The Western Herbal Tradition book cover

The Western Herbal Tradition

2000 years of medicinal plant knowledge


Published: November 2010

Imprint: Churchill Livingstone

ISBN: 978-0-443-10344-5


  • "The book reflects a profound appreciation of the full range of knowledge required to gain a detailed, accurate pharmacognostic picture of plant medicine: the 27 herbs surveyed are discussed with an exhaustive eye to historical, empirical and scientific detail."

    The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine & Aromatherapy, November 2011

    "This book seeks to address the lack of a coherent description of the history of Western herbal medicine from classical times up to the present day...this is an attractively presented book with line drawings and photographs of the plants and the authors have endeavoured to make the mass of information accessible and readable with summaries and subheadings, as well as a cross-referenced index...Overall, this book will be of interest to both herbal practitioners and historians and will surely become an essential text for students of herbal medicine...this book does make a covincing case for many continuities in traditional uses of medicinal plants which are consistent with our knowledge of materia medica today. Furthermore, the book makes a significant contribution in placing key textual elements of herbal history in relation to one another, and providing a framework to which further historical studies can be linked."

    Journal of Herbal Medicine, December 2011


  • Preface ix

    1 The historical sources

    2 Some observations on the Western herbal tradition

    3 Origins and proponents of the revival of herbal medicine in 19th century Britain

    4 A note on Goethe

    5 Notes on botanical descriptions, constituents and dosage

    6 Agrimonia eupatoria, agrimony

    7 Alchemilla vulgaris, lady’s mantle

    8 Althaea officinalis, marshmallow; Malva sylvestris, common mallow; Alcea rosea,


    9 Apium graveolens, wild celery

    10 Arctium lappa, burdock

    11 Artemisia absinthium, wormwood

    12 Artemisia vulgaris, mugwort

    13 Centaurium erythraea, centaury

    14 Daucus carota, wild carrot

    15 Drimia maritima, squill

    16 Fumaria officinalis, fumitory

    17 Galium aparine, goosegrass

    18 Glechoma hederacea, ground ivy

    19 Hyssopus officinalis, hyssop

    20 Inula helenium, elecampane

    21 Lamium album, white deadnettle

    22 Ocimum basilicum, basil

    23 Paeonia officinalis, paeony

    24 Potentilla erecta, tormentil

    25 Rosa damascene, damask rose

    26 Rubus idaeus, raspberry

    27 Ruta graveolens, rue

    28 Scrophularia nodosa, figwort

    29 Stachys officinalis, wood betony

    30 Tussilago farfara, coltsfoot

    31 Verbena officinalis, vervain

    32 Viola odorata, sweet violet; Viola tricolour, heartsease


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