Pretty Posies, Healing Powers – An Herbal Primer


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Pretty Posies, Healing Powers

They’re simply gorgeous to witness, the blooms and glories festooning Grandmother’s Garden on the grounds of Duncan House, headquarters of the Birmingham Historical Society at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. What more could we ask of them beyond their beauty? As it turns out we can ask a lot, for each of the plantings contains medicinal properties to cure what ails you, to soften a symptom or two.

Pretty Posies, Healing Powers–An Herbal Primer whisks you into the world of medicinal plantings with illustrations by five Birmingham watercolorists–Sumter Coleman, Gail Cosby, Ellen Erdreich, Louise McPhillips, and Jane Reed Ross–inspired by Grandmother’s Garden. Author and noted herbalist Maria Antonia Viteri supplies an engaging guide to the blooms, the buds and shoots–and their soothing uses over time.

“This book is a fascinating combination of lovely artwork and detailed accounts of historic methods of herbal healing that can be successful yet today,” says Marjorie L. White, Director of the Birmingham Historical Society, which will publish the volume in October 2019. “You leave the final page with a heightened understanding of simpler eras when the backyard was the pharmacy for our ancestors. Viteri, who has extensively studied herbs and their healing properties, walks us through the subject with ease and eloquence. You gain both inspiration and education.”

The illustrated guide focuses on Southern/Appalachian traditions–from usage and sources to traditions of teas, salves, and tinctures. Chapters feature Backyard Weeds, Southern Soothers, Culinary Herbs, Teas, and Roses; herbs include Dandelion, Elder, Passionflower, Rosemary, Sage, Solomon’s Seal, and Roses, used to heal or help coughs and colds, digestion, sore muscles, and more.

“Viteri introduces us to the powers and potential of flowers and plants we’ve seen all our lives and appreciated solely for their beauty. This book goes beyond the beauty and creates new possibilities for the reader,” says White.

BOOK DETAILS: 27 illustrations of medicinal herbs, all grown at Grandmother’s Garden; 72 pages, full color; additional illustrations of the garden.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maria Antonia Viteri, a native of Mobile, has studied Western and Southern Appalachian herbal traditions in
Alabama and California. Viteri, a Master Gardener, is also trained in Architecture and Landscape Design. She currently resides in Sterrett, Alabama.

Historical Research, Publishing, and Education