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Southern Folk Medicine: Healing Traditions from the Appalachian Fields and Forests by Phyllis D. Light

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The author, Phillis D. Light, is the director of the Appalachian Center for Natural Health in Arab, Alabama, on Sand Mountain. She is a fourth generation herbalist and healer and claims kin to Creek and Cherokee foremothers. She was a close friend and early student of Tommie Bass (1908-1996) who lived and practiced nearby and was arguably one of the most well-known herbal healers of his generation.  This book considers, Native American, African-American, and European folk medicine as well as the influence of religion upon folk medicine. It has chapters on each of the four basic elements: fire, air, water, and earth. “Written in an easy-to-understand and autobiographical manner, this book will open your mind to a new way of understanding well-being, illness, and health.” – David Winston. “This book is a treasure! It is at once charming to read and chock-full of plant wisdom. . . . Light is able to remain true to her ancestral roots of Southern Appalachian herbal medicine. As such, it inspires our deeper appreciation for Southern Folk Medicine.” – Michael Tierra. “On every page there’s a richly told story, a brilliant passage, a bit of wisdom or practical advice about health and healing that makes the kind of sense that only folk traditions do.” – Rosemary Gladstar.

Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 2018. 278 pages with a foreword by Rosemary Gladstar, an Afterword by Matthew Wood, and an Index. Trade paperback