It’s finally here!
We hope our book is shedding some light on a forgotten corner of the Ashkenazi story.
The road to Ashkenazi Herbalism has revealed so many unexpected twists and turns, with much of our journey having been guided by intuition and instinct. As a student of herbalism, when I began my research, I had no intention of writing a book. I was only interested in proving to myself that my most recent ancestors, my own grandparents, must have been familiar with a folk remedy or two. And it was my dogged persistence that kept me focused on uncovering this possibility. Luckily I had been a reference librarian for many years, with lots of experience chasing down stray clues, but conducting research for this book really put my knowledge to the test.
So, with this post I would like to acknowledge my co-author and spouse, Adam Siegel. He’s also a seasoned reference librarian, with incredible foreign language knowledge that was invaluable for telling the story of herbalism in the Pale of Settlement. Thanks to Adam's expertise, each of the 26 plants in the Materia Medica section includes its name in languages relevant to its story. In at least one instance, his reinterpretation of a classic tale teased out folk practices that were glossed over in the original English translations.
During our work together, it occurred to me that this book could not have been written if the two of us didn’t possess the combined skills, knowledge, curiosity and tenacity to bring Ashkenazi Herbalism into the world. We hope you enjoy our book. Read it in good health! :)