I am not just a plant addict.
I am a book addict. A big one.
I am that person who you’ll find rummaging through Goodwill and other thrift stores, hoping to find a lost treasure. Especially an herbal lost treasure.
The most common question I am asked is: What is your favorite herb book?
I can tell you it isn’t anything by Rosemary Gladstar. (Sorry Rosemary, you aren’t my cup of tea. I find your methods outdated and overly complicated for no reason.)
Most herb books are just lifeless or so full of stoic, outdated recipes. Rare does the author even seem like they’ve worked with the herb, let alone even touched one. Listed below are my absolute favorite books that I refer to time and time, again. I treasure the authors and I’m happy to introduce them to you.
Healing Wise: (Wise Woman Herbal) by Susan Weed. Susan is probably one of the biggest influences on my own herbal roots besides my Grandmother. Her books are written in a lovely manner, as if you were sitting next to her. The information in every book she’s ever written is just spot on. Anything by her is a lovely addition to your herbal library.
Native American Medicinal Plants by Daniel Moerman. This book is the epitome of herbal history. It is an anthropological treasure of information for anyone who wants to understand how herbs were used in the past to see how they are now used. It is most interesting to witness herbs that we are told are *dangerous* to use were once used often and successfully.
Native American Ethnobotany by Daniel Moerman. The author lists 4000 plants and some 44,000 uses in Native American culture. It is a treasure. Sometimes I just find myself getting lost in it kind of like you get lost on Facebook. Except with this book, you learn something ~and~ avoid drama. (ha!)
Fermentation for Beginners by Drake Press. You may be asking yourself why this is here since it’s not an herb book, but you must understand: Total health begins in the gut. Until you know how to ferment your own foods and reach proper gut health levels, you’ll never have total health.
Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism by Donald Yance. Adaptogens are the magic herbs that are still not fully understood. Knowing and utilizing two or three adaptogenic herbs in your regimen can add incredible health and healing.
A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions by Alan Gaby. This is probably the book I have used the most. I always double check contraindications before I recommend or even mention an herb to someone in my family or a client. This needs to be in every library. People who teach herbs NEED to teach contraindications or they shouldn’t be teaching. It is irresponsible to leave out such important information.
A Peterson Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Christopher Hobbs. If foraging is something you want to add to your herbal skills, then this is the book you’ll wear out. Take it with you on hikes and identify all the medicine around you. (Here’s the Eastern and Central Version)
Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman. If you ever decide to take a clinical course of herbal medicine, this is one of the text books that you’ll get to know very well. It is an incredible source of information and inspiration.
Herbal Antibiotics by Stephan Buhner. I still have the first edition and use it still today. To help yourself heal through any infection, this is the guide you want.
Herbal Antivirals by Stephan Buhner. I bought this one simply because there aren’t many books based on antivirals. In fact, most people believe there is nothing we can do for viruses, except let them run their course. I’m telling you, that is simply not the case. Get familiar with a few anti-virals (even coconut oil is one), and you’ll have a powerful apothecary.
The Earthwise Herbal Volumes I and II by Matthew Wood. Matthew Wood is an old friend to my library. I have seen him lecture. Every book he has written is a treasure but these two stand out as the best.
Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra. There is no doubt that Michael and Leslie Tierra are herbal masters (if there were such a thing). They have both dedicated their lives to teaching herbs and this book is a wonderful, wonderful text on energetics of plants. If you ever wonder why plants do what they do, this is the book for you.
And my all time favorite book on plants:
The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins. If you haven’t read this book, it is simply a must read. This book has changed people’s perspective of plants since 1989. It will not disappoint.