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Ashkenazi Herbalism by Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel
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Ashkenazi Herbalism

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Ashkenazi Herbalism by Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel
Paperback $24.95
Apr 06, 2021 | ISBN 9781623175443

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  • Apr 06, 2021 | ISBN 9781623175443

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“A significant contribution to Jewish studies—Cohen and Siegel have successfully resolved the mystery of Ashkenazi herbal traditions.”
—Marek Tuszewicki, deputy director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at Jagiellonian University in Kraków and author of A Frog Under the Tongue

“Meticulously researched, absorbing, and poignant, Ashkenazi Herbalism is an important addition to the canon of herbal literature, bequeathing to us a tradition of herbal practice that, but for [Cohen’s and Siegel’s] efforts, would have remained lost to the world.”
—Judith Berger, writer, herbalist, and author of Herbal Rituals

“A brilliant work that captures an important but long-ignored facet of traditional herbal healing practices.”
—Rosemary Gladstar, herbalist and author of Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs and Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

“A delightfully written and highly original work that sheds new light on a woefully understudied aspect of Eastern European Jewish folk culture. The common stereotype of shtetl life is that Jews were cut off from the natural environment that surrounded them. Cohen’s and Siegel’s pioneering book reveals, by contrast, some of the ways in which Ashkenazi Jews in the Pale of Settlement and neighboring regions were deeply embedded in their local ecologies and possessed a rich heritage of herbal practices and knowledge.”
—Nathaniel Deutsch, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of The Jewish Dark Continent

“Reading Ashkenazi Herbalism is like finding a family heirloom you thought had been lost forever. . . . This book, full of rigorously researched ethnobotany and shtetl magic, is an answered prayer for those of us who have longed to reconnect with Ashkenazi folk healing traditions.”
—Dori Midnight, community healer, herbalist, and educator who incorporates traditional healing practices and social justice in her work

Ashkenazi Herbalism explores the local and exotic plants Eastern European Jews used as medicine. After a thorough discussion of Jewish medical practitioners, especially female folk healers, it draws on a wide range of sources to look at how plants—alphabetically from aloe to nutmeg to violets—were used in the Russian Jewish Pale of Settlement compared to other times and places.”
—Gabriella Safran, Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies at Stanford University and author of Wandering Soul

Ashkenazi Herbalism fascinates the reader with its deep detective work and thorough research of a healing tradition that was mostly lost by the horror and genocide of the Second World War, which destroyed Jewish communities and culture throughout Europe. . . . Thankfully, the authors have captured the Ashkenazi healing traditions that were practiced by itinerant Kabbalists, feldshers, and midwives so that these precious remnants of knowledge are not forgotten. Whether you are an avid herbalist, history buff, or plant lover, you’ll find something in this book to satisfy your soul. What a gift to us all.”
—Phyllis D. Light, MA, herbalist and author of Southern Folk Medicine

“[Cohen’s] deep dive into the past to bring forth the plant knowledge once practiced by the Ashkanazi people is a great contribution to future generations.”
—Pam Fischer, executive director of the Berkeley Herbal Center

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