencing, the third edition of ”Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth” will be an important guide as we learn how to take care of ourselves and our families. Salud!
For addition information about this text and these events contact me at: [email protected] This book is available via
Contact Yaakov, a Creswell resident, at [email protected]