Kathleen Barnes’ (LINK: www.kathleenbarnes.com) most recent book, Food Is Medicine: 101 Prescriptions from the Garden, is a comprehensive guide to the healing power of food, much of which you can grow in your own garden or buy at your local farmers market. Barnes offers food-based solutions to 101 health problems-ranging from the simplest—cuts and bruises, acne, insect bites or splitting nails—to the complex and serious ones, like diabetes, heart disease and cancer and dozens that fall in between.

Her early experience in the natural health movement began in the early ‘70s when, just out of college, Barnes’ friends and family thought she was “a little wacky” when she started talking about natural healing.

They asked:

  • Why brew a cup of sage tea when it was easier to take a swig of sugar- and drug-laden cough medicine?
  • Why wrap an infected cut with chewed wood sorrel rather than slapping on a little triple antibiotic from a tube?
  • Why chew a few fennel seeds or drink a cup of peppermint tea rather than take a Tums?
  • Why compost kitchen scraps when it is so easy to buy a bag of compost at the big-box garden center?
  • Why slave away under a hot sun, watering and weeding and battling bugs and blights, when a juicy tomato was as close as the local supermarket?

Why? Because all of these remedies and a simple lifestyle contribute to health and longevity, she told friends and family and anyone who would listen. Even when Barnes was in her twenties, health and longevity were her goals. More than 40 years later, they still are.

And, happily, in 2015, millions more have joined her “wacky” ways. Today, natural remedies are found on every drugstore shelf. Even the smallest of towns, like Barnes’ beloved mountain town of Brevard, NC, have thriving farmers’ markets, health food stores and cooperative gardens. Today, most of us are aware that eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily can prevent and even treat a host of diseases and illnesses. More and more of us are becoming aware of the importance of eating fresh wholesome local food that can keep us healthy, prevent disease and extend our lives. Many of us are trying to save money by growing our own food. Some of us even know the secrets of treating ailments and illnesses with herbs, fruits and vegetables.

In this book, Barnes makes those secrets common knowledge. She shares the road to good health through the freshest of fruits and vegetables, what she has learned about health and healing with the right foods grown the right way.

While she realizes it is not realistic in our time-pressured modern world to expect her readers to grow every fruit and vegetable mentioned in Food Is Medicine, she opens the door to the secrets of healing with everyday foods available to everyone close to home.

Publisher: Take Charge Books, Brevard, North Carolina