I have been a nurseryman and grower specializing in edible, ceremonial and (especially) medicinal plants for use in gardens and landscapes here on the central coast of California (Monterey Bay) for the last ten years.
I am also an amateur herbalist; sometimes “wildcrafting”* what I need but do not yet grow in my gardens.
I have often searched and been asked for recommendations on good and appropriate literature on the topic.
There is, in my humble opinion, no better book on the subject with regards to medicinal plants in our area than that which you see pictured here before you, “Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West” by Michael Moore.
Michael Moore (January 9, 1941 – February 20, 2009) “influenced, impacted, taught, reached one way or another more practicing herbalists than any other living herbalist in the United States.”
This book contains a wealth of information for both the novice and the advanced herbalist practitioner.
In this book you will find clear and reliable information on;
Identification and safe use of the plants
Appearance, habitats, collecting methods and storage
Therapeutic uses, constituents, and preparations
Potential toxicities and medical contradictions
Tea making, tincturing, and salve making
More than 300 species are included with a close look at more than 80 with exceptionally accurate line drawings by artist Mimi Kamp.
All this combined with a wit and humor of a man who truly lived the passion of this craft;
“For intestinal cramps, with gas and gurgly borborygmus (the sensation of gerbils in wet suits surfing goofy-foot down your transverse colon), for menstrual cramps that seem partially intestinal, and for the two-day killer flatus you get from eating undercooked lentil loaf at the yoga conference, use Angelica root”.
“Stream Orchid is a mood-elevating antispasmodic and sedative for those with a cold nature and generally deficient constitution. It is especially useful for menstrual cramps and hypersensitivity to pain that prevents sleep. If you have PMS distress, with cold hands and feet, a clammy, sweaty brow, and nameless unspeakable dreads suitable only for one of Poe’s lesser poems (“…lest I be buried alive amongst the miasma of the spirit…,”etc.) or a Sylvia Plath dread alike contest, try a few doses of this friendly plant.”
*The controversies surrounding the practices of “wildcrafting” are not lost upon me.
I have made it my intention to only collect from the wild that which I may propagate and grow in my own gardens, without detriment to the parent plant always left (mostly) intact and unharmed, in order to protect and prolong the existence of the species.