Top Herbal Books for Beginners

The first book I’d like to recommend is
by far the one I reach for most. It’s Family Herbal by Rosemary Gladstar. Rosemary is as James Duke states in the forward,
“the driving force behind the herbalist movement”. And she is for so many reasons. She has pure joy for the subject and her enthusiasm
for sharing her knowledge shows throughout the book. It’s loaded with concepts, recipes and how-to’s
that are very approachable and easily understood. It’s so inspiring to take the teachings
of this book and make them apart of everyday life. Rosemary has been the biggest influence in
how I use herbs in my everyday life and how I teach my students. If you could purchase only one book, this
would be the one. The second book I would recommend is Holistic
Herbal by David Hoffman. David is an extremely knowledgeable herbalist
with an impressive background in both teaching and practicing herbalism. This book is a wealth of information, yet,
just like rosemary’s book it’s approachable and easy to understand. It’s a valuable resource for herbalism for
the home, meaning caring for yourself and family, and yet it also dives into herbalism
a step further. He goes into the different body systems first
with an overview and then he writes about groups of herbs and how they work for the
particular bodily system. He then goes into various conditions and the
herbs used for those conditions. This really provides a comprehensive understanding
of why you are using the herbs for particular ailments. This is the best book I know of for making that
so clearly understood. The second half of the book lists herbs, and
for each herb, the part used, collection, constituents, actions, indications, preparation
and dosage. This book is a wealth of information. Another great book is Making Plant Medicine
by Richo Ceck. This next book is one that should be on every
herbalists shelf who has an interest in making herbal medicine. It goes into medicine making detail like no
other book. The types of preparation included in the book For each type of herbal preparation, he talks
about what it is and when and why you would use it. For those who like precision and measurements,
you love this. He shows you the math and makes it easy to
understand. The last part of the book, goes into detail
of making preparations for specific herbs. It’s really invaluable information. The next book is Herbs: Partners in Life
by Adele Dawson. She is no longer living today, but was certainly
an adored herbalist in her day. You can tell she really had a lovely relationship
with the plants. If you want to get to know medicinal plants,
this is a good beginners book. It’s especially suited for those that are
interested in growing medicinal plants, or even wildcrafting which is harvesting from
the wild. The book is broken down by seasons, which
really gives you a feel for which herbs are gathered and used, even as food, at different
times of the year. Finally, I would like to recommend a book
by James Duke, titled The Green Pharmacy. This book is arranged alphabetically by medical
condition. These are common conditions that would commonly
be experience in any household. You can simply look up a condition, read a
bit about what it is and then go to the herbs for that particular condition. It’s also written by one of the leading
authorities on medicinal herbs. His accolades are too lengthy for me to go
into here, but be sure to look him up. This book, one of his many, is truly a
trustworthy and valuable resource. These books I’ve shown you offer a great
variety of information without much duplication. They will make a great start to an herbal
library or even a nicely rounded collection for the beginning herbalist. For my free herbalism mini course go to

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