Jessica Houdret's interest in herbs began over 20 years ago, when she started a business in growing and selling herbs and ran workshops on their many uses. She is a long-standing member and a past Chairman of the Herb Society and was on the council of the British Herb Trade Association. Jessica writes articles on herbs for national publications and was a regular contributor to the part-work Aromatherapy and Natural Health. She has written books on cooking with herbs, herb gardening, pot-pourri and natural fragrance as well as editing titles on healing with herbs. She is the author of The Home Apothecary, a guide to growing and the Ultimate Book of Herbs and Herb Gardening.
This, the most recent of Houdret's 20 natural healing books, is beautifully presented as an oversized book filled with photographs. Short explanations of 40 conditions with formulas are presented on a 1-2 page spread, making for easy access. There is also a 235-herb directory with a short description, medicinal, culinary uses, and a few cultivation tips. Most are traditional English herbs, such as Indian physic, as well as some exotics like nutmeg. It would be nice to update the information with the inclusion of 'new' herbs like rhodiola. Also, curry plant is only profiled as a potpourri herb rather than for its current aromatherapy uses. Step-by-step instructions for making all sorts of herbal preparations are easy to follow thanks to accompanying photos. A prolific author, Houdret's books include the similar An Illustrated Encyclpedia of Herbs (2010, 586 color photos, 256 pp). 2010