If you are exploring herbalism at home, you really need at least a one good reference book, but more are better! There are lots of great resources out there, and here are some of my favorites. I like them because they are easy to navigate, have lots of good information geared towards the home herbalist, and are from trusted sources in the grass roots herbal world.
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health – a treasure for anyone who wants to incorporate more herbals into their home care by Rosemary Gladstar (a ‘grandmother’ to many of us who practice of home-scale herbalism!). Fabulous resource for youth, adult, and elder care, with some nice skin & body care recipes, too.
Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech – this book includes directions for how to make your own at medicines at home, as well as a basic herbal reference with descriptions of over 100 herbs.
Healing Wise by Susan Weed – this was my first herb book and will always hold a special place in my heart! Written in the “Wise Woman” tradition, Susan shares her dreams, visions, and special relationships with the plant world. Her book includes philosophy, spirituality, poetry, how-to directions, recipes, and more. If you are interested in the mysteries and magic of women and the plant world, this one is for you!
James Green’s The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook – a Home Manual – a wonderfully written handbook that will both teach and inspire you to confidently make a wide variety of herbal remedies at home. This book focuses on getting to know “35 herbs and a fungus”, most of which you can find or cultivate locally.
Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair by Dina Falconi – a wonderful resource for making your own herbal skin and hair care at home. Lots of recipes to choose from: lotions, creams, dental care, deodorant, and more.
Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Harrod Buhner – this book will be increasingly useful as we see more “super bugs” resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics. It provides very detailed information useful to both beginning and experienced herbalists. Also includes a nice herbal reference for tincture making. Also check out his Herbal Antiviral book, another amazing resource.
Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel – a great way to become familiar with plant families and learn how to identify plants. I highly recommend this book for those who want to learn more botany. Get the 6th edition in color, and consider joining Marc Williams’ on-line class to guide you through the book content – www.botanyeveryday.com/online-classes
Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Jill Romm – a must have for parents who wish to empower themselves and their children with herbal medicine. One of the things I really appreciate about Romm is that she is a mother, a midwife, an herbalist and an MD! Great resource.
Aromatherapy by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green is an excellent choice for those who want to explore essential oil therapeutics. This is powerful medicine, and it’s important to have a guide you trust so you can use it wisely.
Tending the Wild by Kat Anderson one of the most referenced books on how Native Americans managed the land with traditional ecological knowlege (TEK). A great resource and inspiration for the wild at heart.
Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Samual Thayer is an incredible resource on the how to identify, gather, and process wild plants into edible delights. He offers a step by step guide for over 40 plants in this book, and has other books published as well.
Living Wild by Alicia Funk is a fantastic resource for wild food and medicine foragers in the Sierra Foothills, with lots of photos, recipes, and tips on how to grow natives in your own garden.
There are so many amazing resources on-line today, but it can be hard to find trusted sources. This one is by far the most comprehensive and trusted source I know for beginning and intermediate herbalists:
Learning Herbs is a wonderful, comprehensive website for the home herbalist. The site can be a little overwhelming with all it offers, but it has lots of great learning resources, including videos, podcasts, curriculum on various subjects, herbal monographs, and much more. You can access some of the site for free, and a monthly membership fee is required for full access.