In an accessible text, with an abundance of practical examples and recipes, this book explores the many different ways in which we use plants to heal our bodies and our minds. The emphasis is on the practical use of herbstheir cultivation, functions and applicationsas well as on their cultural and symbolic significance. The heart of the book is a superbly illustrated portfolio of key plants, many of which have medicinal uses throughout the world. Other chapters explore a wide range of subjects, including Chinese and Ayurvedic healing; the herbal traditions of Africa, the Americas, Oceania and Australia; and the cultural context of hallucinogenic plants and their use in ritual. A final section features herb-based medicinal recipes; information on cultivating, collecting and preparing herbs; a discussion on their use in aromatherapy, perfumes and cosmetics; and a summary of the role of herbs in mythology and folklore throughout the world.