These days, it’s possible to choose and choose from a plethora of herbal medicine literature. The process of narrowing down your options might be a tumultuous one. Is there anything you’d like to know from our team of herbalists? The Chestnut School is a haven for bibliophiles, and we devour whatever herbal we can get our hands on. We’ve got some classics that will always be on our shelf, but we’re always discovering new gems. Take a look at our hand-picked selections if you’re wondering about which novels make the cut.
Our Favorite Herbal Medicine Making Books
The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook by James Green
How to make tinctures, oils, and salves from herbal ingredients in detail. If you’re going to be manufacturing medicine, expect a lot of philosophical discussion.
Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech
Designed for the cultivator of herbs. The book’s first portion addresses the fundamentals of manufacturing medicines. There are more than a hundred medicinal plants in “A Gardener’s Herbal Formulary,” which includes information on their conservation status and allied species. Cech’s witty prose adds a dash of whimsy to this useful tome. Strictly Medicinal Seeds is selling the 4th edition.
Herbal Materia Medica by Michael Moore
Useful for those who want to learn more about the most often used medicinal plants and their preferred methods of administration. For tincture amounts and dosing, this is an excellent source of information. Visit the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine’s website to get free access to this useful tool.
The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide by Thomas Easley and Steven Horne
In-depth but easy-to-understand instructions on how to make your own medicine. A comprehensive list of herbs is included, with dosages and proposed uses for each.
General Herbals & Herbal Medicine Books for Beginners
Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes
Numerous adaptogens, nerve and nootropic plants are discussed in depth with full monographs.
Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging, and Chronic Disease by Donald R. Yance
A scientifically proven herbal and dietary approach for coping with stress, increasing energy, preventing degenerative disease, and aging gracefully.
Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal by Rosalee de la Forêt
For those who are new to herbal energetics and cooking with medicinal plants, this book is a great place to start. Rosalee provides brief summaries of scientific research on a variety of plants.
The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry by Ann Armbrecht Forbes
With so many herbal publications on the market, this one is a must-have reference for anybody interested in the future of plant medicine. Herbalists, producers, gatherers, importers, and business owners and non-profits all feature in Ann’s tapestry of the herbal industry. Because of the rising global population and the burgeoning interest in herbal medicine, it is more important than ever to keep medicinal plants in the ground. Essential reading for herbalists.
The Complete Herbal Tutor: The Ideal Companion for Study and Practice by Anne McIntyre
Extensive plant profiles and materia medica are provided, as well as remedy suggestions for specific conditions and organ systems. For students at the beginning to intermediate levels, this is an excellent resource.
Foundational Herbcraft by jim mcdonald
In this 200-page PDF, Jim McDonald explains energetics in an easy-to-understand and fascinating manner, and his articles on the subject are included. Herbal acts can be divided into three categories by Jim: fundamental, primary, and secondary. Jim’s classification is useful since it helps to organize the topic. Find out more about Jim’s work and download a printable PDF of it here.
The Gift of Healing Herbs: Plant Medicines and Home Remedies for a Vibrantly Healthy Life by Robin Rose Bennett
The author uses exquisite words to take us on a tour of some of our most restorative herbs. A treasure trove of stories, recipes, and rituals for cultivating a close relationship with plants.
Herbal Healing for Women: Simple Home Remedies for All Ages by Rosemary Gladstar
Material that is both comprehensive and interesting to read. The only book Juliet brought to Central America on a three-month journey was this one, and she never got tired of reading it. Many recipes and formulas make information readily available.
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family by Rosemary Gladstar
Excellent beginner’s guide and recipe treasury from the herbal fairy godmother herself.
The Modern Herbal by Maude Grieve
To date, this classic treatise on herbs has been in print since 1931. It includes information on their cultivation and folklore, as well as their medical, gastronomic, cosmetic, and economic aspects. Free to download from the internet.
Juliet Blankespoor’s next book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating & Handcrafting Herbal Remedies, is the final item on our list of upcoming releases. To our knowledge, this is the only book of its kind to include such a wealth of information on the propagation, soils, and substrates needed to successfully grow and harvest medicinal plants.
Folk Herbalism & Herbal Traditions
African American Folk Healing by Stephanie Mitchem
A fascinating look at African American folk healing techniques, including plants, rituals, and charms, and how they evolved over time from enslavement to the Great Migration. Mitchem also examines how these techniques have continued into the modern era, and how they have intertwined with alternative therapies.
A Reference Guide to Medicinal Plants: Herbal Medicine Past and Present by John Crellin and Jane Philpott
This guide is a treasure trove of old-timey herbal wisdom and little-known local medicinals based on Tommie Bass’s teachings. Interviewing Bass and quoting him verbatim, the authors present his insights on a number of different plants. In addition to the academic discussion, there are some essential safety details. The book, which includes information on over 700 different plants, combines traditional knowledge with cutting-edge scientific research. This is a great resource for anyone interested in the history of plants and their medicinal properties.
Working the Roots: Over 400 Years of Traditional African American Healing by Michele Lee
A fascinating look at the merger of healing practices between African-Americans and Native Americans in the Americas. Interviews with herbalists and traditional healers are featured in this book.
African Ethnobotany in the Americas edited by Robert Voeks and John Rashford
This book examines the complicated relationship between plant use and meaning among the descendants of Africans in the New World, providing a thorough assessment of ethnobotanical knowledge and skills among the African diaspora in the Americas.
African American Slave Medicine: Herbal and Non-Herbal Treatments by Herbert C. Covey
Before and during the Civil War, Covey examines how enslaved African Americans cared for their own well-being. Many plant-based and non-plant treatments utilized by African American folk practitioners are documented from conversations with former slaves. Using current scientific research to back up each herb and plant mentioned, this book sheds light on the efficacy and safety of these traditional treatments.
African Medicine: A Complete Guide to Yoruba Healing Science and African Herbal Remedies by Dr. Tariq M. Sawandi, PhD
Using the healing wisdom of West African and Caribbean herbs, roots, and gemstones, as well as current scientific methods, this book explores the history, philosophy, technique, and medicinal use of these plants to treat chronic ailments.
American Indian Healing Arts: Herbs, Rituals, and Remedies for Every Season of Life by E. Barrie Kavasch and Karen Baar
Herbalist and ethnobotanist E. Barrie Kavasch draws on a lifetime of research with Native healers to combine plant lore, history, and living tradition. More than 60 easy-to-use herbal treatments, as well as instructions for putting together a basic American Indian medicine chest, are at the center of the book.
The Cherokee Herbal: Native Plant Medicine from the Four Directions by J.T. Garrett
“J.T. Garrett is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina,” says Chestnut student Jared Wolf. He is a well-respected doctor and a powerful healer. The book discusses the history of medicine in my people and the role that plants have had in our lives. Since the rituals and words involved in them are revered, he does not divulge them. He does, however, mention many plants and their uses, as well as interesting anecdotes, so that people might learn more about them.”
Folk Wisdom and Mother Wit: John Lee—An African American Herbal Healer by John Lee and Arvilla Payne-Jackson
This book discusses John Lee’s approach to folk medicine and the herbs utilized in African American herbal medicine through ethnobotanical facts, drawings, and materia medica. Biomedicine and traditional health care are examined in relation to the evolution of contemporary African-American folk medicine, including the contributions of European colonial, American Indigenous, and African practices.
Handbook of African Medicinal Plants by Maurice M. Iwu
Full-color images and references from more than 1,000 articles accompany this comprehensive examination of more than 2,000 kinds of plants utilized in Indigenous African healing.
Hoodoo Medicine: Gullah Herbal Remedies by Faith Mitchell
In this book, an African American folk culture is described in detail. Slave and freed descendants of slaves in the South Carolina Sea Islands employed herbal treatments from the 1600s onward. The traditional medicine of the Gullahs was a blend of African and indigenous American and European cures.
Iwígara: American Indian Ethnobotanical Traditions and Science by Enrique Salmón
Indigenous peoples of North America employed over 80 of these plants in their diet and medicine. Details regarding plant identification, harvesting, and therapeutic usage are included in Salmón’s book, which includes myths and anecdotes about the plants. Spectacular images and artwork.