Author: Holly Bellebuono
Publisher: Balboa Press
ISBN: 978-1-4525-6034-2

Author Bellebuono writes in The Authentic Herbal Healer – The Complete Guide to Herbal Formulary & Plant-Inspired Medicine for Every Body System, “This book reflects the more scientific aspects of herbal study while my documentary Our Healing Heritage celebrates the more human aspect of falling in love with herbal medicine …”

This thick paperback textbook has three hundred and eighty seven pages which includes over two hundred pages dedicated to specific herbal medicines for different body systems, symptoms and ages along with over one hundred and thirty-five pages of materia medica, a breakdown of each herb or plant and its application. There is also an extensive reference, bibliography and index.

Author Bellebuono begins her book with a history of herbal formulary. In the first section, there are seventeen chapters about herbal healing for different bodily symptoms. Example chapters include digestion, the endocrine system, inflammation and pain, the nervous system, tonics and nourishments and the different age stages of women and men. Each chapter usually starts with general diseases or illnesses and then explains herbs or plants that aid or help diminish the problem, giving gray-highlighted boxed formulas in tea, tincture, salve, lotion and oil recipes. The writer promotes her final chapter on positive self-empowerment for the herbalist.

After an introduction on how to use the section, the second part has four segments that are a glossary of terms, phytochemicals, materia medica and top edible herbs. Each herb or plant is listed, explains which part is used, actions, indications, contraindications, combinations, preparation and if edible.

Due to the organizational format of the book, one can look up an illness or symptom in the first part and read herbal options and then research further the actual herbs used in the remedy. For instance, under the first section chapter on memory and cognitive thought, one learns chocolate, ginger, ginkgo and hawthorn are a few herbs to use. In the second section under ginkgo, one reads the herb’s fruit and seed were historically used but now the leaf is used with cerebral, vasodilator, nervine, antioxidant and anticoagulant actions for the cerebrovascular, cardiovascular and nervous system. A contraindication could be possible anticoagulant medications. It could be for cognitive disability if used with lemon balm, bacopa monieri, guta kola and rosemary. The herb is prepared in tincture, extract or capsule format and is not edible.

With the plethora of herbal medicinal options and information that the book has to offer, this is an educational tool for any herbalist, holistic healer or person who is looking for alternative choice to standard medicine practices.

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