Health Medicine Herbs - Natural Healing Books
Health and Medicine Herbs Reference Books
In this internet age, when all information in the world seems only a mouse click away, many believe we have outgrown the need for books, and that the death of print is imminent. But the information you find on the surfing the web is only the glittery surface of a deep sea of knowledge. If you really want to learn about herbs you need at least three good reference books; preferable the old-fashioned, physical, hold it in your hands and read in your favorite chair by lamplight even if the lights go out kind. These herbals, especially the older ones, can be challenging to read, not only for the archaic English, but also because they were written at a time when people had common knowledge of plants, how to identify them, grow them, preserve them, and make them into medicine and food to sustain themselves and their families, and assume this level of knowledge on the part of the reader. The selection of books here, and the authors quoted from them throughout this website, are the ones in my personal bookcase. While you can find most of them by searching online bookstores, many hidden treasures populate the dusty shelves of second-hand bookstores in your town. If you are lucky enough to find one still in business consider giving them your support.
- 48 Mabey, Richard . "New Age Herbalist, The ", Fireside (1988)
The herbs in this glossary are listed under their botanical families, emphasizing the similarities between related plants.
- 602 Authors of Prevention . "Doctors Book of Home Remedies, The", Bantam Books/Rodale Press (1991)
Good source of easy home remedies for common illness. Use everyday household items to replace expensive OTC preparations
- 52 Balch, Phyllis A. CNC . "Prescription for Herbal Healing", Avery (2002)
This is a good book to have, and is very well researched. The drawback is an over reliance on the Western view of herbs as simply another type of drug - and not enough of the whole herb tradition that I favor.
- 50 Blanchan, Netje . "Wild Flowers worth Knowing", Doubleday (1917)
A gem of a book - for all of us who value the beauty of wildflowers and herbs. The author's love of the subject shines through to the reader, and her plant and flower descriptions are flowing and beautiful.
- 55 Brown, Alice Cook . "Early American Herb Recipes", Dover (2001)
A wealth of information on the uses of herbs by homemakers of the past through more than 500 authentic recipes as they appeared in their original sources.
- 67 Brown, Deni . "Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses", Dorling Kindersley (1995)
The beautiful book is well worth its place on your bookshelf. I find myself referring to it often, especially to sort out conflicting information about botanical names and exotic plants.
- 43 Cech, Richo . "Making Plant Medicine", Horizon Herbs (2000)
This is an excellent resource for those who want clear and concise information on making herbal medicines at home. Very easy to read and understand, there is information here for beginners, and for advanced home herbalists.
- 62 Charlotte Erichsen-Brown . "Medicinal and Other Uses of North American Plants", Dover (1979)
Chronological historical citations document 500 years of usage of plants, trees, and shrubs native to eastern Canada, northeastern U.S. Also complete identifying information. Well documented and detailed descriptions of herbs and plants used by the Native tribes and settlers of early North America
- 59 Chase, Dr. . "Dr. Chase's Recipes", (0000)
Dr. Chase, a traveling physician in the mid 1800s, published a book of 800 recipes for health remedies, drinks, livestock cures, etc that was a mainstay in households across early America. Some of these early Eclectic remedies are still good today, some not, but the reader will get a fascinating glimpse into how our forefathers lived. The book has been reprinted, Kessinger Publishing, LLC (June 29, 2008), and original copies are battered and timeworn, but still available.
- 608 Colonial Dames of America . "Herbs and Herb Lore of Colonial America", Dover (1970)
public domain first compiled in 1970
- 613 Crellin, John K., Jane Philpott . "Herbal Medicine Past and Present", Duke University Press (1990)
- 14 Culpeper, Nicholas . "Culpeper's Complete Herbal", Foulsham (1653)
Culpeper's Complete Herbal gives the reader a peek into the world view of 17th century thought and medicine. Culpeper was quite the rebel in his time, and diatribes against the establishment medical practitioners is infused with a dry wit and intelligence.
- 60 David F. Vennells . "Bach's Flower Remedies for Beginners", Llewellyn Publications (2001)
This book gives a simple explanation of what the Bach Flower Essences are and how they can be used in everyday. Good information on how to apply Bach's remedies to improve everyday life.
- 15 Dawson, Adele . "Herbs: Partners in Life", Healing Arts Press (2000)
Adele Dawson's classic guide to the seasonal use of herbs for food, drink, and medicine x Clear directions for growing and using many wild and cultivated herbs.
- 51 De Bairacli Levy, Juliette . "Common Herbs for Natural Health", Faber & Faber (1974)
Lore and uses for 200 herbs, 97 illustrated. Down-to-earth wisdom and practical hands-on knowledge. Foreword by Rosemary Gladstar
- 61 E.A. Wallace Budge . "The Divine Order of the Craft of the Herbalist", Society of Herbalists (1927)
Wonderful reference to the history of herbal medicine, with particular detail on Egyptian herbology. first published by Culpepper House by the Society of Herbalists, London (1928)
- 39 Editors of Prevention Health Books . "Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats", Rodale ()
An owner's manual and a godsend--no four-legged home should be without it
- 615 Elpel, Thomas J. . "Botany in a Day, 5th Edition", HOPS Press (Jan 2004)
Fun and easy way to identify plants. Teaches you how to recognise common patterns in the wonderful world of plants all around you. Highly recommended for anyone who ever wondered what is that plant?
- 33 Ericksen, Marlene . "Healing with Aromatherapy", McGraw-Hill (2000)
Comprehensive overview of the principles of aromatherapy. Gives more evidence based background than most .
- 37 Falconi, Dina . "Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair", Ceres (1997)
A master herbalist's guide to natural personal care. A great book - formulas range from simple to complex - with easy to follow directions.
- 601 Fernie, W.T. M.D. . "Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure", Boericke & Tafel. (1897)
This medicinal herbal text from the late 1890s of England is a good example of the trend of medicine towards scientific methods of testing and using medicinal plants and herbs. This book is part of our heritage and is in the public domain.
- 38 Foster, Steven and Yue . "Herbal Emissaries", Healing Arts Press (1992)
Anyone wishing a deeper understanding of Chinese herbs, their uses and histories will appreciate this beautifully written and easily read book.
- 607 Gibbons, Euell . "Stalking the Healthful Herbs", Alan Hood (1966)
Great book for those wishing to learn more about using wild plants and herbs for food. Full of recipes and written in a very accessible homey style.
- 17 Gladstar, Rosemary . "Herbal Healing for Women", Fireside (1993)
Rosemary Gladstar has a very powerful and personal way of writing that makes you feel like you could be talking to an old friend over a cup of herbal tea in a cozy kitchen. Understandable for beginners, a good reference to more advanced users.
- 10 Grieve, Maud . "A Modern Herbal", Harcourt (1931)
A truly encyclopedic work, the two-volume set describes well over 800 different species of herbs, grasses, mushrooms, shrubs and trees.
- 11 Grieve, Maud . "Modern Herbal Volume 2", Harcourt (1931)
Volume 2 of the fullest, most exact, most useful compilation of herbal material.
- 24 Hermann, Matthias . "Herbs & Medicinal Flowers", ()
Out of print classic, wonderful color engravings by Redoute', Daffinger and several other artists. Good, succinct information, good indexing.
- 610 Hoffmann, David . "Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine", Healing Arts Press (2010-12-15)
Excellent reference - solid herbal information - written with an eye on both the science and folklore of medicinal plants with a good dose of common sense.
- 27 James, Ph.D. . "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook", Rodale Books (2000)
Well written and informative guide to common herbs, this book was on of my first introductions to herbal medicine.
- 58 John Gerard . "Gerard's Herbal", (0000)
Gerard's Herbal is the best selling herbal of all time, exceeding the number of copies printed of any other, because it has been reproduced in modern times.
- 68 Kavasch, E. Barrie, Barr, Karren . "American Indian Healing Arts", Bantam (1999)
American Indian Healing Arts is a magical blend of plant lore, history, and living tradition that draws on a lifetime of study with native healers by herbalist and ethnobotanist E. Barrie Kavasch.
- 29 Lavender, Mrs . "Mrs. Lavender's Herbal Book", Mellifont Press (1930)
Classic 1930 herbal. Great home remedies
- 49 Lehner , Ernst and Johanna . "Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees", DOVER (2003)
If you are as facinated as I am by the myths and symbolism of plants, pick up this book from Dover. It is in their clip art collection, but the text as well as the illustrations make great reading
- 57 Li Shih-Chen . "Chinese Medicinal herbs", Dover (1578)
As a basis for modern-day holistic medicine, Chinese Medicinal Herbs provides an invaluable compendium for practitioners of alternative healing methods.
- 46 Millspaugh, Charles F. . "American Medicinal Plants", Dover Publications (0000)
The Dover edition, first published in 1974 is a one-volume, unabridged, republication of the work as published in 1882. This book is a must have for anyone interested in North American medicinal plants, however one major drawback in the plates, while still gorgeous are poor quality black and white.
- 65 Muller-Ebeling, Claudia ,Wolf-Deieter Storl . "Witchcraft Medicine", Inner Traditions (1998)
Through study of ancient and medieval texts and artwork, the authors explore the demonization of natures healing powers and plants associated with witches.
- 30 Newmark, Thomas M. . "Beyond Aspirin", SCB (2000)
The scientific basis for many herbs used in traditional herbal medicine is explained, along with some of the drawbacks of the mainstream pharmaceutical approach.
- 26 Ody, Penelope . "Home Herbal", Dorling Kindersley (1995)
Especially valuable here are the lists of ingredients and proportions for making herbal mixes at home:
- 612 Orly, Cal . "The Healing Powers of Vinegar", Kinsington Books (January 1,)
Easy to use guide to the never ending uses of vinegar
- 606 Pengelly, Andrew, BA ND . "Constituents of Medicinal Plants, The", CABI (204)
The book explains how plant chemicals are classified and what their properties are. Important knowledge for those wishing to truly understand how plant chemistry works to heal us. Expensive book, so keep a lookout for used copies.
- 25 Pleasant, Barbara . "Whole Herb, The", Square One ()
practical, and easy-to-follow guide to the many uses of herbs
- 54 Plymouth Antiquarian Society . "The Plimoth Colony Cook Book", Dover (2005)
Authentic collection of 17th- and 18th-century cooking lore and wisdom includes recipes passed down from generation to generation
- 16 Readers Digest . "Magic and Medicine of Plants", ()
I was surprised how much I liked this book, not being a Readers Digest fan. Filled with beautiful color photographs of Herbs and plants with good details on history of uses, habitat, origins and how to identify plants in the wild.
- 604 Robbers, James E. ,PhD, Tyler, Varro E. PhD,ScD . "Tylers Herbs of Choice", Hawthorn Herbal Press (1999)
Very well regarded, practical information
- 611 Sievers, A.F . "The Herb Hunters Guide.", Trinity Press (1930, repr)
Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC)
- 56 Smith, A.W. . "A Gardener's Handbook of Plant Names:", Dover (1997)
Definitions of botanical names in general usage with information on their derivation and guides to pronunciation.
- 603 Tierra, Michael, Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa & . "Ayurvedic Herbs, The Way Of", Lotus Press (2008)
Good source of easy home remedies for common illness. Use everyday household items to replace expensive OTC preparations. This book is a good contemporary introduction for both students and practitioners of Ayurvedic herbology.
- 40 Tilford,Gregory L. . "Herbs for Pets", BowTie Press (2001)
The authors, both herbalists discuss the connection between herbs and diet and give guidelines for feeding dogs and cats. The bulk of the book is a 191-page guide to herbs for animals.
- 23 Tisserand, Robert B . "Art of Aromatherapy,The ", Healing Arts (1977)
Robert Tisserand is often called the father of modern aromatherapy, and his book is fact filled and easy to read.
- 53 Usha Lad & Dr. Vasant Lad . "Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing", The Ayurvedic Press (2006)
An authentic guide to the Ayurvedic approach to food and tasty vegetarian cooking. The recipes are formulated using herbs and spices to help balance the constitution of each person.
- 47 Walji, Hasnain Ph.D. . "Healing Power of Aromatherapy,The ", Prima Lifestyles (1996)
The book explains how the various essential oils work and how the average person can use them (baths, massages, skin care, and room fragrances). Walji also talks about various ailments/illnesses and the use of these oils for treating them naturally.
- 42 Weed, Susun . "New Menopausal Years", Ashtree (2002)
I like Susun's warm and folksy way of writing. Very wise and informative. Great selection of home herbal formulations and information for women to be able to take charge of their own health.
- 63 Weiss, Gaea and Shandor . "Healing Herbs, The", Rodale (1985)
Practical and full of how-to information on herbs. Good growing and harvesting advice.
- 614 Weiss, Rudolf Fritz M.D . "Herbal Medicine", AB Arcanum (1988)
Translated from the original German Lehrbuch der Phytotherapie (1960) Herbal Medicine is an indispensable modern text in the field of medical herbalism.
- 36 White, Linda B. M.D. . "The Herbal Drugstore", Rodale (2003)
Good book for those who are looking to complement drugs with herbs, very heavy reliance on lab studies and not much on traditional herbal wisdom. I first found this book at the local library, and found it instructional enough to buy a copy.
- 1 Worwood, Valerie Ann . "Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy,The ", New World Library (1993)
This is the perfect starter book for aromatherapy. Tons of information about essential oils and some really good recipes for use.
- 64 Yronwode, Catherine . "HooDoo Herb and Root Magic", Lucky Mojo Curio Company (2002)
Accurate botanical information on roots and herbs used in African-American conjure and hoodoo
Online Reference Sources
- German Commission E Monographs
The German Commission E is rather like an FDA of herbs, and is one of the most respected world organizations in the field of for herbal drugs and preparations from medicinal plants. It was established in by the Minister of Health in Germany in 1978.
ABC's quarterly, peer-reviewed scientific journal. Free articles online - membership allows access to all articles plus the written journal.
- Mountain Rose Herbs
Mountain Rose Herbs is quality source of bulk herbs but offered much more than just an online store. Their website has many pages of herbal information included in herb profiles, blog posts and articles as well as a directory of training programs for herbalists.
- Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
Accurate and trustworthy online tool for researching the actions and properties of herbs.
- Environmental Working Group
(EWG) A nonprofit dedicated to providing good information and ratings on toxic consumer products including household furnishings, cleaning supplies, food and cosmetics.
- Jim Robbins
Environmental and science journalism.
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Publishes papers on medicinal and other useful indigenous plants as well as their bioactive compounds. Some open access - some articles behind paywall.
- Henriettes Herbal
Online repository of public domain books from the Eclectic Medical period in the 1880s and 90s including King's American Dispensatory, 1898.
Looking for something you can read offline? Join our mailing list and get a free copy of Methods for Using Herbs. This free handbook includes instructions on how to make basic herbal preparations at home. It covers making herbal teas, herb infused oils and balms, tinctures, and more.