Troubador The Green Fuse

Released: 28/04/2021

ISBN: 9781800461819

Format: Paperback

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The Green Fuse

…our deep connection with the power of plants

by

The Green Fuse is a tribute to plants, describing their powers and their connections to humanity, the earth and the cosmos. Left unconvinced of the enduring success of her cancer treatment by conventional medicine, the gift of a little book along with an opportunity of ‘six months off to find her happiness’ had unexpected consequences. While doing the 40-day herbal cancer cure the author experienced feelings of supreme wellbeing. She decided to investigate why this should be. 

The book outlines extensive research from many disciplines, both worldwide and across the ages. Hilary's findings chart the drastic loss of the use of plants in western medicine. This has been accompanied by the erosion of our deep-rooted harmony with the world-wide web of nature through the loss of valuable traditional knowledge. These have been replaced by our modern system of treating symptoms. Alongside her research she developed a beautiful garden to grow plants based on her findings and from these plants she created and marketed high quality products with exceptional healing properties. 

This is Hilary's story about seeking a felt understanding of the nature of human healing. It shows that regaining the connections we have lost can enhance our health in body and mind and enrich our creativity and spirituality. In the words of Dylan Thomas 'The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age…'

Very nice reviews coming in!:

'This is a lovely book: beautifully written, well illustrated and nicely presented. The author's love of plants and nature comes through on every page and the account of how she created an extensive herb garden on pastoral land in a peaceful valley in the Haute Savoie would be inspiring for any gardener.
Hilary is a plantswoman and a botanist - they are not the same thing - who has cultivated plants with medicinal value and used her scientific knowledge to distil their essences and make them available for sale. She describes how this developed from her discovery of a plant-based diet which helped in her recovery from cancer and how her fervent love of nature led her to holistic science, Jungian studies and shamanism. It is a story which embraces practical science as well as an exploration of life values. The subtitle of the book sums it up: "Our deep connection with the power of plants".'

Ray Hutton, journalist, author, sometime publisher - and a fellow Botany graduate from the class of '65.

and:

Hilary Miflin, a medical herbalist, distiller and botanical wise woman - someone who many years ago came through cancer to transform her life into one devoted to the healing power of plants - has just published an amazing book called ‘The Green Fuse’.

Part of Hillary's extraordinarily abundant journey through the world of medicinal plants was her training as a clinical aromatherapist through my school, the Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy, in London from 1997-98. Hillary excelled in the course and shared her knowledge of and passion for plants freely among her group.

Hillary's gracious enthusiasm made it easy for her to make connections and forge friendships with all kinds of healers, teachers, distillers and purveyors. This, together with her inquiring intellect and the experience she has accrued as a grower-distiller at her home and garden in the Swiss Alps, has given her a special insight into the healing potency of herbs and essential oils.

Hilary's insights and plant experiences are beautifully rendered in her book "The Green Fuse", designed in one of my favourite typefaces, Adobe Jenson, and with beautiful photographs and hand-drawn illustrations of Chevenoz and its medicinal plants.

As the back cover reads, "this is Hillary's story about seeking a felt understanding of the nature of human healing. It shows that regaining the connections we have lost can enhance our health in body and mind and enrich our creativity and spirituality. In the words of Dylan Thomas, the force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age."

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is one to treasure.

by Gabriel Mojay Chair of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA)

23.09.21
Lots more lovely reviews and a great interview by David Lorimer of Scientific and Medical Network in his September Book Briefing (see website). Sales going well and I'm so glad i wrote this book!

see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kPdTPxMQr0

https://www.apothecaryplants.org.uk

Hilary Miflin, a medical herbalist, distiller and botanical wise woman - someone who many years ago came through cancer to transform her life into one devoted to the healing power of plants - has just published an amazing book called ‘The Green Fuse’.

Part of Hillary‘s extraordinarily abundant journey through the world of medicinal plants was her training as a clinical aromatherapist through my school, the Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy, in London from 1997-98. Hillary excelled in the course and shared her knowledge of and passion for plants freely among her group.

Hillary‘s gracious enthusiasm made it easy for her to make connections and forge friendships with all kinds of healers, teachers, distillers and purveyors. This, together with her inquiring intellect and the experience she has accrued as a grower-distiller at her home and garden in the Swiss Alps, has given her a special insight into the healing potency of herbs and essential oils.

Hilary’s insights and plant experiences are beautifully rendered in her book ‘The Green Fuse’, designed in one of my favourite typefaces, Adobe Jenson, and with beautiful photographs and hand-drawn illustrations of Chevenoz and its medicinal plants.

As the back cover reads, “this is Hillary‘s story about seeking a felt understanding of the nature of human healing. It shows that regaining the connections we have lost can enhance our health in body and mind and enrich our creativity and spirituality. In the words of Dylan Thomas, ‘the force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age’.“

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s one to treasure.

by Gabriel Mojay Chair of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA)


'This is a lovely book: beautifully written, well illustrated and nicely presented. The author's love of plants and nature comes through on every page and the account of how she created an extensive herb garden on pastoral land in a peaceful valley in the Haute Savoie would be inspiring for any gardener.
Hilary is a plantswoman and a botanist - they are not the same thing - who has cultivated plants with medicinal value and used her scientific knowledge to distil their essences and make them available for sale. She describes how this developed from her discovery of a plant-based diet which helped in her recovery from cancer and how her fervent love of nature led her to holistic science, Jungian studies and shamanism. It is a story which embraces practical science as well as an exploration of life values. The subtitle of the book sums it up: "Our deep connection with the power of plants".'

Ray Hutton, journalist, author, sometime publisher - and a fellow Botany graduate from the class of '65.

by Ray Hutton


When the author was diagnosed with breast cancer she found herself on a journey that took her to a new world and a new understanding of the power of plants that went way beyond her professional scientific training. Hilary Miflin’s determination to live life to the full, studying herbalism, developing her skills as a gardener, learning the art of making plant oils and tinctures and discovering the dimly lit corners of her inner world through Jungian analysis and shamanic practices make this book a truly inspiring read.

The illustrations and beautiful photographs make The Green Fuse not only a joy to read but to look at as well.

by Fenella Dormoy


All who want to work towards a continued future for our world should read this inspiring and explorative approach to gardening and an understanding of nature that transcends science as we know it to bring healing and happiness

by Andrea Hargreaves


'Whether you are interested in creating a garden, growing herbs, herbal medicine, helping to cure yourself or your loved ones or simply staying healthy, Hilary has written a book that touches on all of these subjects and more. It’s a book for our time, when the health of planet and people is compromised by the way we have been exploiting our resources and polluting our world. Although The Green Fuse traces a personal journey back to health through growing, preparing and using herbs, it also describes a journey that we all need to make back to the soil that feeds us.
Hilary chose to explore a new path when she was diagnosed with cancer and she generously shares this with us in her book. As in the poem of its title, The Green Fuse leaves the reader with no doubt about the connection of the natural world and the human psyche.
I read the book as a keen gardener and environmentalist with a son who was diagnosed with cancer some years ago. I recently gave it to my herbalist friend who is setting out to grow and prepare her own herbal remedies. I have no doubt she will enjoy it as much as I did.'

Dinah Pryor, Environmental campaigner and wildlife gardener

by Dinah Pryor


The Green Fuse is a wonderful portrayal of one woman's love affair with nature and its magical healing plants. Its also charts Hilary's exciting journeys through family life, her wonderful property in Chevenoz, her encounter with cancer and her search for alternative, herbal treatments. It was in Chevenoz that Hilary developed her passion for healing plants and became a distiller creating beautiful pure oils harvested from her French garden. Time spend in the Physic Garden in Kew deepened a conviction of our essential link with nature and its healing power.

But Hilary is also a scientist and all her discoveries are based in solid research and critical thinking.

The book is also a scientific description of each healing plant and their properties, much of which have been lost to modern society but would have been fully understood in Shakespeare's time. This book hopefully will light a fuse in society and inspire us all to fight for the health of our planet.

Beautifully presented the book is a visual treat with photographs and illustrations, all hand drawn by the author.

Mairin Colleary

by Mairin Colleary


There are so many things I love about The Green Fuse that I’m not sure where to start. Having read all the chapters that jumped out at me, I’m now looking forward to having it by my bed to dip into so I can learn more about the uses and history of familiar plants, how the author created her herb garden, the power of aromatherapy and so much more.

I enjoyed learning the history of energy medicine with its central premise of connection, and a ‘force’ or power that can be evoked for healing, and then the decline of herbal remedies which came with the industrialization of medicine. I was introduced to the work of people like Goethe and Humboldt about whom I knew nothing and saw how their work influenced Steiner and others. I can’t wait to dive back into the sections on biodynamic principles, planetary influences and Le Calendrier Lunaire.

Some parts of the book are very familiar to me; Bach Flower Remedies, Chinese medicine and notions of Qi, prana and auras, and yet through this book I have come to appreciate that these energy systems exist in the plant world just as much as they do in our own bodies and that of other animals.

Lastly, and above all, it is the sections on Shamanism which inspire me the most. Following the author’s self discovery and healing through journeying and dreams was a delight. To hear how she uses her dreams and journeys to deepen her connection the spirits of plants has changed my relationship to my garden and to the vegetables and fruit I eat.

I love her clear and unambiguous description of the ancient practice of Shamanic journeying and it’s uses to break down barriers and deepen our connection with the spirits of plants and the Spirit World. When she talks about plants being sentient and yet, like so many other aspects of our world, increasingly commodified, it all made so much sense to me and left me with an inner ‘Of course, I knew that!’. I am grateful to the author for sharing her life’s work and inspiring me to delve deeper into the vibrant world of Nature.

by Robin Shell, Reiki Master and Emotional Freedom Technique and Shamanic Practitioner


At first sight, with its attractive presentation, lovely photos and illustrations, this book entices the reader to explore more about the Green Fuse. Reading the book reveals a remarkable depth of understanding by the impassioned author of the power of plants and the psyche to heal and enlighten. With a combination of intelligence and sensitivity, drawing on her botanist and teaching background and her enquiring mind, Hilary shows how she has managed to transform her life and her approach to life, successfully conveying the intricacies of her journey to others in this inspiring, explanatory and enjoyable read. It is inspiring because the reader understands that humans can delve more deeply into their consciousness for the better; explanatory because the uninitiated can begin to understand the potential guidance for one’s soul and psyche from a commitment to the healing power of plants and their spirits and an exploration of shamanism; enjoyable because of the positivity expressed, the range of interconnected topics and the ease in connecting to the human story. It is an exciting and fascinating account of how Hilary has managed to transform adversity into a myriad of positive experiences and discoveries in her life which she shares in a vivid and captivating way.

by Anne and Jacques Lauruol


Aug 25 2021
Hilary Miflin has written an extraordinary book, part memoir and part handbook to plants. I came away after finishing this book (for the second time in quick succession) reeling at how little I knew and understood about plants in general, and their healing properties in particular, and renewed respect for those who know a lot, like Hilary.
Hilary also takes us on a journey to where plants intersect with esotericism, which also made me reel. This nexus, as Hilary points out, has been lost in the west. The number of plants used in modern medicine is constantly waning. This matters. We should not lose sight of and understanding for the way our forbears saw and understood nature and ourselves. If we lose that, we lose respect for our world of today. This is a worthwile and fascinating read, and one you will want to repeat often.
Peter Warne
Journalist
Vevey
Switzerland

by Peter Warne


As reviewed in Paradigm Explorer, Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network Autumn 2021
Subtitled ‘our deep connection with the power of plants’, this inspiring book describes Hilary’s fascinating journey after experiencing ‘feelings of supreme well-being’ while following the Breuss Diet - a 40-day herbal cancer cure that initiated a profound inner process through reading Jung’s autobiography with its emphasis on dreams – she includes a number throughout the book. Its deeper message is that the decline in the medicinal use of plants from the British Pharmacopoeia between 1864 and 1993 – an incredible 522 entries – is symptomatic of the loss of traditional knowledge held by indigenous tribes and the corresponding alienation from nature as we have developed a mechanistic and pharmaceutical approach to medicine and health. Central to the narrative is the story of her house and garden at Chevenoz in the French Alps of Haute Savoie, where she not only created a herb garden but also developed a range of products including tinctures, dried herbs, infused oils and incenses - a deeply satisfying process. Hilary explores the use of herbs in major world healing systems and their central concepts of connection and balance, as well as the continuing role of herbal medicine within a holistic context with an energetic basis.

She devotes a chapter to important ideas and influences, including Edward Bach’s flower remedies, Goethean science and Steiner, Alexander von Humboldt and Maria Thun’s biodynamic calendar – also courses at Schumacher College. She delves more deeply into shamanic traditions with their embodied modes of perception transcending the boundaries between inner and outer. The garden comes vividly to life for the reader, especially in appreciating the rhythm of the annual cycle, all this beautifully illustrated. These rhythms are also shamanic in connecting with seasons, sun, moon and planets, and the principles of ‘expansion and contraction, birth, growth and death.’ (p. 195) Traditional festivals are aligned to this cycle. The energy of life corresponds to the spirit of creativity, strongly present in this book and in the author’s drawings of the Green Man as well as her beautiful quilts and wood carvings. This energy is also vitalism, derided by mechanistic orthodoxy that sticks within its self-limiting boundaries.

Hilary devotes a chapter to plant profiles that include shamanic journeys to the spirit of different plants, but also details for cultivation and of therapeutic uses. These include Lavender, Juniper and Rose and lead to a deeper energetic insight and sense of connection, joining head and heart, science and spirituality, objective and subjective. Hilary remembers what we have forgotten as a culture and opens up different levels of existence and meaning that are also integrating healing avenues reconnecting us to soul, spirit and the beautiful planet on which we live. Her embodies an ecological spirituality with expanded human capacities that also unfold resonantly in the reader.

David Lorimer

Programme Director
Editor, Paradigm Explorer

by David Lorimer Programme Director Scientific and Medical Network


Hilary Miflin

Hilary is a botanist, herbalist, aromatherapist and gardener with a passion for plants and interest in plant/human connections and health.

As Jungian analysand and shamanic practitioner, she uses dreams and journeys as authentic "ways of knowing"; as teacher, science communicator and writer, she loves weaving ideas together and telling stories.


the gardener...

and the cave dweller
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