Essential Library

From time to time, I’m going to talk about books I think should be on every green witch’s bookshelf. Today’s book is Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies: Natural Health, Beauty & Home-Care Secrets.

This is out in its second edition. The one on my bookshelf is the first edition. The pages are yellowed and the glue in the binding is failing. It’s one of the first books (if not the first) I bought when the little voices in my head told me to start investigating herbs rather than synthetic solutions to problems.

Jude Todd is a Master Herbalist with decades of experience. It’s obvious from her writing that she practices what she preaches and has a great love of living as close to nature as possible. The first chapter, “General Principles of Herbs” gives one a good introduction to and background on herbal medicine.

The book has chapters on beauty preparations, skin care, common ailments (like a cold, headache or indigestion), pet care and household cleaning tips. She gives instructions on how to make preparations such as salves and tinctures; and there’s a couple of really good recipes for homemade soap. The advice on how to harvest herbs is excellent, as well.

One of the things I like about her writing: interspersed with the really practical stuff are things like an “aphrodisiac” tea recipe, or the mention of the fact that her father had a gift for being able to rub away warts. And she doesn’t limit herself strictly to herbal solutions. Applying ammonia to stop the itch of an insect bite isn’t very herbal!

Although I now do my own research and make up my own recipes, I still use a hair rinse recipe I got out of the book however many years ago, as well as several of her household cleaning solutions. Why reinvent the wheel?