Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Herbal Antivirals, 2nd Edition by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Book cover
Herbal Antivirals, 2nd Edition
by Stephen Harrod Buhner

ISBN-13: 9781635864175
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Released: August 31st 2021

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Viruses are smart, mutating, and becoming resistant to antiviral pharmaceuticals. Global crises such as COVID-19, SARS, and dengue feaver spread more quickly than we can develop medicines to fight them. Herbalist and best-selling author Stephen Harrod Buhner has studied the antiviral properties of plants for many years. In this comprehensive guide, he profiles the plants that have proven most effective in fighting viral infections and provides in-depth instructions for preparing and using formulations to address the most common infections and strengthen immunity, safely and naturally. The updated 2nd edition includes an expanded guide to COVID-19, including a review of the most up-to-date medical research and the plant medicines that have been found to be most potent in preventing infection, lessening the impact of the virus on the body, and addressing longer-term effects and co-infections.

My Review:
Herbal Antivirals, 2nd Edition describes the mode of action of different types of viral infections and how different herbs work to prevent these viral infections. The author began with a look at several types of viruses (influenza, coronaviruses, viral encephalitis, etc.). He provided some history about the disease, very detailed information about how that type of viral infection acts on the body, how different herbs block specific modes of action by the virus (thus helping stop the virus), and the dosing and herbs used for different stages of infection. He strongly suggested the use of tinctures as the best way to get a high enough dosing to be effective.

The information on COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 was written in August 2020, over a year ago, and much of what was predicted (and included in this book) hasn't turn out to be as bad a predicted. I don't know if this section will be further updated before the publish date, but I didn't find a long section of what felt like panic propaganda to be very useful. He did include information about how the virus acted on the body and what herbs should help treat it.

The main, second section profiled several of the most useful antiviral herbs. The author described the common and Latin names of the medicinal herbs, the parts used for antiviral action, the dosage (usually as tinctures, but also powder or decoction), potential side effects, contraindications, herb/drug or herb/herb interactions, a list of medicinal actions, what it can be used to treat, the plant's chemistry, traditional uses, and scientific research on the herbs effectiveness against viruses and such. He also provided information about the plant in general, the habitat where the plant naturally grows and can be harvested, how to grow it, and where to buy it. He ended by describing some other ways (nutrition, some other herbs, etc.) to support the immune system and fight viral infections.

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.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Toxic Legacy by Stephanie Seneff

Book cover
Toxic Legacy
by Stephanie Seneff

ISBN-13: 9781603589307
Hardcover: 262 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company
Released: June 1st 2021

Source: Bought.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
From an MIT scientist, mounting evidence that the active ingredient in the world’s most commonly used weedkiller is contributing to skyrocketing rates of chronic disease.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the most commonly used weedkiller in the world. Nearly 300 million pounds of glyphosate-based herbicide are sprayed on farms―and food―every year. Agrochemical companies claim that glyphosate is safe for humans, animals, and the environment. But emerging scientific research on glyphosate’s deadly disruption of the gut microbiome, its crippling effect on protein synthesis, and its impact on the body’s ability to use and transport sulfur―not to mention several landmark legal cases― tells a very different story.

In Toxic Legacy, senior research scientist Stephanie Seneff, PhD, delivers compelling evidence based on countless published, peer-reviewed studies. Readers will discover the uniquely toxic nature of glyphosate; how glyphosate disrupts the microbiome, leading to gut dysbiosis, autoimmunity, neurodegeneration, and more; why we’re seeing a rise in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, infertility, depression, and anxiety; glyphosate’s role in soil degeneration, water contamination, and threats to wildlife and biodiversity; and important nutritional guidance for conscientious consumers who want to avoid glyphosate-contaminated foods and improve their health.

As Rachel Carson did with DDT in the 1960’s, Stephanie Seneff sounds the alarm on glyphosate, giving you guidance on simple, powerful changes you can make right now and essential information you need to protect your health, your family’s health, and the planet on which we all depend.

My Review:
Toxic Legacy describes how glyphosate is harmful to human health. The book is suitable both for scientists and non-scientists, but it can get technical. The author described in detail the mechanisms for how glyphosate does it's damage in a way that will convince scientists. She tried to describe the detailed scientific information in a way that the common person can follow (especially if you have some science background), but she also summarized her main points at the end of each section in a way that anyone can understand. The first few chapters and the last one are the easiest to understand, and the last chapter focused on what you can do to avoid the harm caused by glyphosate. Many of these suggestions are diet related, like buy Certified Organic food to minimalize glyphosate residue. While not the easiest read, I'd still highly recommend this important book to everyone and I've bought some additional copies to give to family members.

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, August 26, 2021

The Plant Propagator's Bible by Miranda Smith

Book cover
The Plant Propagator's Bible
by Miranda Smith

ISBN-13: 9780760369791
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Cool Springs Press
Released: June 29th 2021

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, veteran horticulture teacher Miranda Smith provides a complete reference showing every step for cultivating new plants—whether from seed or cuttings or with techniques such as layering, grafting, and budding.

Propagating new plants from existing ones is not only sustainable but also rewarding for gardeners of all skill levels. The Plant Propagator's Bible offers a solid and complete, go-to reference for expert gardeners but is also a perfect primer for the novice plant lover and horticulturalist. Smith teaches readers, with the support of hundreds of full-color photos and detailed illustrations, the natural process and conditions in which plants grow and reproduce, and shows gardeners how to use these systems to propagate any plant that grows in their garden or greenhouse—or even on their windowsill.

The book features a detailed, step-by-step illustrations and annotated photographs, "What Can Go Wrong" advice explaining potential problems and how to prevent or fix them, and an A to Z directory of more than 1,000 individual plant species—with appropriate propagation techniques for aquatics, ornamental plants, houseplants, shrubs, trees, vegetables, and wildflowers.

My Review:
The Plant Propagator's Bible described many different plant propagation techniques. The first part of the book detailed these various techniques and included a general description of each technique, a list of plants that it works on, step-by-step instructions and illustrations showing how to do the technique, and brief advice about how to handle what can go wrong. The techniques included starting from seeds (including soaking, scarification, stratification, etc.), dividing plants, taking cuttings, layering, and grafting. The book also contained a plant directory for flowering plants and ornamentals, which included information on where the plant is grown, the easiest way to propagate it, other methods that can be used, and potential problems specific to that plant.

I thought that the step-by-step section did a good job of showing how to do the technique. I've done some of these in the past, and I'll try some new ones in the future. I was a little disappointed that the focus seemed to be on non-food plants since the subtitle mentioned "every plant in your garden." I also sometimes felt that the author made propagation sound more difficult than it is. For example, years ago I bought morning glory seeds, simply planted them, and the resulting morning glories have been reseeding themselves in the same spot for years without any action on my part. According to this book, though, you need to scarify the seeds in order to get them to sprout. Overall, I recommend this informative book to anyone interested in learning new plant propagation techniques.

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.