A Handbook of Native American Herbs
“Each book has its own fate and destiny,” Alma Hutchens observed in the preface to her classic, Indian Herbalogy of North America. The prescience of that statement will be evident to those who have watched Mrs. Hutchens’s work unfold in the thirty years since she began her research under the tutelage of her mentor, the noted herbalist N. G. Tretchikoff. Indian Herbalogy, first published in the 1960s, came at a time of burgeoning interest in folk medicine and natural healing methods, and it met the need for a detailed reference book for North American herbalists. It has since become known as a standard work on the subject in many countries and has gone through seventeen printings as of 1992.
As the years have gone by and interest in herbs and their uses has increased, the need for a “portable” version of Indian Herbalogy has been felt. It is with this need in mind that Mrs. Hutchens has compiled this Handbook of Native American Herbs. In it are found descriptions of 125 of the most useful medicinal plants commonly found on the North American continent. Included are dosages, directions for use, remedies for some common ailments, homeopathic methods, and lore from the folk medicine of other countries particularly Russia, China, India, and Pakistan where the arts of herbal healing have traditionally flourished.
The fate and destiny of Alma Hutchens’s work in herbology has proven to be its enduring influence in the field. A Handbook of Native American Herbs represents the latest phase in that unique destiny.