My Journey with Plant Medicine
Chronicling more than forty-five years of his intimate relationship with the plant world, Robert Rogers describes the journey that led him to become an herbalist and shares his deep knowledge of the twenty plants that form the soul of his medicine kit. Rogers weaves personal experience, observations, and knowledge from indigenous healers, and many years of expertise from his practice as a professional herbalist and clinical professor to present a unique and fascinating narrative that not only limns one man’s vital connection to plants but also provides invaluable information on effectively using plant medicine for the prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions.
Organized in chapters according to the optimum harvest seasons as determined by the Cree lunar cycles, the twenty plants include familiar trees such as the aspen, birch, spruce, and poplar as well as lesser-known small plants such as Labrador tea, cow parsnip, and buffalo berry. Each plant is introduced and described, and its specific merits, qualities, and usages are presented through the author’s personal experiences, in traditional practices by indigenous cultures, modern commercial uses, the author’s professional clinical treatments, the medicinal constituents of each plant, homeopathic applications, and recipes using various parts of the plants. Detailed photos of each plant provide reliable identification. Rogers also conveys common names, tips for collection, and observations on the personality traits and spiritual properties of the plants. Poems, stories, and legends from different cultures round out portraits of the plants as living beings that speak to us in a language we need to learn.
About the Author
A past chair of the Alberta Natural Health Agricultural Network and Community Health Council of Capital Health, Rogers is a fellow of the International College of Nutrition, past chair of the medicinal mushroom committee of the North American Mycological Association, and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms and Discovery Phytomedicine. He cohosts the Alberta Herb Gathering (www.herbgatheringalberta.com), held every other year.
Rogers is the author of The Fungal Pharmacy, A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle, and Mushroom Essences, among many other titles.
“You hold in your hands a treasure. In this contribution, you get to meet a true herbalist, one that has scrapes on his face from tree branches, frozen fingers from the cold, and tiredness from long hours on the quest for the wisdom of plants. His stories of adventure are wonderful and his understanding of Northern Cree Indian ways has preserved generations of herbal knowledge.”
—Terry Willard, ClH, PhD, herbal elder of Canada
Herbal Allies is part biography, part folk medicine, and part brilliant clinical insight, wrapped up with a strong dose of inspiration. Rogers shares detailed information on twenty plant allies, and in every instance that information is derived from a strong personal connection, and distilled into what can only be described as wisdom. Herbal Allies is a must read for any serious student of herbal medicine.
—Thomas Easley, RH (AHG), Director of the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine
“Robert Rogers’s herbal journey is inspired by a lifetime of working with and listening to wild plants. In Herbal Allies, Rogers shares his deep knowledge and experience. His body of knowledge is expansive and thoughtful in all aspects of plant medicine. A must-have for anyone interested in the medicinal and traditional indigenous use of wild boreal plants! I love how the book is organized by the Cree moon calendar with many stories and legends shared with Rogers by Cree elders.”
—Beverley Gray, herbalist and author of The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North, and Medicinal Plants of Canada
“Part memoir, part herbal, Herbal Allies will entertain you with stories while divulging interesting herbal information you won’t see anywhere else. Brew up a cup of tea and sink into this delightful book written by a distinguished herbal elder.”
—Rosalee de la Forêt, RH (AHG), author of Alchemy of Herbs
“In Herbal Allies, Robert Rogers shares with us knowledge that only many years of patience, observation, and right of honor can bring. His extensive plant knowledge mirrors his deeply spiritual connection to the medicines and natural cycles of this land. Herbal Allies is a perfect balance between the spiritual, energetic, and technical aspects of plant medicine.”
—Tiffany Freeman, RH (AHG), registered acupuncturist, and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor
“Herbal Allies is truly a unique offering. It provides a rare and personal orientation to the living tradition of herbal-nature wisdom, along with a precious compendium for practicing herbalists. The essence that also comes through these pages is the great importance of relationship, not only our relationship to plants but to each other and to our diverse global traditions of healing. This book will serve many generations of budding herbalists to come.”
—Chad Cornell, master herbalist, Hollow Reed Holistic