Raincoast Books – Alchemy of Herbs!

Herbs and spices have always intrigued me. There is so much flavor to be had with more than salt and pepper! And the plants of the earth have so much goodness to give back to us! Having said this, “Alchemy of Herbs” was definitely a book I was interested in checking out!  This book is written by Rosalee de la Forêt, a herbalist who is passionate about “helping people discover the world of herbalism and natural health.” Rosalee was brought to herbs due to receiving a rare autoimmune disease diagnosis, so there is a very personal history behind the passion in this book!

This book is split up into two parts, the first being an introduction and the second being the nuts and bolts regarding 29 different herbs! The introduction includes the basics on herbs. It talks about their benefits, like the fact that they’re antioxidants, it includes a quiz to help you find out what constitution you are, as that will help you focus in on which herbs might help you the most. Huh, it’s not all about treating the symptoms of whatever ailment you might have! We live in a bandaid society – so many would prefer the quick fix of a pill rather than the slow fix of actually healing the body. If you’d like a bandaid, then this won’t be the book for you! There are also tips on how to get the most out of this book, how to measure herbs, how to choose the best herbs and spices, as well as useful tools and supplies.

Part II has the fun stuff – all about the 29 herbs! They are further broken down into five sections; pungent, salt, sour, bitter and sweet. Many of these herbs will be ones you’ve heard of. For example, black pepper, lavender, turmeric, tea, cacao, dandelion and coffee. Others might be ones you’ve only heard of in passing, such as astragalus and hawthorn. No matter, when you’re done this book, you’ll have more than a passing knowledge!

First off, Rosalee provides the basic information about each herb. It’s name, what family it comes from, what parts are used, which energetic attribute it has, the properties of the herb (such as analgesic or antioxidant), the uses for it and the preparations you might it in (tea, tincture, etc). From there, she includes more information such as ways to use the herb. Did you know that cayenne tea is a great drink to have if you feel a cold or flu coming on? Let’s take a peek at garlic (mmm-good!), it’s great for supporting the immune system and it’s also good for colds and flus! However, did you know that consuming too much garlic for long periods time can also lead to anemia and bowel flora disruption? Everything in moderation, folks! What about nutmeg? I’m seeing a recipe for Spiced Eggnog! Oh my, I better hide this book from my hubby or I’ll have a full time job making eggnog year round! One herb I’d like to spend more time getting to know is the nettle. Goodness knows we have plenty of it around our yard! And if you’ve ever tried to get rid of it by pulling it up, you’ll know it’s a “runner” type of plant and it just keeps going and going! I think my new method of dealing with it will be to pick all the leaves, dry them, and start making tea!

I really like how there are recipes to go along with each herb. However, you never know whether you’ll get a recipe for tea, for a spice mix, for vinegar, for mustard, or for a facial serum!

This book also includes a comprehensive glossary, as terms such as “oxymel” and “styptic” are used in the book and if you’re like me, they’re not words you’ve ever heard! There’s also a great list of Recommended Resources – companies to purchase herbs from and herbal websites to visit. Then there’s the oh-so-handy index for looking back to find something that you remember reading about, but just can’t remember which herb it was! (I wouldn’t know anything about this! Haha!)

Herbs are a fascinating topic. There is so much to learn and there’s so much more we can learn! They can do so much for us – yet, as with everything – it’s best to learn more before delving in to randomly taking them! Moderation, proper dosage, proper usage, it’s all important and Rosalee has written a simple book to help you on your journey!

Thanks to Raincoast Books for sharing this super interesting book with me! It will garner a spot on my bookshelf. Also, do go visit Rosalee’s website; Herbs with Rosalee. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. If you’re interested in picking this book up for yourself, head over to your local bookstore and see if they have it.  Otherwise, you can find it on Amazon or Chapters.

**Disclosure: The product(s) mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full Terms of use.


  1. It is hard for me to get out of my herb comfort zone and try new spices. This would be a great book for me. Usually when I try a new spice I like it, it is just figuring out what to try and use.

  2. we use herbs quite a bit here, but would love to hear of their benefits and history

  3. kristen visser says:

    Oh this is perfect and something I really need! I use herbs here and there but definitely not as much as I would like to as I dont know much about them or what is compatible with what. This would be a huge benefit to me

  4. I don’t know much about using herbs, so sounds like this book would be very educational.

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I’d love to have a read of this book. I’m afraid that I can’t eat spices, my whole mouth, tongue and lips burn if I do so I avoid them. However I do use herbs but I’m not very adventurous with them. 🙂

  6. Good to know about herbs and how to use them to health benefits in our life!

  7. vickie couturier says:

    interesting post,,we use a lot of herbs but i would love to learn more and use more

  8. Its good to learn about herbs and their health benefits

  9. Received this book monday and love it. Very well written and recipes are yummy

  10. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I might actually be persuaded to be more adventurous with herbs with a book like this at hand. 🙂

  11. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I’m inwardly hoping that there’ll be a giveaway for this book which I then win. 🙂

  12. Herbs add a lot of benefit and they add so much flavor to food. It would be nice to know how to use herbs

  13. kathy downey says:

    We don’t use salt so we use many herbs and spices

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