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Herbal Diplomats - Informed Choice

Herbal Diplomats:The Contribution of Early American Nurses (1830-1860) to 19th Century Health Care Reform and the Botanical Medical Movement.

Author: Martha Libster PhD, RN, CNS

(Hard Cover, 386 pages and 16 pages of color illustrations)

Click here to read: What People Are Saying About Herbal Diplomats

Recipient of the prestigious 2005 Lavinia L. Dock Award for Exemplary Historical Research and Writing. Awarded by the AAHN (American Association for the History of Nursing)


During the early and mid-19th century, Americans not only explored their new found political and religious freedom, they experimented extensively with health freedom and self-care, in particular the use of healing herbs. The American Botanical Medical Movement of the 1830’s – 1860’s influenced emerging American culture and was a defining time in the nation's health care history; however the histories of the Botanical Movement have been written only of the male leadership. Herbal Diplomats is the first book to explore the healing and caring role of American women nurses during the Botanical Medical Movement. The contributions of three communities’ nurses to the development of American botanical therapies are highlighted. Included are the Shaker infirmary/community nurses, the Latter-day Saint (Mormon) pioneer nurses and midwives, and the Daughters of Charity hospital nurses. This fascinating, descriptive history reveals the autonomy, herbal expertise, and cultural diplomacy of women nurses of the period.

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