Herbalist Kami McBride and I have been in the same circles here where we live in Sonoma County. A few years ago were stationed next to one another at a book even for our local herb exchange. I was the only non-herbalist there so felt a bit out of place. In my Registered Dietitian world we don’t get up to speak and mention Gaia or Mother Earth, give thanks or blessings. We are the fact people. Still, I very much relate to herbalists and their mission to get people to use herbs in everyday life.
I wanted to be sure that I had an herbalist on board in my most recent book Nutrition CHAMPS so I chose Kami. Her book The Herbal Kitchen calls you in. I have deep respect for Kami and her twenty years in the herbal world, connecting to plants in various ways.
The Herbal Kitchen starts off just where it ought to with a chapter on Kitchen Medicine and Culinary Culture. From there, you’ll find a Materia Medica of 50 Healing Herbs and Spices, from allspice to vanilla, in alphabetical order. You’ll learn about each plant, its botanical name, the part that you use and much more, including how you will eventually use it. The more than 250 recipes, most of them edible, use herbs in drinks such as herbal waters, smoothies and cordials, and in sprinkles, pesto and salts. The topical applications include herbal baths and foot soaks for healing both inside and out. Note: some of the recipes might include ingredients that you don’t use such as honey or oil but you’ll find plenty that are suitable and most likely you will learn a lot about what’s in your herbal kitchen. I know that I did when I read this book.
Rosemary Gladstar, whom I consider the modern mother of herbalism, said this about Kami’s book in the foreword: In The Herbal Kitchen sits the rich green heart of herbalism in all its abundance, simplicity, and practicality. Medicines are made, recipes exchanged and wise adages passed along to the reader. One can almost smell the flowers, taste the cup of tea in hand, so homespun and real are the teachings that Kami shares.
One lucky reader will win a copy of the book. Please post a comment below with your 3 favorite herbs o spices. Entries close on April 30th, at midnight PST and a winner will be chosen by random number generator.