The Reading List and The Appendix

I have had some people ask me for reading recommendations and so I am adding a primary source reading list to the website. I spent more time curating this list than I should have.

I struggled with balance a little bit. I want you to have a good introduction to historical medical practice while at the same time mixing things up a little and highlighting domestic practices through the centuries. I want you to get a grasp of how much medicine was made in the kitchen.

I also want you to see the differences and similarities between the early modern Materia medica I was taught to work with by family members and with and the one a lot of you use today.

I don’t think this matters in terms of who is “right” and “wrong.” Humans have been incorporating the plants they encounter in their environment into their regimen since the beginning of time.

I am writing towards an audience who wants to connect with their cultural practices and that means that some of these herbs would not have been in your grandmother’s materia medica.

I am going to interject if I see something being “historicized” to market at you in a way that I think bears discussing because it unsafely veers away from historical practices. I do it because I work with medical providers every day. Safety is of utmost concern to me.

Here you see the ancestor or The Appendix which goes by the name of Book of Barely Decipherable Notes

Some of the books I link you to might have language that is unfamiliar to you. I already have some measurements and terms on a page here, but I also have spent putting together The Appendix. The Appendix is a direct descendent of the notes I keep while poking through my old texts and transcribing.

I might also use the Appendix to explain why I use a certain language. For example, if you look at the Appendix you will find that “needleworker” is an old-fashioned term for a person who sewed clothing for a living, and I prefer to find gender-neutral terms like this to use.

Published by Stephany Riley Hoffelt

If you want to read more about me, it's on the website

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