If you’re new to herbalism or healthy living, chances are you’re looking for some good books to teach you the ins and outs of this lifestyle—books that can teach you how to use herbs during times of health and sickness or books that can teach you how to make your daily life a bit more natural and less toxic.
When I first started learning about herbs and healthy living, the internet was my main source of information, but as I continued to learn and grow, I began to find myself purchasing written books from various natural living and herbal experts. Instead of having to search for information across a variety of websites online or having to print and store an endless amount of recipes, I wanted all this information in one, easy-to-access collection.
The internet is great, but it isn’t the only resource you have. Experts have been sharing their wisdom with others for years in person, in workshops, or in books. Sure I’ve taken a good bit of online courses from herbalists over the years, but the more I learn and increase my herbal knowledge, the more I find myself looking to books for information or to double-check myself.
I get asked all the time what herbal books I recommend for beginners, so below, I’m sharing 11 herbal books for beginners with you.
11 Herbal Books For Beginners
Below, I’ve broken books down into different categories to make it easier for you to find what interests you.
For a Healthy Home
The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier
This book is the first “health book” I ever bought! I had been dabbling with some natural skin care recipes for a while, and I felt ready to delve into making natural cleaners for my home in order to decrease the number of store-bought chemical cleaners I was using. This book has 150 simple recipes for cleaning all areas of your home, from top to bottom. I love that I can grab it, and I have everything at my fingertips. This is still my go-to book when I need to make a natural cleaner, and it’s well-used. You should see the little notes and tips all along the margins of the page!
You can find The Naturally Clean Home right here on Amazon.
For Healthy Food
The Healing Kitchen by Holly Bellebuono
The Healing Kitchen is more than an herbal cookbook. While it does have delicious food recipes that feature herbs (I love pulling this book out when I want to incorporate more herbs into my family’s meals!), it also has plenty of herbal remedy recipes to keep you well and help you through times of sickness, too. In fact, there are over 140 recipes in this book.
You can find The Healing Kitchen right here on Amazon.
For Healthy Skin
Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles
This book by Stephanie Tourles isn’t necessarily going to teach you about using herbs for their medicinal properties, but it will help you learn how to use them for healthy, beautiful skin (for yourself and your children). This was the book that began to inspire me to make my own skincare products for myself, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I made that decision. This is a must-have if you’re looking to save money on organic, natural skincare products or if you’re looking to get rid of the toxic skincare products in your home.
You can find Organic Body Care Recipes right here on Amazon.
For Healthy Kids
Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Dr. Aviva Romm
This book by Aviva Romm (herbalist, midwife, and medical doctor) is one of my favorite books, especially since I’m a mom who wants to use gentle, natural means to help my kids through various ailments they will face. This book not only covers basic childcare (from infancy to preteens), but it shares common illnesses that children may experience and how one can approach those more naturally and even comes with a list of things to keep in your natural first aid kit! It also gives advice on when to seek professional medical help if needed.
You can find Naturally Healthy Babies and Children right here on Amazon.
Herbal Healing for Children by Demetria Clark
This book by Demetria Clark is similar to the book above except it’s more of an herbal guide for common childhood illnesses. This book has a list of commonly used herbs for children that you can keep on hand and learn about. It also shares common illnesses that many kids face during childhood and gives suggestions as to how herbs can be used to help in these situations. There’s also a section that explains how to make herbal remedies, a section with herbal remedy recipes to help you get started, and a section about planting herb gardens so you have herbs available when you need them.
You can find Herbal Healing for Children right here on Amazon.
For Herbal How-Tos
Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech
This book by Richo Cech is a great guide if you’re new to making herbal remedies and you want to know how to do it, step-by-step. Not only is this book full of herbal preparation how-to, but Richo tells some good stories from his personal life that makes the book and its concepts more interesting. It’s definitely a good read! In fact, this book is the book that helped me to confidently use mustard and onion plasters for the first time!
You can find Making Plant Medicine right here on Amazon.
The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green
This book by James Green is perfect for beginner herbalists and beyond. It starts off by sharing a list of 35 herbs to start working with… herbs that can be used for most issues, I might add. Next, it’s broken up into sections for each type of preparation where it includes step-by-step directions on how to make the preparation and discusses more advanced concepts as well. One of my favorite things about this book is that it’s helped me to understand how different solvents extract different plant chemicals from herbs and how to choose the right preparation for my needs.
You can find The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook right here on Amazon.
For Herbal Recipes
Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee de la Forêt
Alchemy of Herbs is one of my newest herbal books, but I knew I’d love it before I even purchased it. Rosalee de la Forêt is an herbalist I admire, and she’s very good at teaching others how to use herbs in a personalized, practical way so they can benefit from them. This book covers 29 herbs (most of which are probably already in your spice cabinet), teaching how the herb can benefit your health, how to find the right herb for your situation, and then how to use it in a fun way that doesn’t feel so daunting. When someone in my family comes down with something, this is one of the first books I pull from my shelf to reference.
You can find Alchemy of Herbs right here on Amazon.
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar
This has to be one of the best comprehensive herbal books for beginners that I know of. Rosemary Gladstar is an amazing herbalist, one of my personal favorites, and she has such a great way of teaching practical, valuable information. This book is a great starter book as it has detailed information on how to make herbal remedies, info about common ailments and herbs, as well as a ton of effective herbal remedies.
You can find Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health right here on Amazon.
For Herbal Information
The Green Pharmacy and The Green Pharmacy Handbook by James Green
These books are both written by James A. Duke, Ph.D. who was one of the top botanists for the US Department of Agriculture and has over 30 years of experience working with medicinal plants. The Green Pharmacy is a reference where you can find ailments and the herbs known to help with them and The Green Pharmacy Handbook has information on specific herbs. These are great books for beginners, and I use The Green Pharmacy Handbook ALL. THE. TIME to find out safety and dosing info on specific herbs.