I have recently read "Common Plants and their Uses in Medicine"by Richard Lawrence Hool.This absolutely fascinating book was published in 1922,two years after the author's death.It contains a biography of Hool by W.H.Webb,about whom more can be found in Barbara Griggs "Green Pharmacy".
The are a number of reasons I found the book so interesting,apart from a very easy to read style of writing:
1.In 1872 he opened a herbalist's in Bolton,Lancashire which is still in existence,owned and operated by members of the Hool family.Until January 2007,the shop occupied the very same premises in which it was established.
2.The book was published by the Lancashire Branch of the National Association of Medical Herbalists[now NIMH].At that time the NAMH provided training through a postal tuition course set up by Mr.Webb.The Lancashire Branch provided post-graduate clinical training for local members.At that time there were quite literally hundreds of herbalistspractising in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
3.The book contains a photograph of Hool,who died at age 73,that is very much that of a kindly "Victorian uncle".
The book itself shows the wide range of ailments herbalists of that treated on a regular basis.Some,such as scarlet and typhoid fever and tuberculosis,have almost disappeared in Britain due to better public health and improved hygiene.Very serious diseases and yet in his writing Hool shows absolute confidence in the herbal treatments he used.
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