A while ago I reviewed The Art of Herbalism, the first out of two books written by a renowned certified clinical master herbalist Tiffany M. Psichopaidas, which offers a vast knowledge on how to prepare your own herbal medicinal and beauty products, along with an extensive formulary of many herbs and their properties.
Today, I will be reviewing her second book, The Craft of Herbalism, an expanded edition.
“The Craft of Herbalism presents formulations and ideas that highlight just how versatile herbs can be. From beauty products that you can make yourself, and on to the family medicine cabinet, I have endeavored to make this book a useful and reliable source for all things herbal.” ~ Tiffany M. Psichopaidas
The Craft of Herbalism contains of four books: one, The Home Spa, is dedicated to formulating your own beauty products, while the other, The Medicine Cabinet, is dedicated to formulating your medicinal products. Book three talks about formulas and procedures, while book four talks about important information and cautions when using herbs and essential oils. Given that Nature of Europe is a blog, dedicated to natural organic cosmetics, I will spent most time on the book one, which guides us through making our own cosmetic products.
The chapter one, titled The Home Spa, starts with “Imagine creating your own spa at home… Now imagine that almost every luxurious item in your spa is all natural and crafted using healthy, beneficial herbs and essential oils.”
Quite inviting to continue reading, isn’t it?
In chapter two, there’s a short description of natural ingredients mostly used in making of natural cosmetic products: body butters, carrier oils, essential oils, clays, waxes. If certain ingredients even in natural organic face cleansers irritate your skin, you can make one yourself, avoiding such ingredients. A chapter on facial care and cleansing offers information on herbs with cleaning abilities and recipes to make your own cleansing products and there’s also a recipe for facial toners, of which I am very fond of, which can be made by not only hydrolates and essential oils. but also herbs and vinegar.
Face (and body) creams are probably the most sought after beauty products. Never have there been as many (natural) brands offering natural face creams as there are today. Fancy making one yourself? Weather you may find some natural products too expensive or not suitable for your personal needs, The Craft of Herbalism will teach you how to make natural facial creams yourself. The chapter four, this just may be my favorite part of the book.
“Some herbs release their medicinal constituents more readily in their fresh state, and others are best when dried. If you craft your creams from fresh flowers steeped in distilled water, enough constituents will be released to benefit the skin, so don’t fret over it. These creams are so rich and concentrated; your skin will definitely look and feel much better than it probably ever has before.” ~ The Craft of Herbalism
While using various butters, carrier oils and essential oils to create a cream is a pretty easy and known procedure, I find creating a face cream using fresh and dried herbs especially intriguing. The instructions are very detailed, however, I believe some practice will be much needed in order to get a face cream just right. Of course, being a lover or roses and rose – based beauty products, you know I especially liked a recipe for a rose face & body cream.
“A centuries- old ritual, herbal bathing imparts therapeutic benefits via the opened pores of the skin. The healing benefits of herbal-infused water that has penetrated these pores will now be carried throughout your system.” ~ The Craft of Herbalism
In chapter five you will find detailed instructions on how to make a herbal bath by either infusion or decoction. The Craft of Herbalism also offers suggestions which herbs and essential oils to mix together whether you want relaxing or energizing bath.
I am a big proponent of exfoliation. With The Craft of Herbalism you will learn how to create your own, quite inexpensive, body and face scrubs.
“Scrubs crafted using these basic kitchen ingredients offer tremendous benefits for the skin. Exfoliating treatments using similar recipes can be found at many spas, but you’ll never need to leave home again to receive one. “~ The Craft of Herbalism
One of the ingredients in a recipe for sugar scrub is white sugar; I would instead recommend using brown, unrefined sugar.
Chapter seven will appease all those, who wish to make their own natural soaps: natural colorants, which essential oils work best when making your own soap…
“Many commercial brands of deodorant contain aluminum, an ingredient strongly linked to breast cancer and parabens, which have been linked to hormonal imbalances. When it comes to the skin, what goes in on goes in, and it’s wise to steer clear of these harmful ingredients whenever you can.” ~ The Craft of Herbalism
Chapter nine will guide you through the process of making your own, natural and healthy deodorant; from a list of suggested ingredients as well as the recipe.
While any lover of natural beauty products is aware of the dangerous ingredients in non- natural perfume, we also know that natural perfumes can be quite expensive. So – why not make your perfume? If alcohol is an ingredient your skin is not very fond of, you can make a perfume without it: a blend of carrier oils and essential oils will create a great natural perfume. In The Craft of Herbalism you will find essential oils listed based on their notes, as well as easy to follow instructions on how to create your own solid or liquid perfume.
Probably one of the easiest natural beauty products that you can make yourself is a lip balm. Easy to follow recipe and suggested ingredients for your own handmade natural lip balm are all covered in The Craft of Herbalism.
Conventional shampoos are full of harmful ingredients, starting with SLS. While there are many affordable natural organic shampoos, if you think they are still too expensive, you can easily make one yourself. You can make your own shampoo with various oils, and The Craft of Herbalism also contains information which herbs are suitable for boosting hair colors as well as how to make your own hair spray and styling gel.
The Herbal Medicine part of The Craft of Herbalism also contains valuable information on how to treat many health problems the traditional way – with the medicine mother Nature has been offering us since forever. The Herbal Medicine part is broken down in two parts: herbal medicine for children and herbal medicine for adults.
“When it comes to children, I don’t think it’s ever too soon to introduce them to plants and teach them about them. Unless someone shows them that synthetic chemicals and pharmaceutical medications aren’t always the answer to every complaints, how will they ever know? Herbal medicine offers us a way to take charge of our health before we reach crisis. Herbal medicine is empowering. The medicine is free if you know where to find it and how to harvest it. It offers the opportunity to be self-sufficient and self-reliant. And what better way is there to spend time with your children, out hiking in the woods or strolling through a meadow of flowers? It’s a time to connect with each other, and with Nature.” ~ The Craft of Herbalism
In The Craft of Herbalism you will find important information on how to treat children suffering from various health issues; from colic, cold and flu, tummy troubles, diaper rash.
In the Grown-up’s Shelf part of The Craft of Herbalism you will find herbal remedies for such health issues as arthritis, blood pressure, bone health, cholesterol, diabetes, immune health, liver and kidney health, menopause, prostate health, etc.
One thing really stood out for me, the Alzheimer’s disease part. “The disease often occurs with acetylcholine deficiency. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that has a key role in reasoning and cognition. Research has determined that these compounds can be sufficiently absorbed when used in a shampoo. ” ~ The Craft of Herbalism
Now, ponder this for a moment. If, by using a shampoo, which contains (potentially) healing ingredients, which are absorbed into our bodies, we could/can heal certain health issues and diseases, imagine what harmful ingredients (SLS, parabenes etc), absorbed by our bodies do to our health!
In the expanded edition of The Craft of Herbalism, Tiffany dedicated a chapter to a spice that has been getting a lot of attention for its numerous healing properties – turmeric – with easy to follow recipe, so you can incorporate turmeric into your healing and preventing health issues regiment. Turmeric has positive effects on digestion, removing toxins from our system and (may) have potential in fighting cancer.
Part three of The Craft of Herbalism is a condensed version of The Art of Herbalism, with formulas and procedures on how to make your own tinctures, infusions and decoction, herbal capsules and herbal pills.
While natural remedies surely are far better for our health, they are, after all, remedies, whether medicinal or cosmetic, and should thus be used when we gathered enough knowledge about them. Part four contains important information on herbs and essential oils caution and side effects: which essential oils may be irritating, which should not (or rather – must not) be used while pregnant, which not to use with in combination with any pharmaceutical drugs etc.
“Always double-check the botanical name of the herb! Different species of the same plant can have similar sounding names and a mix-up can prove fatal!” ~ The Craft of Herbalism
For this, The Art of Herbalism will come handy, as the two books work in synergy. In the Art of Herbalism you will find formulary, which contains nearly hundred of herbs and their detailed description: from botanical names, to their usage, dosages, preparation, possible side effects. The expanded edition of The Art of Herbalism has added over a dozen of herbs, among them clove, ginkgo, slippery elm, turmeric.
Final thoughts on The Craft of Herbalism? It’s a great companion for anyone, who, after reading The Art of Herbalism and has acquired the knowledge of the herbs, wishes to create their own cosmetic and herbal products. Trial-and-tested recipes from a renowned herbalist, with an extensive knowledge about herbs, The Craft of Herbalism will serve you and your family on your path of learning about nature’s healing prowess as well as using nature’s given gifts to distance yourself from dangerous cosmetic ingredients and products as well as from dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, into a territory, where you will make your own remedies. I’m giving the Craft of Herbalism 4.9 stars (I am missing a photo here and there in the book).
Have you read The Craft of Herbalism? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this great book. As for those, who are intrigued by this review, and are thinking about starting making their own natural remedies, well, we have some more good news – we’ll be having a giveaway of BOTH books, The Art of Herbalism and The Craft of Herbalism soon. Also, we’ll be hosting Tiffany for a cup of tea, errr, hot infusion, and have a little chat with her. So do make sure you check back soon, both, for the interview with Tiffany and a giveaway.
You can connect with Tiffany here:
The Craft of Herbalism has been provided by Tiffany M. Psichopaidas to Nature of Europe for the purpose of an honest review.