There is an ever increasing use of herbs in the kitchen and medicine cabinet. Is this good or bad? Not all medicinal herbs are safe, some being powerful drugs especially when used with other medicines.Â
In A Garden of Herbs, Agnes Walker investigates the evidence. Many of the herbs still used today are of great antiquity and herbs described have been grown or used traditionally over many centuries. There is an account of early medical traditions. Sections are included on herbs of aromatic and cosmetic value and on plants used in the dyeing of natural fibres.
Agnes Walker's interest in herbs grew out of her botanical studies. She holds a master's degree awarded for the study of the history of plants in Scotland and a doctorate for her later studies in cancer research. She became botanist at Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow, and she often broadcasts and lectures on botanical subjects.
The Scots Magazine
This short, elegantly produced book, illustrated with numerous colour sketches, packs a great deal into its 126 pages.
The Nairnshire Telegraph
...well illustrated, attractive and readable and will appeal to anyone with an interest in garden plants...
Tess Darwin, Botanical Society of Scotland
Herbs and Medicine
A short history and alphabetic listing by Botanical Latin name from Achillea to Vinca
Culinary Uses of Herbs
Aromatic, Cosmetic and Other Uses of Herbs
The Scottish Medical Tradition
From the Publisher
A Garden of Herbs is a book of which we are particularly proud. Apart from the well-researched and fascinating content, we have been told time and again that it is beautifully produced. Whether for yourself or for a gift, you will be delighted with this appealing book.
About the Author
Agnes Walker's interest in herbs grew from her botanical studies. She holds a masters degree awarded for her work on the history of plants in Scotland, and a doctorate for her later studies in cancer research. She worked as botanist at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow and she broadcasts on botanical subjects.
Excerpted from A Garden of Herbs: Traditional Uses of Herbs
At the dawn of medical knowledge is the important figure of the Egyptian Imhotep who lived at the beginning of the third millennium BC. He was considered the 'Father of Medicine' and was worshipped as a healer and a god for over 2000 years...He urged contentment, preached cheerfulness and coined the saying 'eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die'.
Imhotep extracted curative agents from plants including henbane and wormwood and he treated many diseases such as tuberculosis, appendicitis and arthritis with herbs...
...A Chinese Emperor is credited with writing the first real herbal dealing with the preparation and uses of medicinal plants. This fine illustrated herbal dates from about 1000BC...
...The earliest known herbal of British origin, the Saxon Leech Book of Bald, written c.900AD, makes reference to remedies of Scottish origin. By the twelfth century there were at least 150 hospitals attached to religious houses in Scotland. Herb gardens were commonly associated with monastic orders as names like bishop's weed might suggest. (It is also called goutweed - one wonders if this name tells us about some of the monk's foibles!)...
...About 25% of all dispensed prescriptions currently contain an active ingredient of natural origin. Some prescription medicines contain substances isolated directly from plants, eg digoxin from foxgloves used to treat heart disease... yams, long used by African women to prevent pregnancy , are now used for the semi-synthesis of oral contraceptives...
...Today there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional, long-respected herbs and scientists are very involved with the collection of evidence for their usefulness.
From the Inside Back Cover
"Few Scots will have heard of the Highland dynasties of physicians such as the Beatons, who for hundreds of years were doctors to the Scottish Kings and the Lords of the Isles. Few Scots or visitors will know of the use of coriander, as a spice or a medicine, by the Roman troops when they occupied the fort at Bearsden, northwest of Glasgow, nearly two thousand years ago. In this engaging little book you can read about these and other matters as well as about dye plants and aromatic and cosmetic herbs."
James H. Dickson, Professor of Plant Science, University of Glasgow