Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia

If you haven’t already checked out the full website of Black Wolf Editorial Services, then you might be interested to know that there is a list of recommended books — recommended by the Black Wolf editor for writers to help you craft your stories, edit your manuscripts and get your name out there. These are all books that the Black Wolf editor uses herself on occasion within her personal writing and editing.

One of the books that is incredibly useful from a fantasy-world perspective is Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia by Elizabeth M. Williamson.

This book is basically an encyclopedia of medicinal herbs, providing information on where the herbs can be found, what parts are used, and, in some cases, how to prepare them. However, what I like the most about this book is that with majority of the entries, you’ll find references to articles in reputable medical journals to back up the claims made in the book.

Let’s say that your hedgewitch in your fantasy novel is going to use strawberries to help heal your hero. Here’s an example of what you would find under strawberries.

Scan of the page about Strawberries.

Perhaps the parsley entry might convince you.

Scan of the page about Parsley.

It doesn’t really matter the herb that you are looking for, but being able to understand what constituents are used and how they are used (and what for) adds a layer of realism to your stories.

Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia

Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia

$39.95
In this new edition of Potter's 1907 work, Dr. Williamson has retained the practical and philosophical traditions of the book, while at the same time documenting recent scientific and medical research. It should be a point of reference for all those with a belief in the power of plants. More info →
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