Medicine Grove is a comprehensive herbal, with listings for every common herb and many wild plants of North America. It includes descriptions of the part of the plant used, notes on preparation, lists of symptoms alleviated by the herb, and common effects. But Medicine Grove goes further, with chapters on gathering and growing wild herbs, using herbs in shamanic ceremonies or as plant allies in the wilderness, and birth, death, and dreaming herbs. Cruden combines her own first-hand experiences with a profound knowledge of indigenous traditions, enabling the reader to bring herbal lore into his or her own practice. She explains which herbs are best for seasonal ceremonies, smudging, and making offerings, and tells how to purify a sacred space. She covers topics such as vision quests, consciousness-altering, and the special connections between certain herbs and totem animals.
Medicine Grove brings the concept of an herbal into sacred territory, offering guidelines for incorporating herbs into one's spiritual life, based on the author's lifetime of work with Native American practices.
Loren Cruden (1952–2022), midwife and herbal healer, lived on a mountain in Washington State in a house that she and her son built. Following spiritual studies in Europe, Asia, and Africa, her six years of work with Lewis Sawaquat, a Potawatomie pipe carrier, deepened her engagement with the spirituality that is native to the land. Respectful of the integrity of Native American ways, she drew carefully on those and other Earth-oriented traditions to create an eclectic yet authentic spiritual practice that relied on a direct experience of the interrelatedness of all life. She is the author of Love Is Green: An Herbal for Parents, The Living Earth Tarot Deck, The Spirit of Place, Compass of the Heart, and Medicine Grove.
"To anyone interested in the spiritual aspect of herbs, Medicine Grove will be a revelation to read. Cruden's ideas are fresh and appealing, and though she adapts them from the indigenous attitudes toward the plant world, she shows us how to incorporate them in our modern lives."
– Barbara MacPherson, The Herb Quarterly
"Whatever kind of shamanic herbalism you're into, this book can help you refine your craft and strengthen your alliance with herbs."
– Paula Amero, Magical Blend
"This well-written and inspiring book goes a long way towards reawakening our ancient connection with the magical Green World."