The Medicine Wheel Garden

SKU: 0553380893

E. Barrie Kavasch
Grade Levels:
Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Adult Education, College, University
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
Random House
Copyright Date:

Sale price$29.00


The Medicine Wheel Garden is an interesting New Age approach to Native American spirituality and gardening with herbs. The author is an ethnobotonist whose other books relate to traditional medicine plants used by Native Americans. This book uses the medicine wheel as an organizing principle for creating backyard gardens in suburbia. The author describes the basics of medicine wheel symbolism as well as outlining various ceremonies from several tribal peoples of North America. The heart of the book provides detailed information about 50 medicinal herbs that can provide healing teas, skin creams, and soaps. The author describes each plant and also suggests cautions for using the herb. A step-by-step guide for planting an herb garden in the shape of a medicine wheel is provided. In addition, the book offers ideas for herbal crafts and some Native-inspired "ceremonial" objects, such as smudge sticks and prayer ties, as well as traditional uses of sweetgrass, sage, and tobacco. Those interested in Native spirituality are cautioned. The author often mixes New Age ideas and concepts with specific tribal ceremonies. This appropriation can be confusing. However, the section on plants and creating a garden in one's own back yard offers practical ideas for those who want to find a sanctuary close at hand. The concept of gardening as therapy is one that most 21st century North Americans will find comforting. Recommended with some reservations.

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