An Herbalist's Library: Herbal Education Books


An Herbalist’s Library

Herbal Education Books


As I’ve mentioned before, herbalist studies can seem daunting at first, but the right supplemental reading, when combined with the Herbal Academy’s exceptional classes, can prove to be extremely useful. Since we’ve already covered my favorite recipe books in “An Herbalist’s Library: Recipe Books,” it’s time to dive a little deeper in your herbal practices. We’ve got one more post to go in this series (“An Herbalist’s Library: Miscellaneous”), but for now, here are some of my favorite herbal education books, including reference books and how-to guides (many of which are also available on Kindle as well as hard copy):


  • Herbal First Aid (DIY) by Raleigh Briggs (Pamphlet) - This short guide to medicinal plants includes information on healing cuts and scrapes, burns, rashes, sunburns, building a first aid kit, gut problems, aches and pains, bugs, bruises, bleeding, parasites, and more. Plus, it features cute illustrations by Giovanni Caputo that bring a fun vibe to the educational materials!

  • Good Manufacturing Practices for Soap and Cosmetic Handcrafters by Marie Gale (Paperback) - Meant for the more advanced herbalist, this book takes your desire for the best product possible and uses it as the basis for implementing good manufacturing practices that follow US and international guidelines. It relieves some of the anxiety of manufacturing your own products and maps out your path to better manufacturing practices.

  • Smellgoods: How to Use & Blend Essential Oils in Handmade Soap & Skincare by Kendra A Cote (Paperback) - This practical and easy guide will help you to create your own unique, beautiful, and complex aromas. You will learn how to use essential oils in handmade body products, beginning with how essential oils are made, how to safely store and handle them, and how to determine proper usage rates in your formulas.

  • Creating an Herbal Bodycare Business (Making a Living Naturally) by Sandy Maine (Paperback) - Turn your passion into a vocation with this helpful business guide! This book takes the mystery out of entrepreneurship, providing clear advice on how to develop a sound business plan, identify your client base, create attractive packaging, set prices, manage an accounting system, employ staff, and much more.

  • The Herbal Apothecary: 100 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them by JJ Pursell (Paperback) - This holistic guide not only provides advice for the home gardener on growing and foraging your own medicinal plants, but also profiles 100 of the most important medicinal plants with striking photographs and step-by-step instructions for making herbal teas, tinctures, compresses, and salves to treat everything from muscle strain to the common cold or anxiety.

  • The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide by Thomas Easley and Steven Horne (Paperback) - This particular book is one of my absolute favorites! This full-color guide to medicine-making provides detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for making and using approximately 250 herbal medicines at home, including practical tips and numerous effective formulas developed and tested by the authors, both expert herbalists with years of experience. It is incredibly informative, and I would definitely recommend it for the avid reader!

  • Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, 3rd Edition by Andrew Chevallier (Hardcover) - This encyclopedia is so informative that it rapidly became one of my favorites! With 550 key herbs and their uses as natural remedies for nearly 200 common ailments,this book is the definitive home reference to healing with the world's oldest form of medicine. From ginger to lavender and thyme to dandelion, readers will learn about the chemistry of plants and how and why they work as medicines within the body.

  • Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria by Stephen Harrod Buhner (Paperback) - Though this guide delves into some rare herbs that you will likely never come across, it remains quite informative. The book explains the roots of antibiotic resistance, explores the value of herbal treatments, and provides in-depth profiles of 30 valuable plants, noting the proper dosages, potential side effects, and contraindications of each.

  • Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections by Stephen Harrod Buhner (Paperback) - This guide offers in-depth instructions on how to prepare and use herbal formulations to prevent and treat infections such as SARS, influenza, and encephalitis. Though some of these herbs may be more rare, these natural remedies will fight off disease and strengthen your immune system, keeping your family healthy and happy.

  • American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition edited by Zoë Gardner and Michael McGuffin (Hardcover) - This guide is an absolute must-have for anyone making and selling their own herbal products! It reviews both traditional knowledge and contemporary research on herbs to provide an authoritative resource on botanical safety. The book covers more than 500 species of herbs and provides a holistic understanding of safety through data compiled from clinical trials, pharmacological and toxicological studies, medical case reports, and historical texts.

  • Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More than 100 Herbs by Tammi Hartung (Paperback) - This comprehensive guide provides in-depth profiles of 101 popular herbs, including information on seed selection, planting, maintenance, harvesting, and drying. Hartung also shows you how to use your herbs in a variety of foods, home remedies, body care products, and crafts. Whether you’re a seasoned herbalist or planting your first garden, this book will inspire you to get the most out of your herbs.

  • Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use by Rosemary Gladstar (Paperback) - This introductory guide shows you how easy it can be to make your own herbal remedies for life’s common ailments. The book profiles 33 common healing plants and includes advice on growing, harvesting, preparing, and using herbs in healing tinctures, oils, and creams.

  • The Portable Essential Oils: A Pocket Reference of Everyday Remedies for Natural Health & Wellness by Anne Kennedy (Paperback) - I absolutely love this book! This quick to-go reference guide for essential oils offers ailment-specific essential oil therapies to address common health concerns—enabling you with safe, convenient ways to take your well-being into your own hands.

  • Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves (Paperback) - This holistic guide shows you how to read your body’s signals and support your own wellness with herbal remedies and other natural treatments. You’ll learn how each of your major body systems — respiratory, digestive, immune, nervous, memory, reproductive, circulatory, and more — optimally functions, and you’ll discover how to use natural remedies to nourish and repair problem areas, restore lost vitality, support your body as a whole, and prevent future problems.

  • The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs by Amy K. Fewell (Paperback) - This beautiful guide takes readers through the basics of herbalism, including the different types of herbs and the uses for them around the homestead. It also breaks down how herbs are used in tinctures, salves, essential oils, and infused oils. From learning how to incorporate herbs and essential oils around your home, to learning how to enhance your family's health and well-being, this book is the go-to guide for those wishing to live a more natural homesteading lifestyle.

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