I have high standards for a book to gain some space on my book shelves and this new book with a herbal look at emotional health is worthy. Full disclosure: Tina Sams is a fellow Pennsylvania herbalist who has grown into a good friend but I can assure you I took a critical eye to this book.
This text is written with first person practical experience and the recipes are unique. In this era it seems to many that herbals are a rehash of another publication that is already on my bookshelf and I am pleased to say this one is not.
It begins with a simple overview of herbal preparations and then rolls into chapters focusing on all the many issues surrounding emotional well-being. Obvious issues such as anxiety, stress and depression but also chapters on digestive issues (do you hold your stress in your gut?), skin issues, headaches, circulation, immunity, tense muscles and heartaches. Author Tina Sams took a look at all emotions such as: grief, guilt, heartbreak, moodiness, feeling overwhelmed, sleep and spirit. The final section of the book is a brief alphabetical look at 30 herbs which support emotional healing. There is a resource directory, small glossary and measurement conversions.
The wide variety of recipes and suggestions made in this title is greatly appreciated. The recipes are for both internal and external applications and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. Most of the recipes utilize only 4 to 6 ingredients which makes them very affordable to create.
For me, the lay out is a bit wonky. Personally, I don't like it when recipes continue on the next page. While there is an index, it could be a bit more comprehensive in my opinion. The table of contents is quite extensive and that helps to make up for where the index is lacking. There are some color photos in the volume and fortunately each of the thirty herb briefs are accompanied by a color image but for the most part this is not a colorful coffee table book. Instead it is a practical, informative and comprehensive book on herbs for emotional healing. And for the list price of $16.99, it is a bargain for the depth of information shared here. The publisher is Rockridge Press.
Another disclosure: In her acknowledgements Tina Sams wrote a lovely tribute to our mother Bertha Reppert! It was such a pleasant surprise (and brought a tear to our eye as well). Tina spoke to how she felt our mom "set the tone" for the "generous herbal scene" we have here in Pennsylvania and beyond. A herbal scene that "continues to grow, evolve and welcome new herbies". It is so kind of Tina to both remember her and recognize her, twenty years after her passing. We are blessed.