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This amazing book... carries the heart and soul of herbalism. My hat goes off to Bellebuono.

- Kathi Keville, The American Herb Association

What a treasure this book is! Holly thoughtfully includes enriching insights about the countries and geography in which each healer lives, interesting and unusual facts about the plants, herbal healing, and global herbalism. There is much to learn here...Holly was the perfect visionary for creating such a profoundly moving work.

- Rosemary Gladstar

Multiple Award-Winner!

The Thomas DeBaggio BOOK OF THE YEAR 2015The International Herb Association

Nautilus GOLD AWARD Winner, Women's Books 2015Nautilus Book Awards

Now in paperback

Women Healers of the World   A Ground-Breaking Book

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This is the first book to celebrate and illustrate global women of science and medicine, with hundreds of photographs, 16 healing traditions, 31 women, and 20 countries. Ideal as a gift, for personal education, and as a text for universities, women's study programs, anthropology, botany, arboreta, gardening associations, and more.

In 2008, Holly began what would become a 7-year journey seeking out healers among the world's great healing traditions. Her book Women Healers of the World: The Traditions, History & Geography of Herbal Medicine is the culmination of her desire to record the rich heritage of herbal medicine and to delve into the extraordinary stories of women from all over the globe: 21 contemporary and 10 historic women from 20 countries whose work with plants is integral to the heritage of healing. “These extraordinary healers will inspire the next generation of medical practitioners and women,” says Bellebuono.

She brings to life the stories of 10 historic women--through centuries and civilizations-- with stunning, original watercolor artwork from Martha's Vineyard artist Tracy Thorp. (This is the first time some of these women have had their likeness depicted!) Discover such historic icons as Hildegard von Bingen, Trotula of Salerno, Pharaoh Hatshepsut, and Marie-Henriette LeJeune Ross, who was known throughout Nova Scotia as the midwife Granny Ross. Holly makes their stories compelling and does not shy away from scandal or fun: she shares the twists, turns and tales of love, greed, passion and plants, and even includes a chapter of recipes based on their work.

Contemporary healers span the globe and include Moroccan chemist Zoubida Charrouf, Peru’s orphanage founder Mama Kia Ingenlath, Scotland’s scholar of Gaelic pharmacy Mary Beith, and Oaxacan/Zapotecan midwife and shaman Dona Enriqueta Contreras. “I felt it was important to document how their work has contributed to healing at large,” says Bellebuono, “and to highlight their cultural backgrounds alongside the botany. These are real women doing often dangerous and thankless work—in some cases even being threatened for it—and they deserve recognition for continuing and advancing the practice of healing in their countries.” The book offers a fascinating view of how women approach healing around the world, some using plants for children’s health, others invoking spiritual practices, and others empowering communities through social activism. And the thread that unites these healers and their traditions is plants.

Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, who wrote the book’s foreword, supported the project from its inception. “What a treasure this book is!” she says. “Holly thoughtfully includes enriching insights about the countries and geography in which each healer lives, interesting and unusual facts about the plants, herbal healing, and global herbalism. There is much to learn here...Holly was the perfect visionary for creating such a profoundly moving work.”

Richly illustrated with watercolors and hundreds of vivid photographs by Bellebuono, Vineyard photographer Harry Beach, and others, the book is a visually stunning celebration of women, herbs, medicine, and the inspiring trait of human perseverance. WOMEN HEALERS celebrates 16 different healing traditions: conventional medicine, pharmacology, ethnobotany, herbalism, homeopathy, flower essence practitioners, shamanism, nursing, midwifery, conservation, and more.

plant-covered hillside from Women Healers of the World book

for Women Healers of the World

One of the pleasures I derived from this book was seeing these devoted women honored in a way that speaks in their own voices. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this book and would recommend this book without reservation to anyone interested in herbal healing.

- Marge Powell, The International Herb Association

Women Healers of the World is a pick for health, fitness, and women's issues collections alike and documents the rise of herbal medicine and remedies as it pertains to women who promote these herbs. It comes from a herbalist who moves far beyond the usual herbal guide to consider the works of female healers from around the world, and it uses these women's words to explore their particular approaches ... Add a pictorial approach that packs in full-page color photos into an oversized presentation and you add a travelogue to a wide-ranging herbalist guide that will attract audiences from several genres.

- Midwest Book Review


The power of this book lies in the legacy of these women and the long lineage of herbal knowledge to encourage and support the reader to become a healer in their own right. This book is a mentor, just as these women have relied upon their teachers, and provides a guiding hand, which moves from gentle to fierce, and instills a powerful confidence that we women have been healers for millennia and will continue to bring the healing powers from the natural world into the future.

- Sage Woman Magazine

I purchased this book for myself, and then purchased it for two of my is an exquisite book!

- satisfied reader

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