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People often ask me which herbal medicine books they should buy. That is a tough question because there are so many herb books on so many different topics. These are the books I reach for most often. It is certainly not a complete list but it may be helpful in getting you started or sparking your interest in a new book. I’ve linked many of the books below to my affiliate account on This means that if you purchase books through the links below you’ll be supporting this website. Thank you!

Getting Started

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs A Beginners Guide
By Rosemary Gladstar
A hands-on book for readers, who want to make their own remedies, includes information on growing, harvesting and making herbal preparations using thirty-three common healing plants.

Holistic Herbal 4th Edition: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies
By David Hoffman
A comprehensive, beautifully illustrated guide to over two hundred herbs covering harvesting, constituents, preparation, actions, uses and dosage, as well as herbs for common ailments.

Alchemy of Herbs

By Rosalee De La Foret
A hands-on book that will show you how to transform common ingredients into foods and remedies that heal; there are tons of recipes, history and use for twenty-nine popular herbs and scientific studies and in-depth research into herbal energetics.

Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health
By Rosemary Gladstar
A comprehensive guide to herbs and recipes for supporting overall wellness and everyday ailments.

Materia Medica

Healing Wise
By Susan Weed
A classic herbal book that sets forth the foundations of the Wise Woman Tradition and uniquely describes the personalities and uses of seven nourishing herbs.

Healing Plants of the Rocky Mountains

By Darcy Williamson
Diverse uses of thirty-one Rocky Mountain plants; each chapter includes an introduction, details on identification, how to harvest for regeneration, plus instructions on preparation for usage.

The Yoga of Herbs
By Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad
A great introduction to Ayurvedic theory, materia medica, herbal preparations and uses. This is useful for the western herbalist wanting to apply Ayurvedic principles to their work.

The Book of Herbal Wisdom
By Matthew Wood
Integrates North American indigenous herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy and Western herbalism to cover the medicinal uses of more than forty plants.

Common Herbs for Natural Health
By Juliette de Bairacli Levy
An insightful and practical book from a grandmother of herbalism, who shares her deep knowledge of herbs and herbal remedies gained through hands on study with traditional cultures.

Herbal Antibiotics
By Stephen Harrod Buhner
A well-researched guide to using herbal antibiotics to build immunity and protect against bacterial infections; includes detailed plant monographs and wellness protocols.

Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West
By Michael Moore
Covers three hundred species of medicinal plants; an identification guide that also discusses harvesting and preparing herbs as well as extensive information on their medicinal uses.

Edible Plants

Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West
By Gregory L. Tilford
Full-color photographs with detailed descriptions of two hundred-fifty plant species in the western United States and Canada, covering field identification, habitat and range, edibility, medicinal uses, and more.

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival
By Katrina Blair
Profiles thirteen wild plants that grow along with human civilization across the globe; profiles include photographs, botany, habitat, edible uses, medicinal uses and recipes.

Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate
By John Kallas, PhD
Identifies edible plants at any stage of their growth, gives color photographs of the edible parts at optimal stages, and shows something fun and tasty to do with them. It lays a foundation and covers plants you are likely to come across on a daily basis no matter where you are in North America.

Natures Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
By Samuel Thayer
Details forty-one common North American edible plants, from identification and harvest to preparation and use.

Medicine Making

Making Plant Medicine
By Richo Cech
A much loved how to guide to making herbal preparations that also includes plant profiles of one hundred herbs that can be grown in North America. This book is written from his personal experience which is the best kind of herb book.

The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook: A Home Manual
By James Green
An authoritative guide to making all kinds of herbal preparations, complete with detailed step by step instructions and the why and how to help it all make sense.

Diving Deeper

The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments
By Alan Keith Tillotson
A comprehensive book that combines information about Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic herbal approaches to healing; organized by body systems there are treatments described for over one hundred ailments.

Green Pharmacy: The History and Evolution of Western Herbal Medicine
By Barbara Griggs
A definitive study of the history of western herbal medicine; this book provides a foundation for understanding why we are where we are today.

Women’s Health

Herbal Healing for Women: Simple Home Remedies for Women of All Ages
By Rosemary Gladstar
This health care manual empowers women to support their wellness with herbs; includes recipes and preparation instructions as well as an herbal materia medica.

The Complete Woman’s Herbal: A Manual of Healing Herbs and Nutrition for Personal Well-being and Family Care
By Anne McIntyre
A reference book of simple and effective herbal remedies for health conditions and symptoms faced by women from puberty through menopause and elder years; beautiful plant profiles give a thorough picture of the plant.

New Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90
By Susan Weed
Supporting women through menopause the Wise Woman way; organized by the six steps of healing, offers herbal solutions for a multitude of symptoms and conditions that accompany menopause.

Culinary and Nutrition

The Herbal Kitchen
By Kami McBride
Chock full of simple and creative ways to use herbs in the kitchen, complete with numerous recipes and detailed profiles of common cooking herbs and spices that are useful for health.

Wild Drinks and Cocktails: Handcrafted Squashes, Shrubs, Switchels, Tonics and Infusions to Mix at Home
By Emily Han
This book is filled with all the detailed information you need to create drinks from both wild and cultivated plants. There are one hundred enticing recipes from the familiar to the less utilized to the exotic.

Food As Medicine: The Theory and Practice of Food
By Todd Caldecott
Using theories of Ayurveda and modern science, offers practical nutritional guidance and recipes to support individual wellness.

The Rocky Mountain Wild Foods Cookbook
By Darcy Williamson
Contains recipes and preparation methods for twenty-eight varieties of wild plants easily found in the Rocky Mountains and West.


Sacred Plant Medicine: Explorations in the Practice of Indigenous Herbalism
By Stephen Harrod Buhner
Drawing from his own experiences as well as careful research, the author explores the ways spirituality and herbalism can overlap, and the sacred relationships indigenous people cultivate with plants.

Plant Spirit Medicine
By Eliot Cowan
We are invited to discover the healing power of plants-not merely their physical medicinal properties, but the deeper wisdom and gifts they offer.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of the Plants
By Robin Wall Kimmerer
The author gives true insight of how to transform our culture into one that honors and respects the gifts of the earth; in novel format.