... a new Herbal is badly needed - a herbal which must include the traditional lore and properties of plants...
Hilda Leyel, A Modern Herbal, 1931
In 1931 the last great Herbal was written and edited by two women. Their names were Maud Grieves and Hilda Leyal. It was called A Modern Herbal. Their mission had been to create a comprehensive and detailed guide to medicinal plants in the tradition of the old herbals but to go one step further. Maud pulled together strains of history, folklore, nutritional information, botany and therapeutic application.
A Modern Herbal has provided a blueprint for numerous Herbals written since - although perhaps none has quite matched up in character and detail. My aim therefore with The Modern Herbal is not to try to emulate their great work or any type of standardised herbal. Instead I have decided to create a ‘herbal’ whereby I firstly share my understanding of our medicinal plants and trees in relation to my own experiences. These botanicals make wonderful medicines and sometimes it merely takes our own interaction with them to see the benefits of this happen.
More importantly though I wish to provide insight into the Herbal world, primarily through the community of people that lie at the heart of it.From growers, herbalists, ethnobotanists, chefs, community groups, entrepreneurs - I wish to shine a light on those that have dedicated their life’s work to building a relationship with our most precious plants; and in so doing reveal the true story of those botanicals.