MICHAEL J. BALICK holds a PhD in biology from Harvard and is vice president of botanical science and director and philecology curator of the Institute of Economic Botany at the New York Botanical Garden. An ethnobotanist with a specialty in medicinal and food plants, Dr. Balick has conducted fieldwork with indigenous cultures in 56 biologically diverse regions around the world and appears frequently on television and radio and in print media. He lives in Chappaqua, NY.
It turns out that Mother Nature is a brilliant chemist. Our ancestors have used indigenous herbs in daily life for thousands of years due to these plants’ ability to heal and promote good health. Now modern science has identified the compounds that give herbs their medicinal qualities, scent, and flavor. The extraordinary diversity of herbal plants has the potential to improve our health and well-being, and we are wholeheartedly incorporating herbs, both fresh and dried, into our lifestyles—for well-being, healing, gardening, beauty, ceremony, and a richer, fuller life.Presented in three parts, Rodale’s 21st-Century Herbal
first explores the historical relationship between people and herbal plants and how it has evolved over time. In the second part, readers will delve into an A-to-Z encyclopedia of 180 of the most useful herbs from around the globe, not only familiar herbs like bilberry and nasturtium, but also cutting-edge herbs from other cultures, like red bush tea and maca, that are now available in the West. The final section highlights how herbs create a "fuller" life and features herbal cooking techniques, ways to use herbs for beauty and the bath, ideas for daily herbal use (such as green cleaning, fragrances, decor, smudging, and dyeing), gardening and growing how-tos (with illustrated garden designs), and advice for holistic herbal pet care.