Book Review: Radical Remedies

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Book Review: Radical Remedies

Empowering and Enlightening Healers to Heal Themselves: "Radical Remedies: An Herbalist's Guide to Empowered Self-Care", a book by Brittany Ducham, Rook Press, 2022

book cover of Radical Remedies
Review by Jocelyn Perez Blanco

"Radical Remedies: An Herbalist's Guide to Empowered Self-Care" by Brittany Ducham is a wonderful book that takes readers on a journey through the world of herbal remedies. Ducham's passion for the content is clear, and her pages are chock full of knowledge that comes through in a comprehensive and intersectional way. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a holistic approach to their well-being by offering insight into the self and encouraging us to transform our relationship with our plant (and fungal!) allies.

From the very start, Ducham’s tone is warm and inviting, truly setting the stage for an engaging and accessible read. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced herbalist, her guidance ensures that you'll discover great value within these pages, which are peppered with recipes, herbal profiles, terminology, system dynamics, energetics, calls to action, and more!

Ducham ushers the reader into a place of self-reflection, emphasizing that one can empower themselves by acknowledging that they bear the responsibility for their own well-being, and that self-care is a necessary aspect of mental hygiene that should not be cast aside. However, the author does not simply share this truth, but also provides tools and strategies to travel down this path with the utmost encouragement.

Elana Gabrielle’s illustrations add an extra touch to this captivating read, depicting whimsical floral silhouettes and humans engaging with the plants around them, whether by creating herbal preparations or sharing a meal. These images weave in beautifully with Ducham’s advice to cultivate the awareness of our impact on the world around us.

As an environmental educator and herbalist myself, I was absolutely thrilled to see the stress on the need for sustainability and ethical practices when consuming herbs. Ducham even goes so far as to recommend various common “weeds” to forage that are naturalized species in North America. This book sets itself apart from other herbal guides I’ve come across, in that it not only provides important references and charts, but reminds the reader time and time again that these self-care practices must be put to use, or you won’t be able to serve those in your community in a healthy way.

Herbalists know that burn-out is a very real thing, and we often offer the oxygen mask to our neighbor rather than taking a breath ourselves. By embracing this much more healing dynamic, we can grow in strength and ability as a healer.

"Radical Remedies" has become a welcomed addition to my herbal library, and I wholeheartedly invite you to consider it for yours!

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