Entering into the world of herbalism is a rewarding endeavor, but it can be difficult to know where to begin.
If you’re looking to start learning and practicing, but aren’t sure where to start, we encourage you to read a herbalism book written especially for beginners.
But, even the process of choosing a beginner-friendly book can be a bit of a challenge, so we’ve listed three of our top picks below for aspiring herbalists, or for those who are just curious about developing a deeper relationship with plants.
Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel
This book is a self-proclaimed “passport to identifying plants and their uses.” Botany in a Day introduces readers to the 8 main types of plant families, helping plant lovers identify different species and their medicinal purposes.
With colorful illustrations and helpful descriptions, this book lays a great foundation for understanding plants further.
Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffmann
This comprehensive textbook may not be a “beach read,” but it is essential for anyone looking to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the medicinal properties of plants.
By going into detail regarding the chemical structure and physiological effect of various plants, this book is a complete handbook for any beginning or advanced practitioner looking to delve into their practice further.
The Healing Power of Garlic by Paul Bergner
We love The Healing Power of Garlic because it’s divided into four easily digestible and engaging sections: “Garlic in the Past,” “Garlic Today: Traditional and Natural Medicine,” “Garlic Today: Scientist Studies,” and “Garlic and Disease.”
This detailed handbook to everything garlic explains a lot about not only the plant itself, but historical herbalism, scientific studies, and different disease treatments.
Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use by Rosemary Gladstar
If you’re looking for a step-by-step walkthrough of practicing herbalism, look no further! Long-revered herbalist Rosemary Gladstar compiled an abundance of knowledge into this guide, which very clearly explains the process of growing herbs and creating different remedies at home.
Have a run-in with poison ivy? Gladstar explains how to make an aloe lotion. Experiencing sluggishness and slow digestion? This book gives a tutorial on how to make a dandelion-burdock tincture. Experiencing stress? There’s a step-by-step on how to brew a delicious lavender-lemon tea.
The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide by Steven Horne and Thomas Easley
This is another great beginner-friendly guide that we recommend. With detailed color illustrations, this book explains how to make 250 herbal medicines at home.
This book also lays out the principles of herbal formulation, while providing direction on how to prepare single herbs. This is a procedure that is not usually discussed in other herbal reference books, so this is a great additional resource for the budding herbal practitioner.