AUTHOR'S NOTE"Excellent herbs had our fathers of old Excellent herbs to ease their pain." "Our Fathers of Old" -- Rudyard Kipling.My life in the world of herbs has evolved over the years but my passion and enthusiasm for these plants, which are of so much benefit to man, is as strong as ever. Over 30 years ago I started work on a herb farm in Somerset, England; it was then that my thirst for more knowledge was ignited. During the subsequent years I started, with my husband, a herb farm in South Gloucestershire that was originally wholesale and has now developed into a mail order business with the advent of the Internet. In 1992 we started exhibiting at the Royal Horticultural Society flower shows, where we have been awarded over 60 Gold medals for our herb exhibits.I wrote the original Complete Herb Book because, after exhibiting at the RHS flower shows, I found that I was being overwhelmed with requests for practical information on the growing and the use of each herb. The book stemmed from first-hand knowledge obtained from running my organic herb farm as well as considerable research.One of the questions I am often asked is "What is a herb?" It can be argued that all useful plants are herbs. The Oxford English Dictionary defines them as "plants of which the leaves, stem or flowers are used for food or medicine, or in some way for their scent or flavor." That many herbs do you good is in no doubt, improving your health, appearance or sense of well-being.This new edition of the Complete Herb Book, which includes 38 new herbs, also shows how far organic horticulture has developed during the past decade. What I find exciting is that the development and knowledge of these plants is ever increasing and as I travel throughout the United Kingdom and overseas lecturing I realize that the interest in herbs as part of a movement toward a healthier, greener lifestyle is accelerating, so it is an appropriate time for this updated book.For a newcomer to the world of herbs the most extraordinary feature of these plants is their incredible versatility. You may think of a particular herb as having mainly culinary or medicinal properties and then discover it has other useful applications. A herb that is greatly valued in cooking may also be of value for its medicinal properties. A plant such as thyme can provide the raw material for cooking, medicines and aromatherapy. I have included many culinary recipes in this book because herbs can transform a meal into a feast; there is nothing more inspiring than walking into a kitchen that is full of the aromas of herbs as their essential oils mingle with the food.Herbs have been my life for over three decades. In this book I have tried to convey to you just some of the pleasure that working with these remarkable plants can bring.Please note that the image in the colored box at the beginning of each herb is the first one described in the text. I'm sure I don't need to remind you, but please don't dig up any wild plants.-- HOW TO USE THIS BOOKThis book is comprised of two main sections: The A-Z of HerbsThe A-Z of Herbs is arranged alphabetically by the botanical Latin name with detailed information for each specific herb such as Other Names: lists some folk and country names. Natural Habitat: native country and area of distribution. Propagation: provides helpful tips for the individual herb that will make all the difference between success and failure. Techniques for seed, cuttings,Hobhouse, Penelope is the author of 'Complete Herb Book', published 2008 under ISBN 9781554073658 and ISBN 1554073650.