The Wild & Weedy Apothecary – Book



An A to Z Book of Herbal Concoctions, Recipes & Remedies, Practical Know-How & Food for the Soul

From Publisher’s Weekly –

Herbalist Shababy’s well-considered alphabetic valentine to natural healing is an informative guide to the benefits and applications of everything from apples to “”Zip,”” a hearty garlic tonic said to ward off colds and flu. Readers will be caught up by Shababy’s enthusiasm while she divulges all sorts of trivia and history: juniper was once burned in hospital rooms to destroy airborne fungi; lavender can aid and stimulate circulation when added to a bath; PMS symptoms can be treated with catnip tea. Readers will also learn how to make their own bath salts and create their own herbal shampoo. Even if readers take a pass on saying a prayer of thanks to plants before harvesting, or fail to see immediate results when using anise in a pillowcase to ward off bad dreams, readers will likely find a use for recipes such as Manicotti Crepes, homemade blackberry brandy, spinach dip, and a simple fruit pie with a coconut cream cheese crust. Generous with her sources and references, Shababy’s voluminous guide will help armchair naturalists and horticulturalists get the most out of nature’s bounty without risking harm to themselves or the environment.


From Deborah Duchon, former publisher of The Wild Foods Forum, and guest star on FoodNetwork’s Good Eats with Alton Brown –

“Doreen Shababy translates technical information for the lay person in a chatty, informal style. She weaves botanical nomenclature seamlessly with folk tales, herbal remedies, recipes, and personal anecdote to provide an enjoyable reading experience while sharing good, usable information. When you read this book, you’ll feel like you’re out in the fields on a beautiful spring day with a knowledgeable and entertaining friend. If you have ever wanted to know more about the wonder of wild herbs, Shababy will lead the way.”


From Dryad in the Elm –

Most modern herbals have a sterile feel to them, an encyclopedia of basic information compiled through years of research or the gathering of folklore. The Wild & Weedy Apothecary by Doreen Shababy breaks out of that sterile feel. This is an herbal that you can browse from beginning to end, rather than a look up of your current interest. The contents include her favorite suggestions and is not simply a list of some herbs, the chapters are laid out in an A to Z format, resembling a collection of articles more than an herbal encyclopedia. Seeing as how Shababy used to publish a small magazine called Wild & Weedy – A Journal of Herbology, this editorial feel makes perfect sense. This book focuses on Shababy’s personal experience and includes family recipes that have actually been used and enjoyed. In her life, she has explored wild foods, herbal medicines, preventive health care, whole foods, seasonal celebrations, poetry, and keeping the “old ways” alive. This woman is right up my alley.

The basics such as common herbal preparations (from simples, infusions, and decoctions to herbal wines, plasters, salves, syrups, and more), the basics of harvesting and when to gather what part of the herb, storing, and serving your herbs in food or preserves. Shababy also includes a great deal of her recommendations on other books, with brief personal commentary on each.

I find this book more useful as a pleasant reader than a valued and treasured timeless reference. This book is going to be far more likely to be picked up and read cover to cover multiple times than stored on my shelf until I have a need of it. The information is presented in a way that makes it mostly easy to remember and doesn’t leave you feeling like you need to jot down some notes before you fail the class. I enjoyed this book as my night-time reading many times, and it fills that desire to entertain an interest rather than a desire to buckle down and learn. If you like to read magazines on your favorite subjects and herbalism interests you, this book will well fill that need to browse in a nice and relaxed manner.