Do you want to become an herbalist but aren’t quite ready for a formal herbal program?
If so, that’s completely fine. There are many ways to learn how to use herbs and practice herbal medicine. If you want to dip your toes into the wild and wonderful world of herbal medicine at your own pace and with fewer costs than in-depth herbal programs, let me share 26 of the best herbal medicine books for self-study.
Herbal School Isn’t for Everyone — at Least Not Right Away
When I first began to dabble in herbalism, it was through herbal medicine books. Blogs were few and far between back then, especially blogs written by herbalists. There were zero herbal schools online, and I didn’t know of any herbal apprenticeships in my local area.
Besides, I wasn’t really looking to become a full-fledged herbalist — I just wanted to use herbs to ensure I had a healthy pregnancy.
For me, self-study through herbal medicine books was the way to go, at least in the beginning. While I later ended up enrolling in more formal online herbal courses, self-study through books I found interesting was the perfect way to ease myself into this new, fascinating world.
I began my self-study by reading a book that was given to me by a fellow Emergency Room nurse who know I was interested in herbs. The book walked you through each body system and taught you how herbs could be used to support and bring balance to that system. It was quite technical, and I didn’t understand a lot of the herbal terminology. Nonetheless, I was interested, so I kept reading.
Next, I dove into natural pregnancy books, many of which included the use of herbs for a healthy pregnancy, because this was my focus at that time. Later I purchased some herbal books that taught me how to make herbal preparations and had a lot of recipes for me to try. From there, I purchased some foraging and plant identification books because I was interested in learning what plants grew around me, and I was tired of having to order them online all the time! And after that, I can’t remember where I went. I think this was the point where I started taking online herbal courses.
The point here is that there are many herbal medicine books that you can use on your journey to becoming an herbalist through self-study.
I wrote a blog post years ago that shared my favorite herbal books for beginners, and you’ll notice that almost all of the books on that list show up here as well. That’s because they’re great herbal medicine books, and I think every aspiring herbalist should have them in their herbal library!
With that said, the books you will find on this list are really my top picks for learning about herbalism via self-study for those new to herbalism, and the majority of them are in the lower price range which is great for your budget!
Best Herbal Medicine Books for Self-Study
- The Green Pharmacy and The Green Pharmacy Handbook by James Green
- Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves
- The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines by Matthew Wood
- The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism: Basic Doctrine, Energetics, and Classification by Matthew Wood
- Herbal Medicine From The Heart Of The Earth by Dr. Sharon Tilgner
- The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra
- The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green
- Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech
- Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee de la Forêt
- Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar
- The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide by Thomas Easley and Steven Horne
- Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide by Rosemary Gladstar
- Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies by Maria Noel Groves
- Herb Gardening for Beginners: A Simple Guide to Growing & Using Culinary and Medicinal Herbs at Home by Marc Thoma
- Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More than 100 Herbs by Tammi Hartung
Foraging & Wildcrafting
- Botany in A Day by Thomas J. Elpel
- Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb
- Peterson’s Field Guides (Eastern/Central US and Western US) by Steven Foster & James A. Duke
- Forager’s Harvest by Samuel Thayer
How To Use Herbs
- The Wild Medicine Solution by Guido Mase
- Herbal ABC’s The Foundation of Herbal Medicine by Dr. Sharon Tilgner
- Herbal Medic: A Green Beret’s Guide to Emergency Medical Preparedness and Natural First Aid by Sam Coffmann
- Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria by Stephen Harrod Buhner
- Herbal Antivirals, 2nd Edition: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections by Stephen Harrod Buhner
Is Self-Study for You?
While I think it would be quite easy to go on and on with this list of herbal medicine books, I think this is definitely enough to help you get started on your herbal self-study journey!
So what do you think? Are you inspired to grab some copies of these herbal medicine books and begin your herbalism self-study?
What book(s) is at the top of your list? Share it with me in the comments below!
Love and light,