Southern Folk Medicine

Healing Traditions from the Appalachian Fields and Forests
Narrated by: Melanie Taylor
Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook is the first to describe the history, folklore, assessment methods, and remedies of Southern and Appalachian folk medicine - the only system of folk medicine, other than Native American, that developed in the US. 

One of the system's last active practitioners, Phyllis D. Light has studied and worked with herbs, foods, and other healing techniques for more than 30 years. In everyday language, she explains how Southern and Appalachian folk medicine was passed down orally through the generations by herbalists and healers who cared for people in their communities with the natural tools on hand.

©2018 Phyllis D. Light (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Few people know about the practice of Southern Folk Medicine. Heavily based on ancient Greek and European practices, melded with Native American, Christian, and African influences, this system offers us a uniquely American way to look at and positively influence the human body and relieve disease. Written in an easy-to-understand and autobiographical manner, this book will open your mind to a new way of understanding wellbeing, illness, and health.” (David Winston, RH (AHG))

“This book is a treasure! It is at once charming to read and chock-full of plant wisdom. With the growing interest in scientific Western herbalism, ancient Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with which the author is well acquainted, 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, OMD, founding member, American Herbalists Guild and author of The Way of Herbs and Planetary Herbology)

Southern Folk Medicine captures a part of our herbal traditions that is little known, practiced by fewer yet, and at risk of being lost. Much more than an individual’s personal journey or interpretation, it presents a history of the development of culture and medicine in the South, integrates this with its relevance to modern healthcare today, and is reflective of a living tradition whose evolution continues.” (Roy Upton, herbalist and president, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia)

What listeners say about Southern Folk Medicine

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Great book, wish it was a Southern narrator

I got this book to listen to to get hyped up about an upcoming class on herbalism I was taking. I have beginners knowledge of basic herbal use, and intermediate to advanced gardening/plant knowledge. The book was still very interesting and informative for me. Each section starts with anecdotes from the author's life growing up in Appalachia, and then dives into the well organized information. I'm also a veterinarian and have attempted to learn other folk medicine systems such as Chinese medicine, but as a hard science person, have never been able to decode the "sense" of the system. This is the first folk medicine that makes sense to me! Easy to understand and gives many examples that include very common herbs everyone knows, and then less common ones that stimulate your interest to learn more. Some of the stories also sparked some fun conversations with my mom (grew up in rural eastern North Carolina) about the "old days." The only disappointing thing is the narration. She's a fine narrator, but given the subject matter and the anecdotes given, especially the ones involving "Mamma," - it REALLY loses something being conveyed in a matter-of-fact, minimal inflection manner. Wish they could have gotten a Southern narrator with a reasonable accent to read this book. I'd even buy it again for that change alone. Regardless, I would recommend it even as-is.

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Chlorine has changed its symbol

I finally quit reading with about 3 hours to go. Thought I would learn useful tips and recipes. More crumbs jumbo of lots of us southerner’s lives. Final straw was when narrator read symbol for chlorine is “Ci”. Really?

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-20

loved it!

the narrator takes you deep into her storytelling of magic, dirt, wonder and learning