Herbal Transformations. Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity by Uma Swaminathan

Herbal Transformations: Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity Using Herbs and Spices, Yoga, Hygiene and Spirituality. The title says it all. My aunt Uma Swaminathan is the author of this wonderful book that gives you valuable information about Indian spices and herbs and also shows you how to use them to enhance the positive aspects of those spices and herbs.


We all use herbs and spices in our cooking, but do you know the health benefits of those herbs and spices? This is a very informative book on the medicinal values of herbs and spices, and the best ways to showcase their healthful attributes in our daily cooking.


With easy to follow recipes and full of pictures, it’s a great reference book for anyone who likes to collect cookbooks. It includes chapters on grains, sweeteners, salts, oils, yoga, good hygiene, and the soothing power of fragrant flowers.


Every herb and spice is given it’s own focus with photos and detailed information on the origins of the herb or spice, where and how they grow, and how best to use them. Uma Aunty provides relevant information on how these herbs and spices can be incorporated into today’s busy routines to make us healthier and feel more energized.

Filled with mythological stories of Indian herbs and spices, and anecdotes from Uma Aunty’s childhood and travels through India, this book is educational as well as a fun read too.  With recollections of how her family used spices and herbs when she was growing up in India, and with stories such as this one about the neem leaves, her narratives bring information on herbs and spices to life:

“My father and my uncles would chew on tender neem leaves all the time. It is a natural way to keep the heart healthy and sugar levels down… As one travels through the Tanjore district in Tamilnadu in southern India, one cannot help but notice villagers tending and caring for their neem trees that in turn create small income that enables their survival. Neem extract is made into pill format and into neem oil by pharmaceutical companies and alternative medicine practitioners. I noticed that the seeds and flowers that fall from the trees are picked by passerby and street vendors and are sold at the local markets.

Majestic neem trees with huts situated underneath them can be seen all over this region. People often sit in the shade of the neem tree for healing and for its therapeutic value. While walking through a bamboo thicket in a village I saw neem seeds and other herbs drying in the sun in front of a hut. The woman sitting at the entrance told me that she makes neem oil and sells them at the local market. This oil is medicinal and it excellent for treating bronchitis and wheezing. Neem oil is an astringent and it is very potent in combating many types of fungus and skin ailments. Later, this woman very proudly showed me how to make a toothbrush out of neem twig.”


Herbal Transformations, Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity is a wonderful book that highlights all the positive aspects of healthy Indian cooking and simple Indian grooming traditions. This book not only gives the history and background of herbs and spices, but also shows us how best to use them in vegetarian cooking.


While on her book tour last year, Aunty Uma came to see us here in Los Gatos, California, and since she loves to cook she made the most delicious meals for us during her visit.


Uma Aunty made an especially scrumptious meal one evening with vegetables bought from our local farmers market, cabbage from our vegetable garden, and herbs and spices featured in her book. This dinner was outstanding.

I hosted a small book-signing tea at our home for a few of my friends during Uma’s Aunty’s book tour. Take a look at my earlier post on this fun afternoon tea gathering.  Uma Aunty’s Book Signing Tea


Grab a copy of this outstanding book and see for yourself how Indian herbs and spices can be used in ways that can enhance your health and well-being. You can purchase Herbal Transformations, Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity on Amazon. Herbal Transformations

4 thoughts on “Herbal Transformations. Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity by Uma Swaminathan”

      1. Absolutely. I’m all for it. I’ll plan something for April or May. I’ll also have a few mini books out by then.

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