The Land in Our Bones: Plantcestral Herbalism and Healing Cultures from Syria to the Sinai

North Atlantic. Feb. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781623179144. pap. $24.95. HEALTH
Folk herbalist and cultural worker Feghali’s book invites readers to explore what it means to return to origins with intention. This is not a how-to naturopathic book or a formula for self-care. Instead, Feghali urges people to have a connection to the earth and its healing properties, especially to ones in their lands of origin. For her, that encompasses Cana’an (or Canaan in the territory of the southern Levant) broadly and Lebanon more specifically. She pays reverence to herbal teachers and elders, as she unearths ancient cultural wisdom and practices anchored in her lineage’s lived experiences and oral histories. She also surveys earth-based medicines and offers tips on how to cook purslane.
VERDICT Diasporic and migratory, yet rooted and grounded in places, people, and plants, this book is profoundly beautiful, deeply personal, and theoretically complex. It provides an etiology of lost wisdom and a prescription for how readers can return to older remedies in ways that will be a balm for meaningful connections to themselves, their communities, the land around them, and their bodies.
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