The Healing Power of Celtic Plants

Angela Paine

published by O Books

RRP £16.99, PB, 286p

reviewed by John Canard

This is an absorbing work which covers the history, myth and symbolism of twenty-five plants known to the British Celts and used by them medicinally. From a healer’s or herbalist’s point of view, the most interesting
aspect of the book is the information on the practical uses of the plants, including how to prepare them, doseage, and contraindications. By contrasting the ancient herbal use against the scientific evidence for their effectiveness.

The plants covered in depth in the book are bilberry, burdock, clivers, coltsfoot, comfrey, dandelion, elder, flax, fumitory, ground ivy, guelder rose, hawthorn, meadowsweet, mistletoe, motherwort, nettle, plantain, roseroots, silver birch, St John’s wort, thyme, valerian, vervain, willow and yellow dock.

As well as exploring the herbs, the book explains how to find them, grow and preserve them. Additionally the medicine of the Celts is considered, covering areas such as diet and the use of water. The bibliography is extremely extensive, as you would expect for such a work, giving plenty of avenues for further research. This is an excellent book which I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone interested in healing, with or without plants.

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