This page was last updated on Monday, 02 September, 2013.

Resource and Guide Books for Basic Herbalism

Ok folks, I've decided in order to really get you on the right path to taking responsibility for your own well being, I need to start you with the basics. I can give you information on various herbs and their properties and how to use them and I will, but more importantly we need a basic understanding of what and why we are doing so. So let's sit back and take this step by step. Being responsible also means not rushing into something but taking a logical reasonable approach and that's what I'm going to try to present for you here.

Let's start out with "Herbal Resources". Without good basic resources, most of us could never retain all the knowledge we will need now or in the future. I recommend some basic herb books that have guided me for many years and although there are many many more to choose from, I highly regard these as my go to books. If you already have a resource book(s) you value and trust, by all means use that or those as your go to books. My list is as follows:

Complete Illustrated Guide to the Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman

Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody

Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Balch & Balch (vitamins, minerals, herbs and foods)

The School of Natural Healing by Dr. John Christopher
A Modern Herbal Volumes 1 & 2 by Maude Grieve

Healing Wise by Susun Weed (Wise Woman series)
Male Herbal by James Green (specifically for men) The Healing herbs by Michael Castleman

The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Woods (for western states especially)

When I need to research a medical disease I normally use three resource books for cross reference. I have used more and I have used less but it will depend on previous knowledge, experience and the illness presenting itself. I have all of the books above and many more but it took me quite a few years to acquire my collection. I recommend trying to purchase three as quickly as possible and adding another when you can. Three reference books from well known and valued authors such as those above should be enough to get you well on your way to becoming a true herbalist.

Next on our list will be "Field Guides". Field guides come in handy when you need to identify plants. I used my field guides quite regularly when I first started wild crafting and learning herbs and their uses. I still use them when unidentified plants pop up in my yard or nearby areas. I only have two field guides and that is something I should add to myself. Rule of thumb for me tends to be three and right now I have two. I use the Peterson Guides and believe i will be purchasing the Newcombs in the near future. The following are guide books for resources:

Peterson's Guide to Wildflowers (I have the eastern edition being in the northeast)
Peterson's Guide to Medicinal Plants by Foster & Duke
Audubon Guide
Newcombs Guide
Tom Brown's Guide to Medicinal Plants

This is a very good start to anyone taking herbalism seriously and will give you  a good foundation in theory, application and respect for herbal medicines. Your herbal library will never be complete as new authors and new approaches are constantly being presented to us all. Tried, true and traditional appeals to me but new information is always most welcome.℠ (Right-side navigation page SSI insertion)