Book Review: Herbs for Healthy Aging – Natural Prescriptions for Vibrant Health

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This week the Kitchen Cupboard Underground reviews another book on aromatherapy and herbology. The goal of these book reviews is to provide you insight if a book would be a good addition to your library. Enjoy!

Herbs for Healthy Aging – Natural Prescriptions for Vibrant Health, David Hoffmann, FNIMG, AHG
Healing Arts Press, 2007 372 pages

Hoffmann’s book is written for those who are fifty years of age and older. Though this is his target audience, the content is just as valuable to those of us in our forties as it can either prepare us for what’s to come with our aging bodies or what we may be experiencing sooner than others. Hoffmann’s position is that life is not about finding a miracle cure or fountain of youth from plants and herbs, but rather utilizing them to reduce the risk of falling prey to those leading causes of death.

This book is sectioned in to the following thirteen chapters:

  1. The Digestive System

  2. The Cardiovascular System

  3. The Pulmonary System

  4. The Upper Respiratory System

  5. The Nervous System

  6. The Urinary System

  7. The Reproductive System

  8. The Musculoskeletal System

  9. The Skin and Hair

  10. The Immune System

  11. The Endocrine System

  12. Herbal Medicine Making

  13. Materia Medica

The chapters on the various bodily systems are organized in the following manner: a brief overview of the system; herbal actions for that system; brief plant/herb profiles; keeping that system happy; factors contributing to diseases of that system; specific system problems with recommended recipes.

For the recipe recommendations they include the parts (measurement) to use for each herb and the dosing of them as a tincture or dried herb. For hypertension, it is recommended to use hawthorn, linden blossom, yarrow, cramp bark and valerian. It is noted to use this three times a day as a tincture or as a dried herb (infusion).

Hoffmann also includes other things you can do to alleviate many issues without resorting to herbs such as:

If You Experience This - Cut Back on these Common Offenders:*

  • Constipation - White bread, highly processed and refined foots, etc.

  • Gas, bloating, bowel distress, diarrhea - Milk and milk products, coffee, tea, etc.

  • Heartburn - Coffee, alcohol, onions, etc.

  • Stomach pain - Coffee and caffeine drinks, nicotine, aspirin, etc.

Chapter 12 – Herbal Medicine Making, is co-written with Diana DeLuca. It includes a brief overview of how to make herbal medicines at home; whether it is making a decoction, infusion, tincture or formulations for the skin. While the basis of the book is about wellness for our bodies and avoiding things that are of least benefit to it, it seemed unusual for the author or co-author to include a recipe that called for petroleum jelly. This could have easily been exchanged for something like shea butter or any number carrier oils.

To aid people in their understanding of herbology, Hoffmann includes a Materia Medica section on herbs pertinent to this book. A material medica is a brief outline of an herb and what it does; this includes: the common name; Latin name; parts of the plant used; actions; indications; and preparation and dosage.

The book closes with a well thought out internet resource section listing herbalists, herbal databases, practitioners, alternative and complementary medicine, general health, women and men’s health.

This book is an amazing resource for those in their forties and older and is also recommended for those caring for elderly family members. Hoffmann’s Herbs for Healthy Aging – Natural Prescriptions for Vibrant Health Therapy is available through online retailers for around $16. Consider calling your local book store to see if they can order it for you; support local, buy local.

Until next time, discover the power of learning something new.

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