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 am not doing it because it is my “big chance to make a name for themselves by scaring people with half-baked theories.” I do it because I work with medical providers every day and safety is of utmost concern to me.

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.

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

I might also use the Appendix to explain why I use 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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