The organic pharmacy

In her introduction author Margo Marrone, a qualified pharmacist, herbalist and homeopath, illustrates the fact that all aspects of our lives are connected to each other. When she was pregnant with her first child she took a closer look at her lifestyle and realised that what she had regarded as her perfectly healthy diet so far wasn’t so healthy after all.

She discovered that fruit and veggies are sprayed with chemicals, that meat contains a host of unwanted residues and that some margarines have much more potential to give us heart disease than butter. So she turned to organic produce.

From there she went on to look at every aspect of her life and found that toxins were lurking everywhere. Organics, she says, “provide the only way to be confident that at least the bulk of products we buy – from food and drink to cleaning products and cosmetics – are free from the deadliest toxins we know.” She turned her ideas of healing into The Organic Pharmacy – an actual online pharmacy as well as a product line and, of course, the book.

The Organic Pharmacy (book) model for a healthier life contains an extensive list of remedies for common and chronic complaints, talks about healing the skin and women’s problems, shows treatments for kids and explains the ultimate skin care. It also tells about how to detox your body and even provides a 10-day detox program.

In her chapters on individual ailments Marrone recommends herbs, homeopathics and supplements, she looks at stress levels and other factors that influence our health, and gives nutritional advice, for examples foods to eat and foods to avoid.

Throughout the book, readers will find extra advice, tips, warnings and answers to commonly asked questions. The book is also easy on the eyes with colourful photos that illustrate and explain most herbs and foods as well as many practical steps to better health.

I have read quite a few books on natural remedies over the years, some of which are definitely more helpful than others. This is one of the better books on the subjects. I like it because of its wide range of diseases covered – from arthritis to warts, its concise writing and appealing layout.

I especially love the visual indices at the end of the book, which makes finding certain herbs and foods very easy. Also helpful are tables of herbs and supplements, complete with actions/indications and contraindications.

Although the book has been written for a British readership most herbs and other remedies are readily available here or can be mixed up by any traditional pharmacy. The Organic Pharmacy is a timely and relevant book for anyone who is interested in quick and effective forms of natural treatment for common complaints.

The Organic Pharmacy by Margo Marrone.


I started to write when I was about seven - and only minutes later I started to cook. Since then I've slightly refined techniques and discovered a few more words and ingredients, but not much else has changed: Words and food are my thread through Knossos. I was born in Germany where I lived and worked for more than 35 years. There I trained to be a cook, kindergarten teacher and graphic artist. In the 1980s I lived and worked in England and France. About a decade ago I started my latest stint right here in New Zealand, where I worked as a graphic artist, creator of bags and beanies, caterer, writer, baker and cook.