The Handbook of Vintage Remedies: A Modern Family’s Guide to Herbal Medicine by Jessie Hawkins, MH is an informative and helpful family herbalist book for natural home health and wellness.
The Handbook of Vintage Remedies is written by Jessie Hawkins, an herbalist, mother, and speaker living in Tennessee and is presented as a guide for families to increase their knowledge of how to use natural remedies in their home. The Handbook of Vintage Remedies is divided into four primary sections: The Herbal Primer, The Family Clinic, Botanical Apothecary, and A Natural Family Toolkit.
The Herbal Primer: Introduction to Herbal Medicine
The herbal primer section is just that—40 pages dedicated to introducing those new to herbal medicine to the wonderful world of natural health and wellness. In addition to the basic “What is it?” Jessie covers such things as prevention, nutrition, immunity and other aspect of natural living. She then goes on to address herbal safety concerns and special considerations such as pregnancy.
The Family Clinic: Common Medical Complaints and Concerns
This second section is the longest section of book, taking over 100 pages. Well over 50 medical concerns are discussed, including everything from headaches to cradle cap to smoking. I think what I appreciated most about this section is that Jessie would often point readers to a research study or a standard of treatment in other developed countries. She would also note when to be aware of the need for additional help with a situation. The view seemed very balanced compared to other health care texts I’ve read which can often be biased and present very extreme points of views.
Botanical Apothecary: Common Herbs Uses and Benefits
One of my favorite sections of The Handbook of Vintage Remedies, is the third section, “Botanical Apothecary,” where Jessie profiles over 35 herbs, highlighting their benefits and uses as well as their contraindications or when not to use them. Each herb is introduced and then the following topics are filled in:
When to use it
When to avoid it
This information is designed to be an overview and introduction to the favorite, most common and most beneficial herbs. If you are looking for a lot of in-depth information about a particular herb, The Handbook of Vintage Remedies will not be the book for that type of detailed study. However, if you are looking for a place to get started with herbal research and advice on which herbs to invest in for every day family care, this book is perfect. The botanical information section is the part of the book where I most long for the photos or images that aren’t there.
A Natural Family Toolkit: Tips and Tricks to Use Herbs
This last section is a collection of all the resources, last-minute information and alternative ways to use herbs not covered in the other sections of Vintage Remedies. A reader feels like she’s sitting with Jessie in a casual setting and just chatting about other herbal odds and ends. Additional resources, body and beauty recipes, and household cleaning ideas all work together to make a great ending to The Handbook of Vintage Remedies.
Overall, consider this book a must-read introduction to implementing herbal medicine into your daily routine and family health care. Jessie Hawkins offers in-depth training and herbal medicine curriculum programs so it would understandably be impossible to present a 400-hour course in a single, 260-page book. Her knowledge and familiarity with natural medicine is obvious and enchanting. The balanced view of The Handbook of Vintage Remedies is refreshing.