When you are beginning to learn about herbs and their use in supporting wellness, it can be a little overwhelming. Where do you start? Which books are best?
And it's not just about which books are best, but which herbal books are understandable to those new to herbalism. Herbalism for beginners is a little different to herbalism for seasoned herbalists. Many of the practices are the same, but it can take some time to understand the terms used to describe various herbs and how they are used.
This week, I wanted to take some time to create a book list including some of my most favorite must-read herbal books for beginners! I included books on several topics so you can start your natural journey – no fuss added!
The Best Herbal Books for Beginners
These are the books I reference most often. They each have a valued place on my bookshelf and aid me in learning and growing my knowledge about herbs. While these are my top picks for beginners they are great for herbalists if all levels.
Healing Herbal Infusions by Colleen Codekas
If you want to learn how to make herbal remedies for a cold, flu, cuts, burns, diaper rash and more, you'll love Healing Herbal Infusions! This book is different than the others because there are a number of teas, syrups and ointments to be applied to your skin. Codekas provides over 75 recipes to give individuals an option to treat their families in a natural way before resorting to harsh chemicals.
Body Into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves
This book teaches you about your major body systems and how they should function. It is slightly more advanced than some of the other books mentioned here. I include it because it is a great introduction to holistic wellness and provides a basic foundation in understanding body systems. The book focuses on treating the root cause behind your symptoms rather than just treating your symptoms on a surface level. Groves also includes some herbal recipes to teach you how to make and use herbal preparations.
Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar
This is one of the first herbal books I ever purchased and one I still reference often. It is written in an easy to understand format and I find it full of interesting and useful information. Gladstar encourages you to focus on your health naturally and she gives 175 herbal recipes.
Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston
Ever wonder what adaptogens are and how to use them? This book is for you! David Winston explains what an adaptogen is, how they affect the body and counteract stress. Winston details the “actions, properties, preparation, and dosage for each herb and their uses in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine”. This book is a great introduction to adaptogens and teaches you how to safely and effectively use these herbs.
Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee de la Forêt
Focused on helping you understand the properties of different herbs, herbalist Rosalee de la Forêt helps the reader understand the energetics and tastes of herbs and how they impact wellness. This is a fascinating side of herbalism that I encourage you to learn more about.
She also explains how to transform herbs into natural remedies to treat your body specifically. This book stands out to me because it offers a personalized approach and includes research of over 29 herbs.
The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism by David Hoffmann
Includes a compilation of recipes by some of the most well-known herbalists practicing medical herbalism, this book is a great beginner's guide to understanding various foundational aspects to understanding and working with herbs. He provides an in-depth look at the history and modern practices of herbalism. The book is organized by the major body systems so you can easily reference herbal prescriptions depending on your illness.
The Backyard Apothecary by Devon Young
Did you know that there are several plants and herbs that can be used for remedies ranging from respiratory issues to colic in babies? There are over 50 recipes included in this book that aren’t only good for your health, but good for the environment too!
The Herbalist’s Kitchen by Devon Young
Devon Young is a trained herbalist who’s created 75 recipes to improve your health. She teaches you how to take care of your body and support your overall wellness starting with the food you eat. There are delicious meals to help you improve your heart health, immunity and more!