As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
In the Upper Amazon, mestizos are the Spanish-speaking descendants of Hispanic colonizers and the indigenous peoples of the jungle. Some mestizos have migrated to Amazon towns and cities, such as Iquitos and Pucallpa; most remain in small villages. They have retained features of a folk Catholicism and traditional Hispanic medicine, and have incorporated much of the religious tradition of the Amazon, especially its healing, sorcery, shamanism, and the use of potent plant hallucinogens, including ayahuasca. The result is a uniquely eclectic shamanist culture that continues to fascinate outsiders with its brilliant visionary art. Ayahuasca shamanism is now part of global culture. Once the terrain of anthropologists, it is now the subject of novels and spiritual memoirs, while ayahuasca shamans perform their healing rituals in Ontario and Wisconsin.
Singing to the Plants sets forth just what this shamanism is about--what happens at an ayahuasca healing ceremony, how the apprentice shaman forms a spiritual relationship with the healing plant spirits, how sorcerers inflict the harm that the shaman heals, and the ways that plants are used in healing, love magic, and sorcery.
Two books in one, this pocket-sized guide features an intriguing "double-fronted" format. The first side provides medicinal herbal information and recipes. The second side contains traditional magical uses for the same plants presented in the first. Wortcunning's effective and authentic knowledge comes from a small coven of Suffolk witches and Nigel G. Pearson's own work as an herbalist.
Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples by Nancy J Turner
In Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, renowned ethnobotanist Nancy J. Turner describes more than 100 plants traditionally harvested and eaten by coastal aboriginal groups. Each description contains botanical details and a colour photograph to help identify the plant, information on where to find it, and a discussion on traditional methods of harvesting and preparation. This popular book remains an essential guide for anyone interested in wild edible plants or traditional cultures of First Peoples living on the coast of British Columbia and adjacent areas in Alaska and Washington.
Food Plants of Interior First Peoples by Nancy J Turner
Nancy Turner describes more than 150 plants traditionally harvested and eaten by First Peoples east of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia and northern Washington. Each description includes information on where to find the plant and a discussion on traditional methods of harvesting and preparation.
Chinese Medicine Psychology, by Professor Qu Lifang and Dr. Mary Garvey
Both an introduction to Chinese medicine psychology and a clinical guide for Chinese medicine, this book facilitates and promotes the management of mind and emotion-related illnesses.
Based on recent and ancient Chinese sources, it explores and explains previously unavailable material on the generational and ancestral aspects of human mentality, as well as its context within the natural world and the evolution of human life. The first part of the book includes a detailed introduction to the theory of Chinese medicine psychology as well as the modern developments that surround it, whilst the second part is a guide to clinical practice.
Chinese Medicine Psychologyallows access to invaluable resources and is an indispensable guide for Chinese medicine practitioners, students and healthcare professionals.
Whether you live in a mountain cabin or a city loft, plant spirits present themselves to us everywhere. Since its first printing in 1995,Plant Spirit Medicinehas passed hand-to-hand among countless readers drawn to indigenous spirituality and all things alive and green. In this updated edition, Eliot Cowan invites us to discover the healing power of plants—not merely their physical medicinal properties, but the deeper wisdom and gifts that they offer.
Enriched by many new insights, this guide unfolds as a series of chapters on how plant spirit medicine helped Cowan resolve specific challenges in his own healing journey and in his work with others. In the telling, we learn how plant spirits can directly communicate with and aid all of us, including:
Plant spirit medicine's five-element view of healing
Ways to assess our own states of health and balance
Receiving guidance from plants, including those found within herbal preparations
New passages on community and sacred plants such as peyote, marijuana, and tobacco
Additional interviews with plant shamans across diverse traditions, and more
"There are ancient secrets and lessons hidden in nature. If you seek for guidance, you will discover truth." -Bobby Lake-Thom
Much of the ancient knowledge that has been passed down from Native American medicine men, or shamans is in danger of being lost. Bobby Lake-Thom, a Native American healer known as Medicine Grizzly Bear, has sought to preserve this powerful heritage by sharing his wisdom and experience learning from the world around us. The result is Spirits of the Earth, an extraordinary compilation of legends and rituals about nature's ever-present signs. From the birds that soar above us to the instincts beneath our feet, Bobby Lake-Thom shows how the creatures of the earth can aid us in healing and self-knowledge.
What does it mean if a hawk appears in a dream? What are the symbolic interpretations of a deer, a skunk, a raccoon? Lake-Thom, who has studied with the elders of many tribes, explains the significance of animal figures as manifestations of good or evil, and shows how we can develop our own powers of awareness and intuition. The first book of its kind, this practical and enlightening resource includes dozens of fascinating animal myths and legends, as well as exercises and activities that draw upon animal powers for guidance, healing, wisdom, and the expansion of spiritual influences in our lives. You'll discover here:
How animals, birds, and insects act as signs and omens The significance of vision quests How to make and use a medicine wheel The role of spirit symbols and how they affect the unconscious Exercises for creative dreaming The power of the earth-healing ceremony How to increase your spiritual strength and create sacred spaces
Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine, by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold
The promise and mystery of Chinese medicine has intrigued and fascinated Westerners ever since the “Bamboo Curtain” was lifted in the early 1970s. Now, in Between Heaven and Earth, two of the foremost American educators and healers in the Chinese medical profession demystify this centuries-old approach to health. Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold, pioneers in the practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine in the United States for over eighteen years, explain the philosophy behind Chinese medicine, how it works and what it can do.
Combining Eastern traditions with Western sensibilities in a unique blend that is relevant today, Between Heaven and Earth addresses three vital areas of Chinese medicine—theory, therapy, and types—to present a comprehensive, yet understandable guide to this ancient system. Whether you are a patient with an aggravating complaint or a curious intellectual seeker, Between Heaven and Earth opens the door to a vast storehouse of knowledge that bridges the gap between mind and body, theory and practice, professional and self-care, East and West.
For millennia, plants and their habitats have been fundamental to the lives of Indigenous Peoples - as sources of food and nutrition, medicines, and technological materials - and central to ceremonial traditions, spiritual beliefs, narratives, and language. While the First Peoples of Canada and other parts of the world have developed deep cultural understandings of plants and their environments, this knowledge is often underrecognized in debates about land rights and title, reconciliation, treaty negotiations, and traditional territories. Plants, People, and Places argues that the time is long past due to recognize and accommodate Indigenous Peoples' relationships with plants and their ecosystems. Essays in this volume, by leading voices in philosophy, Indigenous law, and environmental sustainability, consider the critical importance of botanical and ecological knowledge to land rights and related legal and government policy, planning, and decision making in Canada, the United States, Sweden, and New Zealand. Analyzing specific cases in which Indigenous Peoples' inherent rights to the environment have been denied or restricted, this collection promotes future prosperity through more effective and just recognition of the historical use of and care for plants in Indigenous cultures. A timely book featuring Indigenous perspectives on reconciliation, environmental sustainability, and pathways toward ethnoecological restoration, Plants, People, and Places reveals how much there is to learn from the history of human relationships with nature.
WHEREAS her birth signaled the responsibility as mother to teach what it is to be Lakota therein the question: What did I know about being Lakota? Signaled panic, blood rush my embarrassment. What did I know of our language but pieces? Would I teach her to be pieces? Until a friend comforted, Don’t worry, you and your daughter will learn together. Today she stood sunlight on her shoulders lean and straight to share a song in Diné, her father’s language. To sing she motions simultaneously with her hands; I watch her be in multiple musics.
—from “WHEREAS Statements”
WHEREAS confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. “I am,” she writes, “a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation—and in this dual citizenship I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.” This strident, plaintive book introduces a major new voice in contemporary literature.
The Web That Has No Weaver is the classic, comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of Chinese alternative medicine. This accessible and invaluable resource has earned its place as the foremost authority in synthesizing Western and Eastern healing practices. This revised edition is the product of years of further reflection on ancient Chinese sources and active involvement in cutting-edge scientific research.
Plants of the Gods, by Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, and Christian Ratsch
World-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist Christian Ratsch provides the latest scientific updates to this classic work on psychoactive flora by two eminent researchers.
• Numerous new and rare color photographs complement the completely revised and updated text.
• Explores the uses of hallucinogenic plants in shamanic rituals throughout the world.
• Cross-referenced by plant, illness, preparation, season of collection, and chemical constituents.
Three scientific titans join forces to completely revise the classic text on the ritual uses of psychoactive plants. They provide a fascinating testimony of these "plants of the gods," tracing their uses throughout the world and their significance in shaping culture and history. In the traditions of every culture, plants have been highly valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative properties. The most powerful of those plants, which are known to transport the human mind into other dimensions of consciousness, have always been regarded as sacred. The authors detail the uses of hallucinogens in sacred shamanic rites while providing lucid explanations of the biochemistry of these plants and the cultural prayers, songs, and dances associated with them. The text is lavishly illustrated with 400 rare photographs of plants, people, ceremonies, and art related to the ritual use of the world's sacred psychoactive flora.
"This story is a blend of accounts recorded at the turn of the last century in three of the once numerous dialects of the Haida language. I have combined elements from these accounts into a newly constructed whole. Be cautioned that these images are interpretations informed by my own cultural composition and life experiences. This is a contemporary rendering of a worldview first expressed in different times and probably for different reasons..." -Yahgulanaas
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.
Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.
Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.
Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.
Originally written in the Aztec language, Nahuatl, in 1552, this classic codex was the first herbal and medical text compiled in the New World. The author of this extraordinarily rare and valuable document was Martín de la Cruz, an Aztec physician, whose work was subsequently translated into Latin by an Aztec nobleman, Juan Badiano. The book was translated into English in 1939 by William Gates. In these pages are centuries-old Aztec remedies for boils, hair loss, cataracts, insomnia, sore throats, hiccups, gout, lesions, wounds, joint diseases, tumors, and scores of other ailments. Over 180 black-and-white figures of the plants augment the text, along with 38 full color illustrations made specially for the Gates edition. Additional supplements include an introduction to the Mexican botanical system, an analytical index of the plants, and a new Introduction by anthropologist Bruce Byland of the City University of New York. Remarkable for its scope, detail, careful observation, and accurate description, An Aztec Herbal stands as a magnificent example of the impressive medical knowledge of indigenous peoples. This handsome and inexpensive edition of a long-unavailable work promises to engender a new appreciation of the skill and inventiveness of Aztec medical practices in particular and of Native American science in general.
The Indian History of British Columbia, the Impact of the White Man by Wilson Duff
First published in 1965, The Indian History of British Columbia: The Impact of the White Man remains an important book thanks to Wilson Duff's rigorous scholarship. It is an excellent overview of the history of the interaction between the First Nations of British Columbia and the colonial cultures that came to western North America. In its 30 years in print, this book has sold more than 15,000 copies and continues to reside on the reading lists of many university and college anthropology courses. Wilson Duff wrote this book as the first in a series. The second was to be the first book in a line of "ethnic histories" on specific First Nations; the third was to cover a thousand or so years before contact with Euro-Americans. Regrettably, he never finished the other manuscripts. But The Impact of the White Man stands alone and is, indeed, a mainstay of anthropology and history in British Columbia. For the first time, this book is issued in a quality paperback size and a more readable type. The original text is virtually unchanged, but the publishers have added more photographs, an appendix updating the names and territories of British Columbia First Nations, a new list of recommended reading, and an index.
Saanich Ethnobotany, Culturally Important Plants of the W̱SÁNEĆ People by Nany J Turner and Richard J Hebda
Nancy Turner and Richard Hebda present the results of many years of working with botanical experts from the Saanich Nation on southern Vancouver Island. Elders Violet Williams, Elsie Claxton, Christopher Paul and Dave Elliott pass on their knowledge of plants and their uses to future generations of Saanich and Coast Salish people, and to anyone interested in native plants. Saanich Ethnobotany includes detailed information about the plants that were traditionally harvested to use in all aspects of Saanich life, such as for food and medicines, and to make tools, buildings and weapons. Each plant is listed by its common (English), scientific and Saanich names. Each listing contains a brief botanical description with a colour photograph, where to find the plant and how it was used traditionally by the Saanich people. This important book celebrates the richness and tremendous value of locally based knowledge in a rapidly changing world.
The Cherokee Herbal, native plant medicine from the Four Directions, by J. T. Garrett
A practical guide to the medicinal uses of over 450 plants and herbs as applied in the traditional practices of the Cherokee.
• Details the uses of over 450 plants for the treatment of over 120 ailments.
• Written by the coauthor of Medicine of the Cherokee (40,000 copies sold).
• Explains the healing elements of the Four Directions and the plants associated with them.
• Includes traditional teaching tales as told to the author by Cherokee Elders.
In this rare collection of the acquired herbal knowledge of Cherokee Elders, author J. T. Garrett presents the healing properties and medicinal applications of over 450 North American plants. Readers will learn how Native American healers utilize the gifts of nature for ceremonial purposes and to treat over 120 ailments, from the common cold to a bruised heart. The book presents the medicine of the Four Directions and the plants with which each direction is associated. From the East comes the knowledge of "heart medicine"--blood-building tonics and plants for vitality and detoxification. The medicine of the South focuses on the innocence of life and the energy of youthfulness. West medicine treats the internal aspects of the physical body to encourage strength and endurance, while North medicine offers a sense of freedom and connection to the stars and the greater Universal Circle. This resource also includes traditional teaching tales to offer insights from Cherokee cosmology into the origin of illness, how the animals found their medicine, and the naming of the plants.
J. T. Garrett, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee from North Carolina, is the author of Meditations with the Cherokee and coauthor with his son, Michael, of Medicine of the Cherokee and The Cherokee Full Circle. As a student and teacher of Indian Medicine for over thirty-five years, he draws on the ancient wisdom teachings of his Medicine elders on the Cherokee Reservation in the Great Smoky Mountains. He currently serves as the health director for Carteret County in North Carolina.
The Herbal Lore of Wise Women and Wortcunners by Wolf D. Storl
Traditional herbalists or wise women were not only good botanists or pharmacologists; they were also shamanic practitioners and keepers of occult knowledge about the powerful properties of plants. Traveling back to the healing arts of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, The Herbal Lore of Wise Womenand Wortcunners takes readers deep into this world, through the leechcraft of heathen society and witches’ herb bundles to the cloister gardens of the Middle Ages. It also examines herbal medicine today in the traditional Chinese apothecary, the Indian ayurvedic system, homeopathy, and Native American medicine.
Balancing the mystical with the practical, author Wolf Storl explains how to become an herbalist, from collecting material to distilling and administering medicines. He includes authoritative advice on herb gardening, as well as a holistic inventory of plants used for purposes both benign and malign, from herbs for cooking, healing, beauty, and body care to psychedelic plants, witches’ salves for opening alternative realities, and poisonous herbs that can induce madness or cause death. Storl also describes traditional “women’s plants” and their uses: dyeing cloth, spinning and weaving, or whipping up love potions. The Herbal Lore of Wise Women and Wortcunners is written for professional and amateur herbalists as well as gardeners, urban homesteaders, and plantspeople interested in these rich ancient traditions.
A leading light in the field of medicinal herb cultivation, The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm is the first cultivation guide of its kind, and presents invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the US, with the historical connectedness of ancient practitioners.
It has become increasingly important-especially as the market for herbal medicine continues to grow-that we transition to local and domestic medicinal cultivation. Increasingly there are concerns in regards to not only the quality but the purity of imported herbs, and wild herbs picked for medicinal purposes are ever more endangered than in past years both at home and abroad.
Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through 79 detailed herb profiles--all tested and trialed on Schafer's certified organic farm-Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs. Also included is important information on species conservation, crop integration, and how to avoid the introduction of invasive species. Sidebars on traditional medicinal uses for each herb and delicious recipes are also featured throughout.
Vegetable and CSA farmers will find this book of great interest for adding value-added crops to their repertoire, and beginner growers looking to incorporate medicinals into their gardens will find this an invaluable guide to understanding where herbal medicine comes from, and will make eating-your-medicine more accessible than ever.
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