Monday, January 18, 2021

Plant Partners by Jessica Walliser

Book cover
Plant Partners
by Jessica Walliser

ISBN-13: 9781635861334
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
Released: December 22nd 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Companion planting has a long history of use by gardeners, but the explanation of why it works has been filled with folklore and conjecture. Plant Partners delivers a research-based rationale for this ever-popular growing technique, offering dozens of ways you can use scientifically tested plant partnerships to benefit your whole garden. Through an enhanced understanding of how plants interact with and influence each other, this guide suggests specific plant combinations that improve soil health and weed control, decrease pest damage, and increase biodiversity, resulting in real and measurable impacts in the garden.

My Review:
Plant Partners is a very informative book about garden plant pairings that help improve the yield and health of your harvest crops. The author talked about cover crops, living mulches, using allelopathy to combat weeds, plants that can be used as living trellises, plants that can be used to lure pests away from harvest crops, plants that help suppress disease in their plant partners, plants that attract beneficial insects, and plants that bring in more pollinators to the garden for an increased crop. She focused on plant pairings that have been studied at universities and such for their effectiveness.

She also talked about related issues, like no-till gardening or studies suggesting the reasons behind why these plant partners work well. The many pictures usually showed how the plants can be planted near each other (interplanted or planted in alternating rows). Her description of how to implement these plant partnerships (when to plant, where to plant, etc.) was also clear to me. Overall, I was so impressed with this book and its usefulness for a home gardener that I bought a physical copy because I'll be referring to it often. We're going to try some living mulch this year along with a couple of the plant partners that were suggested to bring in beneficial insects. I'd highly recommend this book to home gardeners.

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.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Essential Guide to Adaptogens by Rachel Rozelle, ND

Book coverThe Essential Guide to Adaptogens by Rachel Rozelle, ND

ISBN-13: 978-1647399030
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Released: December 8th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
In the world of natural medicine, adaptogens are superstars. These herbs and mushrooms have been used for centuries to help the body cope with stress of all kinds. The Essential Guide to Adaptogens puts the unique healing power of adaptogens in your hands. This up-to-date, research-driven guide walks you through using adaptogens like holy basil, Shatavari, cordyceps, and turmeric to support your body in managing depression, insomnia, hypertension and more.

Explore the history of adaptogens and learn about their wide range of benefits. Discover how they can be harnessed today to benefit immune health, sleep, hormone balance, brain function, and energy. Easy-to-follow recipes will empower you to introduce adaptogens into your lifestyle so you can begin healing, invigorating, and stress-proofing your mind and body.

Get introduced to the medicinal uses of adaptogens, and find out how to safely prepare the right dosage in a variety of forms. Meet each all-star adaptogen and learn its background, benefits, and usage guidelines—then dig into nourishing recipes. Find healthy lifestyle recommendations to further support you in achieving and maintaining optimal vitality and longevity.

My Review:
The Essential Guide to Adaptogens provides information about adaptogens. The author first talked about what adaptogens are and the benefits of taking them. She also talked about where to get them and how to use and store them. She then provided profiles for 15 herbs that included the Latin name, some basic information about the herb, the benefits, how to use it, the recommended amounts for different ways of using it (like a tincture or a capsule), any safety cautions, and a recipe or two using it. Each profile also had a chart showing what part is used, additional names, common preparations, energetics and taste, medicinal properties, and what it's used for. The herbs that she covered were American ginseng, ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, cordyceps, eleuthero, guduchi, holy basil, licorice, maca, rhaponticum, rhodiola, schisandra, shatavari, shilajit, and turmeric.

She then covered several common problems along with some herbs to treat them. She talked about anxiety, depression, irritability, low libido, fatigue, poor concentration, insulin resistance, obesity, and hypertension. For each problem, she talked about the symptoms and causes as well as possible treatments. Obviously, many of these treatments were adaptogens but she also suggested some other herbs as well and their dosing. She also talked about other things you can do that helps, like exercise. The last section of the book talked about self inquiry, breath work, yoga, massage, and meditation. The book included some good information and was easy to understand. I'd recommend it to people that haven't heard about adaptogens before and are interested in herbal remedies.

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.