The human fascination with plants goes far beyond our love of gardening. Somewhere in the back of our minds lurks the ancient magic and mystery associated with plants, while today we are rediscovering all-but-forgotten healing and nutritional properties of plants in their natural settings. Superb color photos that capture the sense of ritual and reverence are accompanied by an expert history that explains our early use, as nomadic gatherers, of flowers, bushes, and herbs, and our development of domestic planting. The earliest-known ceremonies, such as burials, planting rituals, and harvest festivals, show how plants came to be worshiped as both symbols of life and essential nutrients and healers. The story continues from the rise of civilizations that use plants as symbols in their imperial crests and coins to today's use of holly, mistletoe, Christmas trees, pumpkins, autumn leaves, and other holiday symbols--backed by current psychological and medical research.
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