Alchemical Medicine for the 21st Century: Spagyrics for Detox, Healing and Longevity
Healing Arts Press (2010)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (08/10)
“Spagyric (spə-gîr’ĭk), is a name given to the production of herbal medicines using alchemical procedures. These procedures involve fermentation, distillation and the extraction of mineral components from the ash of the plant.” (Wikipedia)
Alchemical medicine is an ancient practice that has slowly worked its way into present day use and is rapidly gaining momentum in the 21st century. In the first half of “Alchemical Medicine for the 21st Century” Clare Goodrick-Clarke gives us a concise look into the theory and philosophy behind spagyric alchemy for better understanding of this ancient art of healing. She explains that “Spagyric medicine captures the full spectrum of healing potential in plants, including their remarkable empathy with human emotions. Through it, the soul and body can be healed.” (p. 94)
The second half of the book explains how to make spagyric essences and how to use them. Goodrick-Clarke gives the best times to harvest the herbs (e.g., during full moon the sap sinks to the roots, therefore, any root herbs should be harvested at that time.) She also suggests using mostly dried herbs for the tinctures. She also gives tips on proper drying of the herbs.
Each plant in the book has a profile and therapeutics. For example, (and one of my favorites) the Calendula (marigold) is seen in many gardens, on plates of high-star restaurants, and has medicinal properties. Its highest properties are being styptic and a good wound cleanser. It can be used on burns, stings, and skin irritation and internally for ulcers, digestive issues, blood building after loss, antibacterial needs, mouthwash, or gargle. It is contradicted for internal use by pregnant women, however, can be used externally by them.
I encourage interested readers to choose “Alchemical Medine for the 21st Century” over others. It is one of the best on the market to give a concise informative compilation of facts and suggestions on how to use the healing properties of plants. This isn’t new information, it’s ancient wisdom that is finally surfacing in the 21st century.