11 Herbal Books For Beginners

11 Herbal Books For Beginners | Growing Up Herbal | Are you a beginner herbalist or new to natural living? If so, here are 11 herbal books that may be just what you're looking for at the moment!

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.

You can find The Green Pharmacy and The Green Pharmacy Handbook right here on Amazon.

Do you have any favorite herbal books for beginners? If so, share them in the comments below! I’d love to make this posts a great resource for those searching for beginner info!
  1. NancyLee says:

    Dear Meagan – the title caught my attention here. I just made a list up of my favorite herb books per request after doing a presentation on herbs for first aid and the family. Well, I wanted to spice the “list” up a bit so I went to Amazon for the links and also to “grab” pictures of the books to insert next to each title.
    That’s when I discovered that HERBAL ANTIBIOTICS is in its 2nd edition. After reading the preface online and discovering there were lots of changes, I ordered it. Great, great book and so much more info since the first one. I highly recommend it.

    My first herbal book was MAKING PLANT MEDICINE by Richo Cech. Now you can’t get this little paperback at Amazon for under $52! (Except for the kindle edition!) And I love my kindle but DON’T
    recommend getting herb books that way! I like having them in my hand!

    Other early favorites included HERBAL MEDICINE: FROM THE HEART OF THE EARTH by Tilgner and HERBAL HOME HEALTH CARE by Dr. Christopher. And of course, THE GREEN PHARMACY!

    I’ve learned a lot from your blog (and will surely send young moms here for whooping cough info!!)
    Thanks. Nancy

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks for sharing your favorites Nancy! I need to order the second edition of Herbal Antibiotics then. I linked to the 2nd, but I have the first. I’ve also been hearing great things about Making Plant Medicine so I’ll put that on my wishlist! Thanks for your comment and for reading. I’ll have my whooping cough info up next year!

  2. Doreen Shababy says:

    HERBAL ANTIVIRALS is a fantastic book, but “for beginners” … just considering how he can really go off on a subject…
    I also like HEALTHY AT HOME by Tierona Low Dog, M.D., and I might mention my own book, THE WILD & WEEDY APOTHECARY, which offers how-to’s on simple home remedies (and ways to use herbs for cooking as well).
    I have been enjoying your blog and have passed it on to another natural mama who I’m sure will enjoy as well!

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks for sharing your favorites Doreen. I do hear what you’re saying about him going off on things, but for me, the Herbal Antibiotics was a great first book because it made me feel very prepared in case I needed info on that topic with my kids. Same goes for Herbal Antivirals. I’d say parents deal with viral illnesses more than bacterial ones so it’s just nice to have a book that lays the info out there for you when you need it.

  3. Carol says:

    Love your choice of herbals! ANYTHING by Rosemary Gladstar is extraordinary. Love them all.
    Will think if I can add any to your list, in case you don’t have..yet.. by some miracle. LOL.
    Herbal people have at least 2 things in common! Can’t get enough herbals and same goes for glass jars, I find! (lol)

  4. Sasha Brown says:

    Hi Meagan, I thoroughly enjoyed your review. I have compiled a list of 26 herbal books for my blog and I’m thinking of doing a part 2. Do have any suggestions that could make my next list an exciting collection? Here’s the first set: http://www.voxnature.com/top-26-herbal-medicine-books-you-should-have-at-home/

    Thanks much!

    • Meagan says:

      Great list Sasha. Looks like you have a good bit covered there. I really like The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook by James Duke and Back To Eden by Jethro Kloss as well. Also, The Earthwise Herbal books by Matthew Wood are great too. Hope that helps.

  5. Marnie says:

    Healing Herbs by The Essential Herbal editor Tina Sams – very easy recipes, common herbs either cultivated or wild (weeds), beautiful pictures. I could go on and on.

  6. neave says:

    thancks for youre help the boocks helped a lot tare

  7. Lupe says:

    I have an interest in recognizing herbs while foraging. I think it would be fun.

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. Justin Baker says:

    I love the way you broke this list down into subsections!! Our family has always been somewhat natural-minded; my mom was a granola from way back and we lived, at one point, in a one room cabin up in the mountains of Montana with no electricity and no running water. I remember finding my mom’s copy of “Back To Eden” on one of our bookshelves when I was maybe twelve years old – I’ve been hooked ever since! I have a multitude of herbal and natural remedy books on my own bookshelf now, including at least four of the titles you’ve listed here. I’ve just recently turned 44 and have found myself finding alternative, natural ways to deal with my high blood pressure. Thank you for posting these reviews, as now I have more books to dig into to get good, healthy info!
    -I’d like to also share a book with you that I just recently discovered; “The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies”. Claude Davis & Doctor Nicole Apelian have found a wonderful way to take old-timey remedies and put them through the science we have available today to provide effective ways to manage chronic pain, viral & bacterial infections, and general well-being. I loved this book so much I immediately ordered three more copies for Christmas/Solstice gifts this year!
    Live with Joy & Health!
    -Justin Baker

    • Meagan Visser says:

      Thanks for your comment, Justin. I too love Back To Eden. It’s one of my favorite “old herbals” to refer back to. I’ve seen The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies advertised on Facebook, but I haven’t had a chance to look into it much. I’m glad you enjoy it, though!

  10. K Store says:

    Good information was shared, thanks for this.

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