Asian American Herbalism: Traditional and Modern Healing Practices for Everyday Wellness

Princeton Architectural. Oct. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781797223315. pap. $29.95. HEALTH
Herbalist, acupuncturist, and educator Wilkins, along with illustrator Kiener and photographer Murakoshi, present a guide to herbal medicines that incorporates modern interpretations of traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. The book covers the principles and basics East Asian herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine theory, energetics of illness, energetic healing, everyday ailments, living in harmony, and maintaining health. Wilkins explains the underlying philosophy—that diseases are often connected to one’s circumstances, lifestyles, and rhythms of nature—in the context of both Chinese and Japanese traditions. She advises readers that it is critical to achieve a balance of jing (essence), qi (life force), and shen (mind and spirit) to rid oneself of disease and ailments. For qi, for example, there are tips on how to meditate to gather more vitality and energy. The book also examines the symptoms of yin and yang deficiency (hot flashes, night sweats, cold limbs, dry mouth, and more), with recommendations on how to balance the two distinct but related areas.
VERDICT A wonderful handbook about the basics of Asian American herbalism. Naturalists will enjoy this title.
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