What is your favorite Herbal Remedies Book?

Acequiamadre Posts: 269 ✭✭✭
edited September 2020 in Making Herbal Medicine

Looking to purchase a few to keep in my library. I have a few on kindle, but it isn't the same when curling up in front of the fire--of flipping through to make tinctures and salves. I am a mid-level beginner. I have a home apothecary and make tinctures, teas, and salves with my daughter. We are moving towards being "plant-based" in our family's health practices.

What books are your favorites and why? Which do you think work best as a "real book" versus an ebook?


  • happy-trails
    happy-trails Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Any books by Rosemary Gladstar are highly recommended and super professional, very thorough, informative and easy to understand! A physical book is always my preference so I can bookmark, take notes and highlight, write down my adjustments and not have to scroll through an iPad screen for 9 years looking for a certain page. =) I also recommend the DVD series and companion book "Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness." This is a series done by The Sacred Science and it walks you through what plants to use for what ailments and best preparation methods for each. The series and book is organized by type of issues and then what herbs work best for those conditions.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    I don't think I can answer the question as is cause I simply can't name just one favourite. Partly because some of the books are individualized to specific medicines or are just identification books (very important). But I can give you a list.

    Plant Identification: Lone Pine Publishing - This company publishes really great identification books. They are what I carry in the field. Its a Canadian company but there are books from all over the States as well. They have books that are very specific to certain areas; 4 volumes just for my province. They have many more than what is currently listed on their website. Click on nature in the sidebar. https://lonepinebooks.com/ These books are often found at tourism centres or the type of books racks found in general stores or gas stations. Get a good book on Poisonous Plants for your area, too.

    Herbal Medicine: Prescriptions for Herbal Healing - Phyllis Balch. This is required reading at a couple of herb schools. Well written book. She has another one called Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing. 55 Most Common Medicinal Herbs - Heather Boon and Michael Smith. Both have degrees in Pharmacy and Michael Smith is a Naturopathic Doctor. Alchemy of Herbs & Wild Remedies - Rosalee de la Foret. Both very well written books. Lots of recipes. Great to have in any library. Medical Herbalism - David Hoffmann. This is another book that is often on a recommended reading list for herbal schools. Medicinal Herbs - Rosemary Gladstar. Rosemary's books are all good to have. Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West - Michael Moore. Another great herbalist and author with several books. Planetary Herbology - Michael Tierra. Michael runs the East-West School of Planetary Herbology.

    Making Herbal Medicines: The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook. James and Ajana Green. Another one of those standards used in herbal schools.

    Mushrooms: The Fungal Pharmacy - Robert Dale Rogers - The most complete volume I have ever seen on medicinal mushrooms. Very well researched. Includes homeopathic uses and mushroom essences (similar to flower essences). Robert is a Clinical Herbalist and has a degree in Botany. He has a long list of other books on herbal medicine as well.

    Ethnobotany: Dr. Nancy J. Turner - Dr. Turner is the foremost authority on Ethnobotany in North America. She has spent years studying with elders and speaks several languages. Any books by her are excellent. Books by Elders - Anytime you can find a book written by an indigenous elder, grab it. They are gems! They are often small publishings available through individual nations, so check with some in your area. Earth Medicine - Earth Food - Michael Weiner. One of my first ethnobotany books.

    Old Herbals: Gerard's Herbal. Culpeppers Herbal. King's American Dispensatory. These are great to have in a library as they were some of the foundations on which modern herbal medicine is based. But not essentials when starting out. A Modern Herbal (2 volume set) by Maude Grieve was written around the turn of the last century but still has very useful info that is applicable today. Her books are widely referenced and cited. They are also available for free at: http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/comindx.html.

    There are some other posts on the forum discussing books that people have found, including some very old archives that @judsoncarroll4 has found.

    I love books and don't own a kindle. That being said, I do like the convenience of having resources on my computer. Don't forget to check out your dashboard for the resources offered by TGN. The Ancient Art of Raw Vinegars, Top 10 Immune Boosting Herbs. Garlic: Your First Home Medicine. Herbal Support for the Cold & Flu Season. And several others.

    Hope that gets you started.

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    I also find it very hard to choose a favorite. I think you need lots! 😊 I like The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook by James Green, The Modern Herbal Dispensatory by Thomas Easley, and of course Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee De La Foret. I recently got a copy of The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies by Nicole Apelian & Claude Davis and have found it quite helpful. I also find myself referring a lot to Michael Moore's Clinical Herb Manuals, which you can download for free at http://www.swsbm.com/ManualsMM/MansMM.html.

    I prefer paper books in general, for many reasons. But I do also have Kindle versions of some books, for those times when I want to search for a certain word or phrase.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    My favorites are the simple, short... but very deep books by Maria Treben. I have shelves full of bigger books with many more herbs. But these are where I always start.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    That's a hard one to narrow down. There are so many wonderful choices out there. But the three that I would highly recommend are Wild remedies by Rosalee De La Foret and Emily Han, this book is absolutely beautiful, and filled to the brim with general herbal plant information and herbal recipes. The herbal medicine makers handbook by James Green is a great instruction manual of how to craft various herbal remedies from tinctures, to decoctions, to herbal beverages and hand crafted herbal "pills". I think there is even a section on distilling your own essential oils. There is also Botany in a day by Thomas J. Elpel. Though it's not an herbal remedies book, if you choose to forage your own herbs it's a highly valuable reference guide to learning how to identify plants based on learning a plant families attributes. So in my book it deserves a place on every herbalists shelf. And I'm with you that Kindle has nothing on a beautiful printed book :).

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    I love anything by Rachel Weaver. She is a lay midwife and master herbalist. Her books are well researched and very user friendly. I particularly like Backyard Pharmacy, because it is very applicable to my area . (USDA 7A/ mid-Atlantic).

  • Wendy
    Wendy Posts: 138 ✭✭✭

    I love Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. It has recipes for teas, tonics, salves, tinctures, and more. There are also instructions for how to prepare herbal concoctions such as tinctures, infused oils, and ointments.

    Rosemary has included an herbal apothecary near the end that highlights a variety of herbs she uses in her recipes.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    Welcome to TGN @Wendy. Rosemary Gladstar is an excellent herbalist.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    Beautiful pictures, lovely recipes, great writing. I learned so much from this book that I bought it twice!

  • Acequiamadre
    Acequiamadre Posts: 269 ✭✭✭

    I love all of the ideas and passion here! I have Botany in a Day (book!) and have been using it to learn plant families.

    I have Wild Remedies as a Kindle (sad face). It is a lovely book but I think I prefer the physical copy when it comes to herbs and herbalism. I am excited to check out these titles.

  • DurwardPless
    DurwardPless Posts: 162 ✭✭✭

    I agree with you on digital vs paper. There is nothing like a real book; the feel, smell, turning the top edge over to hold your place, etc. I get so much more out of reading a real book. It seems when I read from my phone, I am reading small sections whenever I can, which makes study so much harder.


  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Scott Sexton who contributes a lot to TGN articles wrote one on his favorite herbal books, the article is called Our 13 Favorite Books About Herbal Remedies and herbalism. A few of them are Rosemary Gladstar's books.