Back Cover Copy
HEALTH / HERBALISM
Blessed with a wide variety of climates, geography, and flora, Russia developed a rich folk tradition of herbal healing that is among the most sophisticated in the world. For example, seven centuries before the discovery of penicillin, Russian herbalists were successfully treating infected wounds with mold. Herbalism is still practiced in Russia today but, unlike in the West, it has developed hand-in-hand with allopathic medicine. Russian doctors began to take a serious interest in the medicinal value of plants more than fifty years ago. Recognizing that herbs could be a potent and cost-efficient part of a modern medical practice, they began rigorous scientific studies to test herbs’ usefulness. Today nearly every Russian medical school offers courses on the study of herbs, and many maintain a special research department that investigates the practical applications of herbal medicine.
Drawing on a wealth of oral and written traditions, A Russian Herbal explains the folkways, properties, and uses of the best-known Russian herbs--all widely available in North America, Europe, and Australia. It includes clear and simple recipes for treating specific health problems, such as heart disease, migraines, arthritis, and high blood pressure, in ways that have been proved safe and effective by medical research, both in the laboratory and in clinical practice. Also described are traditional healing methods previously unknown in the West, such as the water banya or bath, a special technique using steam that allows several herbs to be blended without losing their individual identity.
IGOR VILEVICH ZEVIN was raised in Belarus by his grandmother, an accomplished folk healer and herbalist who passed much of her knowledge to her grandson. An engineer by profession, Zevin has continued his study of herbs over the years. NATHANIEL ALTMAN has authored and coauthored more than fifteen books, including Oxygen Healing Therapies, The Twelve Stages of Healing, and The Deva Handbook. Lilia Vasilevna Zevin learned traditional herbal techniques while growing up in Lithuania.