Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Your Brain on Plants by Nicolette Perry; Elaine Perry

book cover
Your Brain on Plants
by Nicolette Perry; Elaine Perry

ISBN-13: 9781615194469
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: The Experiment
Released: Aug. 7, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
As scientists come to better understand how the brain works, the gap between traditional and alternative medicine is narrowing fast. Botanical Brain Balms, cowritten by a neuroscientist and an expert in medicinal plants, describes the beneficial effects of more than 56 plants on memory, mind, and mood—think St. John’s wort for depression, lavender for stress, and sage for cognitive function.

Expert authors Elaine and Nicolette Perry share insights into their own research into how plants can help us sleep, reduce stress, improve memory, and simply feel better. Botanical Brain Balms is organized to allow those experiencing anxiety, sleeplessness, or even pain to go directly to the appropriate chapter, where they’ll find orienting info about appropriate medicinal plants, including how plant compounds work on different parts of the brain.

Make-at-home recipes and remedies for teas, tinctures, balms, cordials, and even foods featuring ingredients proven to alleviate symptoms appear throughout, as do complementary exercises such as meditating on a chamomile lawn, qi gong in a wildflower meadow, and walking in woodland. An appendix includes the scientific documentation.

My Review:
Your Brain on Plants talked about 56 plants that affect your mind or emotions. The authors covered 7 calming plants, 8 memory boosters, 8 plants that lift spirits and relieve mild depression, 7 plants that promote sleep, 7 plants that relieve pain, 7 plants that combat mental fatigue and restore vitality, 5 plants that alter your consciousness, and 5 plants that help in several ways at once. Many of these plants are easy to find, like sage, peppermint, cat mint, garlic, ginger, turmeric, green tea, blueberries, rosemary, and walnuts. Others were less common and may be more difficult to find, though I've seen many of them at my health food store.

For each plant, there's a picture of the plant plus general information about what it looks like and where it grows, historical uses and folklore, a summary of scientific studies, the bioactive ingredients, uses and how to take it, and safety warnings. There were also some recipes for foods, drinks, lotions, and such that used the plant. While this is a very pretty and informative book, I'd hoped for more information about the scientific studies. These were summarized in a small paragraph or two while the history and folklore was usually two to three times as long.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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