Botanical Medicine in Midwifery: A Handbook for Women’s Health Professionals
by Susan Perri

Botanical Medicine in Midwifery

[2002, Published by author, 44 pages, spiral-bound. See pricing.]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 66, Summer 2003, © 2003, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Jill Cohen.]

Clinical herbalist Susan Perri has provided us with a booklet explaining appropriate uses of medicinal herbs based on tradition and science. She gives information on herbs most commonly used during the childbearing year. This study includes an analysis of conventional treatments for women’s health. Perri does this in hopes of increasing awareness of the many risks involved in conventional treatments. She demonstrates the ability to use herbal alternatives as a safe mode of action.

The final section of the booklet consists of essential herbs used for women. From PMS to natural labor augmentation, this Materia Medica offers remedies, explains safety and efficacy and details when to use herbal remedies.

Perri has a healthy regard for herbs. She advocates using “conscious awareness” with herbal remedies, that is, showing a conscious respect for the cause and effect of any medicine, whether conventional or herbal. She explains the use of extracts and the differences of standard, alcohol and water base preparation and their uses. A glossary of plant categories helps the reader understand the language used in women’s health. There is also a great comprehensive list of herbal resources, products and supplies hand-picked for quality by the author. Chapter 2 of the booklet is a discussion on conventional health risks. Hysterectomy, oral contraception and issues in pregnancy are reviewed with the conventional philosophy explained as well as the risks associated with certain interventions.

The herbal health care model in this booklet “serves to empower midwives with a friendlier choice for women in their care. Additionally, it seeks to help more women protect their breasts, uteruses, ovaries and pregnancies from unnecessary procedures." The more access women have to the information within these pages, the more aware they will be to the risks conventional intervention could have. This is a great resource for all women. Perri also provides a full bibliography, giving readers an ability to research the information in-depth.

Reviewer Jill Cohen is Associate Editor at Midwifery Today magazine and the editor of The Birthkit.

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