book review

Book Review: Herbal Antivirals by Stephen Harrod Buhner

I received an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

I requested to read ‘Herbal Antivirals’ as I liked the premise of it. I’m a keen kitchen gardener and am always interested to learn more about herbal remedies and alternative medicines.

I’ve done a little research since reading the book and I’ve discovered that not only is this a second edition but there are other books by the same author of a similar nature and Harrod Buhner has quite a following. I’ve never read any of the other books or even heard of Stephen Harrod Buhner so I’ve come at this with a completely fresh perspective.

The Blurb: “Viruses are smart, mutating, and becoming resistant to antiviral pharmaceuticals. Global crises such as COVID-19, SARS, and dengue fever spread more quickly than we can develop medicines to fight them. Herbalist and best-selling author Stephen Harrod Buhner has studied the antiviral properties of plants for many years. In this comprehensive guide, he profiles the plants that have proven most effective in fighting viral infections and provides in-depth instructions for preparing and using formulations to address the most common infections and strengthen immunity, safely and naturally. The updated 2nd edition includes an expanded guide to COVID-19, including a review of the most up-to-date medical research and the plant medicines that have been found to be most potent in preventing infection, lessening the impact of the virus on the body, and addressing longer-term effects and co-infections.”

I have a feeling I may have misread the description as technically speaking this book was way beyond my grasp. It was not what I expected at all. It claims to be a ‘comprehensive guide’ and that really isn’t to be taken lightly as there is a lot of information in this book, unfortunately, a lot of the jargon and phrasing was a little beyond me. So, I think this may be more of a reference guide than a ‘read from start to finish’ kind of book. There is a lot of background for each common infection, and that’s another thing I had an issue with. For a book that claims to offer instructions for preparing and using formulations to fight common infections, half the book seemed to be talking about Encephalitis, except for a rather informative section on Coronavirus. Unfortunately, I have very little interest in learning how to treat Encephalitis or dengue fever, so this book did take me a while to read as it really didn’t grab my interest.

Another negative aspect for me was the numerous personal jokes which went completely over my head and so disrupted the flow of the book for me but, as i mentioned earlier, that could also be because it’s more of a reference book. One thing for sure is, until I read this book I had no idea what a Taxonomist was (I’m still not 100% sure) but I do know that Stephen Harrod Buhner really does not like them.

I feel like I should probably find something positive to say about it now, so to be fair this book is very informative and Harrod Buhner does seem to know what he’s talking about, in fact, there were a few useful items in there like the preparation, storage, and usage of tinctures.

Basically, it’s an informative book and is backed up by a lot of research and science, but definitely for people with a slightly more advanced medical knowledge.

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