Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Review Wednesday: Mastering Herbalism

Title: Mastering Herbalism
Author: Paul Huson
Publisher: Madison Books 1974, 2001
Content: Over 300 pages including index, appendices, and table of contents.

So far this makes the second of two books by Mr. Huson that I have both read, and loved. The other of course, is Mastering Witchcraft. Like Mastering Witchcraft, Mastering Herbalism is one of the best books you can buy to tell you what to DO with Herbs. While Cunningham's work on magical herbalism is the industry standard to most Pagans, Mastering Herbalism really goes the extra mile.

Mastering Herbalism isn't as encyclopedic as far as detailed herb lists as some other books on the subject, though it does cover a lot of ground. Mr. Huson goes over what herbs to cook with, induce amorous feelings with, stay healthy with, stay beautiful with, make incense with, and wonderfully how to use them! The book is chock full of recipes for not only edibles, but drinkables such as teas, tinctures, and liquors, as well as smokables, ointments, and salves. My favorite is a recipe for elder flower liquor, though perhaps not the most useful.

There is also a chapter on Witchcraft and Wortcutting, and herbs to extend the life span. The section of growing your own is very helpful, and though the section on buying herbs is slightly dated, as some of the shops (notably Aphrodisia) have closed. But, lets face it.. it has been nine years since the last time it was published. The appendices are also fantastic. Several short sections such as "Planting and Harvesting by the Moon", and "Herbs as Nutritional Sources".

It is, simply put, my favorite herbal, and the one that I would recommend to anyone looking to branch in to the practice. Especially since there is a large bibliography with recommendations for further study. If you have any interest in the subject at all just get it.


Gordon said...

Oh this is SO on the list!

Mastering Witchcraft is fantastic. It never crossed my mind that he'd have something else out there.

Also, Elderflower liquor, in late spring, as a mildly boozy afternoon drink as a cordial in lemonade. Maybe consumed while you're wearing tennis gear.

Well that's England in a glass right there. That gets you drunk.

So it's just England, really.

Pallas Renatus said...

Ahh, this is definitely on my list. I love making these sort of things for myself.