The scores of books on herbs already available generally restate old, often outdated lore about herbs. Now, Herbs Demystified does something entirely different: It is the first book to explain exactly what herbs actually do inside our bodies and how they achieve their effects. Biochemist Holly Phaneuf covers 100 of the most popular herbs-astragalus, black cohosh, chamomile, echinacea, garlic, gingko, ginseng, milk thistle, pine bark extract, saw palmetto, valerian, and many others. Phaneuf's introductory overview lays out the basic chemical principles that underlie the journey herbal molecules make in our bodies. Then, for each of the herbs, she covers its history and folklore; explains what the herb really does-its evidence of action; its good uses and not so good uses, including the forms in which it is typically available and commonly reported dosages; interesting facts and the bottom line. Like no other herb book before, Herbs Demystified allows readers to custom-fit an herb to one's own particular concern, therefore minimizing trial and error.
Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you want the truth about herbs told in a clear and humorous manor, this is the book for you. It is so refreshing to read the facts about herbs uncolored by all the hype and misinformation out there from supplement companies and certain quack herbal "experts". Dr. Phaneuf writes in a fun and informative style, starting out with the sometimes hilarious background and folklore for each of the herbs covered. She then explains what actual effects (as determined by science and clinical trials - what a concept!) each herb has or doesn't have. It shouldn't surprise anyone that some of the most hyped herbs have the least actual effects, yet many others have amazing and real effects. I was most surprised that because of her clear writing, I could actually understand things about herbal molecules and what they would do in my body. Thanks to this book, I'm going to make sure I get enough omega-3 oils, and will have some wintergreen on hand for sore muscles. I'll also surely enjoy my spicy food...
This book is phenomenal! It's full of specific information that gives the layperson the ability to research herbs. Coming from a scientific background, Dr. Phaneuf gives us the how and why of herbs to the best of our current knowledge. This book helps to clear up the misinformation, rumor and claims about herbs and herbal supplements and what they do. This book provides scientific evaluation of what is currently known about many of the most commonly used herbs. I find the book to be entertaining as well. Dr. Phaneuf has a great sense of humor that finds it's way into discussions about chemistry and double blind studies. Buy this book!
4 stars is an average:
3 stars for implying that only Western Science's double-blind, placebo controlled studies are of any worth.
5 stars for: readablity, layout & format, for including some of the fun and interesting history and folklore, for value, and for the personal anecdotes as well as for explaining, in layman's terms, the science behind the studies. I especially applaud that last point, the author's ability to explain the concepts behind the science in layman's terms.
Since I seem so impressed (I am. btw), it might seem churlish of me to subtract those two stars for the implication that Western "science" is the only way to look at things in general and herbs in particular. I don't think so. I have long training-nearly life long, in fact-training in alternative medicine and other alternative ideas. Therefore I am qualified to benefit from the Western science information and also to ignore or modify for myself the author's bias...
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