Asian American Herbalism @North

Cover image of Asian American Herbalism featuring a Japanese-American woman at a work bench creating an herbal remedy.
November 1, 2023 - 6:30pm-7:30pm 

Author and owner of Herb Folk, Erin Masako Wilkins, visits the North Branch to share traditional and modern healing practices from her new book Asian American Herbalism.  

From the Chronicle Books description of Asian American Herbalism:

Japanese American herbalist and acupuncturist Erin Masako Wilkins shares accessible and comprehensive herbal wellness practices, remedies, and recipes, rooted in Asian tradition for optimal health.

Erin Masako Wilkins is a California-based herbalist, acupuncturist, and the founder of Herb Folk, an online shop with an array of Asian American herbs, teas, and wellness products. In Asian American Herbalism, Wilkins shares a beautifully illustrated and photographed collection of herbal recipes, remedies, and wellness practices. Rooted in East Asian history and culture, these offerings will help the reader to prevent illness and restore health and vitality.

This comprehensive wellness guide addresses the root causes of illnesses and offers 100 easy and accessible herbal recipes to heal, uplift, and improve the quality of daily life. A central theme of this book is that food is our greatest medicine, and there is an emphasis on incorporating herbs into daily meals and drinks to address common ailments, such as allergies, anxiety and depression, digestion and gut health, menstrual disorders, and sleep difficulties. For example: • Loquat cough syrup for a lingering cough
• Nettle soup and magnolia bud tea for seasonal allergies
• Okayu (Japanese rice porridge) for recovering from illness
• Reishi mushroom decoction for insomnia and night sweats
• Medicinal herb stock to increase energy and vitality
• Fresh mulberry sweet tea or an infusion of marshmallow leaf and rose to ease digestive woes
• Illustrated instructions offer guidance on how to practice gua sha for better health with a culturally mindful framework

In addition, Wilkins visually walks readers through the process of preparing homemade herbal remedies with ingredients that can be found at local markets.

The first contemporary book exploring the intersection of American folk herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine by an AAPI author, Asian American Herbalism is filled with practical remedies easy enough for even the busiest reader to implement and beautiful enough to display on a shelf or coffee table. An exploration of what it means to practice traditional Asian medicine in the context of modern-day life, it is the perfect health and wellness reference guide for our time.

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