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 Women and 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.