Herbal Medicine Textbook

In view of some of my colleagues’ opinion of this book I must change my original assessment based on a too cursory view of it that this edition is essentially a very superficial text based on the German Commission evaluation of herbs and as such is far below and I might add even insulting to Weiss’s original book.

Herbalist Jonathan Treasure encourages us to snatch up any of the first editions of Weiss’s book as it will be a classic and this 2nd edition is little more than a parody.

It is co-authored with Volker Fintelmann, M.D. Includes colored photographs of the herbs, 184 illustrations, and the color resolution in many is off. It is listed by Western pathological disease classifications. It includes old medicine usage, Western scientific data, pharmacology presented in a way that is relevant and useful. Good index of references for each herbal and disease section but it is strictly based on a western pathological model with no differential diagnostic evaluations.

The price is around $59. I’ve written them and suggested how it might be improved for future editions. Mainly, there are some serious gaps of herbs that are not included or mentioned in the text. I suggested that they make it a two volume book one with diseases and the second a more complete materia medica. They liked that suggestion and I hope they consider it for future editions.

Mind you, there are no so-called vitalist or energetic classifications in this book and considering what it is I don’t expect it. Someday, I hope that Western medicine and Western herbalism becomes sophisticated enough to be able to present such texts within the context of a differential diagnostic system, for instance, differentiating between yin deficiency type hyperthyroid condition (lack of sufficient cortical hormones) and yang excess type (caused by heat and congestion) for instance.

It is published by Thieme with offices in Stuttgart and New York. The New York address is: 333 7th Avenue, New York, NY. 10001. Perhaps some of you can get them to send you a review copy. The cost will be around $55. Sorry for those of you who have herb books falling off your shelves like I do, but this is another “must have” book.

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