Book Review

Herbal ABC's

Book Reviews of
Herbal ABC's
By Dr. Sharol Marie Tilgner

Reviews from the back of the book:

“Dr. Tilgner has a real knack for taking dry, scientific data, turning it into a fascinating read, then bringing it down to earth with practical applications, cases and traditional wisdom.~Deborah Frances R.N., N.D. ~ author of “Practical Wisdom in Natural Healing”

“Herbal ABC’s is a new kind of Herbal for the 21st Century. It is four books in one covering pathophysiology, an herbal materia medica, a scientific herbal and a textbook on the science of nutrition and lifestyle. The book will be equally valuable for students of the younger generation, as for those already continuing to practice, study, and learn in our field.” ~ Paul Bergner, North American Institute of Medical Herbalism

“Dr. Tilgner, one of America’s best-known herbalists and naturopaths, has written a book filled with accurate, usable information that is infused with the wisdom of a true physician. This should not only be on every herbalists bookshelves, but all interested in competent herbal medicine.” ~David Hoffmann FNIMH ~ author of “Medical Herbalism” & “The Holistic Herbal”

“I enthusiastically recommend Sharol Tilgner’s books as a standard for Western Naturopathic herbal medicine. In this her latest, she succinctly teaches how herbs are prescribed according to bio-physiological indications.” ~Dr. Michael Tierra ~ East West School of Planetary Herbology

Additional Reviews

HERBAL ABC's: The Foundation of Herbal Medicine
by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. 440p. ,2018, Wise Acres Press

Review #1 by Paul Bergner, North American Institute of Medical Herbalism

We can’t pigeonhole Herbal ABCs in one camp of herbalism or another. It is equally a traditional herbal, a clinical herbal, a scientific herbal, and a general reference for the application of herbal medicines. It is structured chapter-wise on traditional herbal actions and applications, an arrangement most useful for actually using the plants. In each category, Tilgner has selected a handful of the most important “clinical pearl” remedies from her long practice. The chapters are punctuated with case studies, stories, and anecdotes from her clinical experience, and also with her intuitive insights. Most remarkable is Tilgner’s exploration of the scientific research into the fields of pathophysiology and plant constituent science. She takes the “scientific herbal” to an unprecedented new level in her exploration of specialized literature, presenting it with a high level of functional scientific literacy. I have literally been waiting for decades to see an herbal describing animal trials which then states “Of course we have to be careful about extrapolating animal research to human application . . .” and we see this and similar functionally literate interpretations as the norm in her presentations of scientific material. Like her Herbal Medicine, which is three books-in-one (materia medica, formulary, and medicine making handbook) this book contains elements of books on four different topics, each done in depth, but synthesized into a single reference book.  It is a pathophysiology book, exploring in-depth topics such as liver detoxification, cytokines, or lymphoid tissue, for each of its major sections, and taking the most contemporary science into account. In this regard it offers material in a depth that is not available in other contemporary herbal books. It goes in similar depth into the science on constituent categories such as demulcents, tannins, immunomodulators, phytoestrogens, nootropics, and others. Blended into this is a textbook on the science of nutrition and lifestyle. We don’t just learn the liver detoxification pathways and how plants may affect them, but we also see the nutrients necessary for their proper function. We see how stress, sleep debt, and other factors affect the physiology.  And finally as its title implies, it is a reference book on herbal materia medica, covering the chief clinical actions of more than 245 herbs, with more than 100 of these featured for more in-depth coverage.

Ultimately, I see Herbal ABCs The Foundation of Herbal Medicine, as a new kind of Herbal for the 21st Century.  In North America since the 1980s, we have evolved a community of elder herbalists,  who, like Sharol Tilgner, have acquired a multifaceted mastery over decades of applied work in the different skill sets of herbalism: clinical practice, medicine making, reading of science, or study of older medical texts or systems. Herbal ABCs is perhaps the first fruit of this new and multifaceted and integrated mastery in North American herbalism. The book will be equally valuable for students of the younger generation, as for those already continuing to practice, study, and learn in our field.

Review #2 by Lori Roop of Vital Roots

When I attended The Rocky Mountain School of Botanical Studies in the early eightys, we used Sharol Tilgner’s Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth, 1st edition, as our textbook.  What a treasure!  It was a goldmine of information for us as beginning herb students. It has also served me well throughout the years as an herbal reference book that I have gone back to time and time again. My copy is so dog-eared and well-loved that I’ve even had to tape some of the pages back in!
So, when I sat down to read Sharol’s latest book, Herbal ABCs: The Foundation of Herbal Medicine, I honestly thought it would be geared solely toward beginning herb students. I didn’t think it would contain very much information I didn’t already know. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! The information contained within is outstanding for even seasoned herbalists and is absolutely a must-have introductory text for beginning herbal students. Sharol’s book is chock-full of in-depth and well-written herbal and physiology information that can keep advanced students interested but is written in a way that even beginners can understand.  Not an easy feat to pull off, but Sharol does it with aplomb! 
Sharol also weaves in information about biotoxin/environmental illness.  This is a new idea to both the herbal world and modern medicine alike and is also what most of my clients suffer from. Many people, including herbalists, have remained sick before their biotoxin illness was addressed. The information Sharol integrates on this topic is vitally important to help sufferers understand their illness, find treatment, and regain their lives. 
In short, no matter your level of expertise in herbal medicine, Herbal ABCs: The Foundation of Herbal Medicine is sure to become a well-thumbed, essential volume in your herbal library.

See Dr. Tilgner's Bio: Sharol Tilgner's Bio

Details on Herbal ABC's

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