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
The Thomas DeBaggio BOOK OF THE YEAR 2015
The International Herb Association
Nautilus GOLD AWARD Winner, Women's Books 2015
Nautilus Book Awards
Now in its second printing:
2nd edition, in paperback, released February 21 2017
Women Healers of the World
A Ground-Breaking Book
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.