Author Topic: Book (not website) guide for identifying and using plants in the wild?  (Read 2953 times)

Offline Cycami

  • Learning
  • Posts: 20
Hi, I was happy to find this site! I stumbled across it while searching for something else and was happy to notice this plant i.d. section.

I would like to know if there's a good, comprehensive but well organized guide (Southeast US) that includes information about which plants (wildflowers, weeds, herbs in the wild basically) are poisonous, how each plant is useful, etc. We have a couple of wildflower and weed field guides which give some info, but they aren't as specific as we'd like (for instance, we might know the Indians used a certain plant to treat various ailments, but we don't know what to do with it).

I see there's a lot of useful info online, but we don't always have internet, plus my boys like to carry field guides with us on nature walks and so forth (they have a lot of animal guides:). I promised them we would learn to make "medicine" from wild plants like the Indians did and that is basically where we want to begin, but Mommy is pretty ignorant!

If anybody has ideas or suggestions, I would appreciate it. This seems like an great forum for learning!

YoopreMama

  • Guest
Newcomb's Wildflower Guide would be good for ID'g...not really for the medicine aspect.

I know the person to ask, though.

Be back.  :)

YoopreMama

  • Guest
"Peterson's Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants is a good field guide that lists medicinal use including the part of the plant used.

I am of the opinion field guides are great for id'ing but too limited for use. I go to the herbalists for that."

I agree.  Field guides are good for ID'g and then you need an herbal for use.

I've seen a few that do both, but they focused on the most commonly found plants...like Wild Garden, I think. 

Offline Cycami

  • Learning
  • Posts: 20
I looked on Amazon, it looks like we want that Peterson guide (and their edible plant guide!) thanks.

As far as the herbalist, I got a little bogged down looking for that one. Is there a good book I can hand my kids that will teach them, basically and clearly, how to harvest and make something out of wild plants (salve or poultice for instance) without indoctrinating them in New Age mysticism? 

YoopreMama

  • Guest
I like Practical Herbalism a lot for that.  :)

Bulk Herb Store sells it.  Seems to be a Christian author...

Offline Gigi

  • Master
  • Posts: 795
I'd love to hear if there are other good hand-on herbal curriculum out there from non-witchcraft point of view.  Anyone??

Cycami,

I agree with Yooper.

The Practical Herbalism book is one of the few books that doesn't incorporate too much weirdness.  There is a bit of "energetics" information included with each herb, which makes very little sense to me and is mostly jibberish-sounding stuff about meriidians and chi.  Thankfully, it consumes very little real estate in the book.

The very beginning of the book is where he instructs on how to harvest herbs for use, how to dry them, how to make infusions/decoctions, tinctures, extracts and the like.  It is simple but easy to follow.  This is the smallest section of the book.

The remainder of the book is devoted to a specific selection of herbs.  It has nice photos and very helpful information about each herb - how it works, how best to use it (tea vs. ointment), and what to blend it with (Bugle + slippery elm for diarrhea, etc.).  There are 46 of them.

I think other than this, I have heard that Shoshanna's DVD's are supposed to be very helpful, if you are desirous of making us of the television for your instruction medium.  (I myself so much prefer books for myself and the children.)

I like Pertersons's guides very much.  I also like the Reader's Digest publication called "North American Wildlife" for plant identification - and other critter identification. 

HTH

Offline Cycami

  • Learning
  • Posts: 20
And wouldn’t you know it, the book is not available on her site, amazon, or ebay. I am going to keep looking around though, might buy one of those other (cheaper) ones she sells.

We bought that Reader’s Digest book about a month ago at a thrift store and the kids love it!

Their other favorite book is a Peterson insect and spider guide, which is why I was happy to see there’s a Peterson medicinal plants guide.

Thanks for the info!