Hygieia: A Woman's Herbal combines the ancient practice of herbalism with women's holistic health. It's an encyclopedic work covering how specific herbs can help with birth control, menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, and much more. Personal stories, dreams, and poems enliven the text. The author is an outspoken activist in the need for women to be in charge of their own health, to use natural remedies, and to be less reliant on the western medical establishment.
According to the author, the book is named after Hygieia, the Greek goddess of healing.
The book is beautifully and artistically designed with black and white drawings and photos, hand-lettered pages, and original artwork. And it's easy to use when it comes to finding a particular herbal remedy for a health issue.
For example, it recommends 96 herbs to help with pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation. Some of the herbs include Bayberry (for ovaries and womb troubles), Milkwort (to help increase the milk supply of nursing mothers), and Wild Cherry (to help relieve pain during childbirth).
From the book:
"This book grew out of the need to be healthy and re-own the powers of naturally healing ourselves. In no way do we suggest that this book can replace a relationship that already exists between yourself and a healer/doctor. Oftentimes we do need help from someone else—and sometimes, we are startled into running to the doctor's office for a cure when the situation could best be handled at home. And nowadays, treatments given to women by medical men sometimes prove to be iatrogenic, i.e., causes of even more serious diseases. This work is inspired not from any personal, negative reaction with western medicine but rather from my positive relationship with Self as Healer and herbs as the main tool in this process."
“All I can say, is, if you are a woman, and you love the fact, then this is the book for you. And if you are a man, and you love woman, and yourself, and you quest for understanding and to be of service, it is for you also…. Besides their profound value, the contents are also beautiful and radiant. I wish someone who teaches in schools would buy a few million copies too.”
—The New Humanity Journal, London