From Leaf to Life – Book Review

From Leaf To Life
I’m sharing an Amazon review I did on a book I just finished recently. I am currently seeing the author, Medical Herbalist and Naturopath, Sebastian Liew, for long term management of my thyroid conditon and general health. I have never recommended a “must read” book on health. This will be the first. It is really a book about life.

Review
Firstly, this is not a short cut book to health. You won’t be able to look up your symptoms or condition and expect advise on what herb to take.

I personally believe in the philosophy that true health encompasses more than just the condition of our physical body. The ideal state of “shalom” (wholeness or completeness) is an inside-out affair of the spirit, soul and body. To achieve that, we need to address all aspects of our being (eg. our thoughts, emotions, diet, lifestyle, beliefs and our environment). Like it or not, they do impact our physical health sooner or later. If you are new to this school of thought, this book will challenge, enlighten, inform and inspire you and you will be better for it. If you are already a believer, you will feel an inner confirmation of what you already know to be true. This book with help you connect the dots and you will see with greater clarity why this approach makes sense and be encouraged to apply its principles to your life.

Most of us are familiar with the use of diet and lifestyle changes to enhance and improve our health, though we may not be as consistent as we should be or have the right guidance. Many may have also use kitchen herbs to treat simple conditions. But I doubt as many are familiar with the kind of impact our psychological and emotional state and belief systems have on our health. They are what the author calls, inner work. They are not as easy to measure or grasp. Some may even find them mysterious. But they play a critical role in helping our body reach a state of harmony and balance. How can we effectively engage them so they can positively impact our wellbeing?

This book covers all these and more in the form of 9 Creeds and 7 Letters of Wellness. The content is well organized and meant to be read in the order of the chapters as each focus point is built upon the preceding one and so on. The author has made it easy to understand, with short anecdotes, real case examples and enough food for thought at the end of each chapter that will challenge you to reexamine your relationship with yourself, others and the environment. There are enough useful information and practical tips you can incorporate into your life. Now here is where my concern is, you may find it overwhelming (like I did) just thinking about the vast chasm between where you currently are and where you want to be. It might feel sort of like an information overload when you first read it. With all these great tips and advice, you may feel a little lost as to where to begin. This is where it is helpful and necessary to get guidance from a licensed practitioner. Certain herbs might suit one but not another due to various reasons. Each case is unique. To attempt to apply all of them without any guidance will only discourage you from getting started. Remember that it is the principles that will bring you the farthest. Grasp them and apply them first. Do not worry about the specifics. Take time to read, understand and let them sink in. And then integrate them into your own life so that their become part of your lifestyle. The author recommends that we see it as a journey instead of a destination, lest we be discouraged along the way. You may want to start by reading it one time through to get an overview of the content. After that, read through it again, this time slowly an contemplatively, one chapter at a time, looking out for ways you can apply the principles. And if you have a pre-existing condition or a health challenge, get proper guidance for how you can apply the specifics.

Understandably it is impossible to cover everything in a book but I felt the author has done a great job imparting to us the fundamental principles for a life that is whole and complete in every way. When I reached the end of the book, it felt that I’ve read a book about life.

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