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The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry

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From tulsi to turmeric, echinacea to elderberry, medicinal herbs are big business―but do they deliver on their healing promise―to those who consume them, those who provide them, and the natural world?

“An eye-opener. . . . [Armbrecht] challenges ideas of what medicine can be, and how business practices can corrupt, and expand, our notions of plant-based healing.”―The Boston Globe

“So deeply honest, sincere, heartful, questioning, and brilliant. . . . [The Business of Botanicals] is an amazing book, that plunges in, and takes a deepening look at those places where people don’t often venture.”―Rosemary Gladstar, author of Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs

“For those who loved Braiding Sweetgrass, this book is a perfect opportunity to go deeper into understanding the complex and co-evolutionary journey of plants and people.” ―Angela McElwee, former president and CEO of Gaia Herbs

Using herbal medicines to heal the body is an ancient practice, but in the twenty-first century, it is also a worldwide industry. Yet most consumers know very little about where those herbs come from and how they are processed into the many products that fill store shelves. In The Business of Botanicals, author Ann Armbrecht follows their journey from seed to shelf, revealing the inner workings of a complicated industry, and raises questions about the ethical and ecological issues of mass production of medicines derived from these healing plants, many of which are imperiled in the wild. 

This is the first book to explore the interconnected web of the global herb industry and its many stakeholders, and is an invaluable resource for conscious consumers who want to better understand the social and environmental impacts of the products they buy.

“Armbrecht masterfully manages the challenges and complexity of her source material . . . [She] is a spirited storyteller . . . [and] presents all this with the skill of an anthropologist and the heart of an herbalist.”―Journal of the American Herbalists Guild


From the Publisher

supplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Avedasupplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Aveda

supplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Aveda

supplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Aveda

supplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Aveda

supplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Aveda

supplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Aveda

supplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Aveda

supplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Avedasupplements, herbal formulas, fair trade, ethical sourcing, herbal therapy, plants, Pukka, Aveda

herbalism, herbal medicine, herbal supplements, herbal, botanicals, herb tea, medicinal plantsherbalism, herbal medicine, herbal supplements, herbal, botanicals, herb tea, medicinal plants

From the introduction:

“Because of the way the herbal supplements industry has developed, it is very difficult to find accurate information about the numerous supply chains or about the human and environmental costs of producing a specific product. Companies increasingly claim to be ethical and sustainable. Yet for the most part, consumers are asked to trust those claims even though companies reveal little information about how their sourcing decisions and manufacturing processes affect the people and environments involved in and impacted by that production. . . .

[In this book] I explore the questions that drew me to herbalism in the first place. If, as I believed, herbal medicine offers insights into how to live in right relationship with the earth, can those values stand up to capitalism? Can plants be both living entities with which humans can have a sacred relationship, and commodities governed by the laws of capital?”

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chelsea Green Publishing (February 25, 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1603587489
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1603587488
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.3 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1 x 9 inches