Review: The Good Health Garden

WestEnder(z7 Atlanta GA)April 15, 2004

The Good Health Garden: Growing and Using Healing Foods (Herbs, Fruits and Vegetables) by Anne McIntyre, a 1998 Reader's Digest publication. 175 pp.

I found this hardbound book at a clearance sale at Barnes and Noble last week for $4. Publication price was $24.95.

I wasn't expecting much from a Reader's Digest book, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Each vegetable, herb, or fruit has a two-page spread with basic information about the plant, a quick reference list of the health conditions the plant is believed to be useful in treating, descriptions of both internal and external uses of the plant, recipes for both, and brief growing requirements. Later in the book are helpful sections on preserving food, preparing home remedies (decoctions, compresses, baths, salves, etc.) and a handy treatment chart for all the plants and health conditions referenced. There is also a section on garden cultivation that offers the familiar garden plans for herb and vegetable gardens, not tremendously helpful or interesting in my opinion. How many times do we need to read instructions for double digging, for example?

But overall this book is well worth having for reference. Good photos, too, which I always find very helpful for herb plants in particular. So many herb books have only drawings; photos make it much easier to envision and recognize the herb leaf and bloom.

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