You know I’m a sucker for a herbal, right?
Book: The Hearth Witch’s Kitchen Herbal by Anna Franklin
Read before: No
Ownership: E-ARC provided through NetGalley for fair review. All opinions my own.
Release date: 8th April 2019. Pre-order through Amazon here (affiliate link).
Allowing for a certain amount of American bias to the plant info, this is a book which would be handy for any herbalist starting out. There’s a wealth of information in here! The book is broken down into three sections: the first deals with the practicalities of making tinctures, syrups, teas, vinegars, and so on; the second takes a detailed look at several common kitchen herbs and their uses (both magical and medicinal); and the third is a collection of appendices which would be super useful for quick reference.
The author’s advice seems to reflect her experience as a kitchen witch, but the book is practical rather than mystical. It offers a lot of sage (heh) advice about allergies and the dangers of using herbs in medical quantities, which is very reassuring to see, as it’s necessary to point out that ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean ‘safe’. I like the no-nonsense way in which the recipes are laid out, and that the author isn’t finicky about having exactly the right witchy tools to get on with making things – it’s very accessible. The book itself is really pretty, too, with black and white botanical illustrations dotted throughout – I think that a hard copy would make a lovely gift, and an excellent reference book.
All in all, it’s a great starter guide. If you have a large collection of herbal books (as I do), it might not contain anything new to you, but everything is laid out cleanly and in a practical way, which really appeals to me and makes it easy to use. Four out of five cats!