Micmac Medicines: Remedies and Recollections by Laurie Lacey
|September 12, 2010||Posted by Kris McNaughton under Health, Non-fiction|
Micmac Medicines by Laurie Lacey is heavy on the recollections and much lighter on the remedy aspect. The book may capture a reader’s interest and generate a desire to learn more about natural remedies and their preparation, but as a standalone reference book Micmac Medicines falls short.
Lacey uses pen and ink sketches to help the reader identify the various plants; however, the sketches are not terribly accurate and it would be extremely difficult to identify a plant based on the sketch. In addition, Lacey uses the common name of the various plants throughout the book. While a common name is not inappropriate, I would expect the latin or botanical name to accompany the common name. I didn’t find the botanical names until the very end of the book in an index. This was not very user friendly or convenient.
The remedies that Laurie Lacey cites are interesting, but appear to be a collection of remembrances rather than a true collection of remedies and preparations. In many cases, the use of a certain plant for a specific ailment seems to come from one individual who tried the remedy once as a child. All remedy preparations are vague and I would not trust a potion or tincture created from the directions provided in the book. Lacey does reference a few other natural remedy books and I would be tempted to review his reference material for the correct preparation of the remedies over his own recipes.
What I did find interesting in Micmac Medicines was Lacey’s recollections. His musings and experiences gained while interviewing the Micmac are interesting and amusing in places. I think the book would have been better titled Micmac Medicines: Recollections. This way, the reader would not expect a book containing natural plant remedy recipes and/or a guide to identifying those plants.