Finding good herbal books has been a challenge. I few years ago I decided I wanted to start learning more about plants and herbs as medicine and learning to identify plants and use herbs is one of the ways you can start homesteading today. I’ve slowly been collecting different books that teach about different plants and their medicinal properties. Here are a few of my favorites:
Herbal books for Aspiring Herbalists
First is Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia. It’s great because it not only profiles herbs and their uses, whether it is safe or unsafe, and also gives a little bit of history. It has tips for gardening with herbs, as well as companion plants, dye color if it applies, and tea blends. Overall it’s a really great resource for information. The only con is that not every herb listed has a drawing, but I have found photos to be more reliable than drawings and I end up Googling most of them anyway.
I also really enjoy the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies because it not only lists herbs, but also common foods we may overlook as medicinal. It also includes recipes and various remedies for allergies, Hodgkin’s Disease, menstrual problems, and more. It is not as inclusive as the first or the last herbal books, but the photos are a great reference.
Lastly, I love my herbal book, the Practical Guide to Natural Medicines from the American Pharmaceutical Association. There are very few illustrations throughout the book, but the information in it is huge! It includes uses as well as dosages. The book also has an index of remedies by plant (example: garlic is good for bacterial infections, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colds, digestive system, fungal infection and more). And includes a symptom index and lists plants that can help it (example: sore throat; blackberry, blueberry, echinacea, calendula, goldenrod, and a bunch more).
I have a few more books I want to get, specifically about Native American medicine. Do you have a favorite source for learning about herbs?