I am always looking for great new herbals to read. What are your favorites, and why?
David Hoffman, "Medical Herbalism" - mixes science and empirical knowledge quite skillfully
Rosemary Gladstar, "Family Herbal" - from the fairy godmother of herbalism today, very user friendly with lots of recipes
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs - an old standard with lots of good information
Reader's Digest Magic and Medicine of Herbs - another good, all around herb book with lots of pictures.
Lesley Bremness The Complete Book of Herbs - lots of photos, uses and information
Then, there are herbals geared toward specifics like medieval, specific medicinal subjects, folk lore, gardens, etc.
My favorite herbals are always written by practicing herbalists rather than academic researchers (who are more likely to be alarmist and also more likely to present inaccurate information). That said, my favorites are:
The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood - a fabulous herbalist with an amazing understanding of the plants.
The Complete Floral Healer by Anne McIntyre - An English herbalist with Ayurvedic leanings, this book is gorgeous, full of color pictures, covering lots of common plants with unusual information (including flower essences and homeopathy)
The Complete Women's Herbal by Anne McIntyre - Also beautifully done, with lots of monograms on specific herbs along with the female body systems including nutritional information.
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore - Moore is the grandfather of modern herbalism, he knows his plants better than just about anyone, thorough and down to earth. You don't need to live in the West to benefit from his books.
Healing Wise by Susun Weed - Simple, down to earth, focusing on a few common weeds with great depth.
Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette Levy - Juliette was one of Rosemary Gladstar's great inspirations, she has much folk knowledge from the world over that still isn't commonly known.
A Modern Herbal by Maude Grieve - A classic, still very accurate with tons of herbal history and solid information.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory - An invaluable classic for the herbal practitioner. Clear, concise and accurate.
I'll also strongly second the vote for Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal, well done and very accessible.
Here is a link that might be useful: A Medicine Woman's Roots: Wild Plants of the Gila
The Chinese Herb Selection Guide by Charles Belanger. It is almost a Chinese materia medica. It will also give you the other herbs used in conjunction for conditions. The conditions list in the front is divided into both the Chinese categories,(like spleen damp,wind,etc.)and the western categories(like hernia,infections,cancers,etc.) Understand that the doses are approximate ranges and a study of dui yao is in order. The herbs are used for most medical purposes in China and the Chinese have serious uses for many herbs. This herbal will give you a real feel for what God gave us and how many uses there are for any one herb. It is a fairly thick book. Redfern(?)Press I think sells it.
i am saving each of your posts to my clippings page, and will start reading! i already adore juliette levy and susun weed; they are great teachers.
Some of my favorite titles are;
juliette levy, The illustrated herbal handbook for everyone; she has lived with native peoples with intact medicinal practices, and talks about some herbs nobody else does.
penelope ody, The complete medicinal herbal, big beautiful book with great pictures for identification
Adelma Grenier Simmons, The illustrated herbal handbook; written in 1964, sparked my interest in medicinal herbs
Ed Smith, Therapeutic herb manual; this little book is a great combiner of medicinals.
Susun Weed, Wise Woman herbal
Susun Weed, Wise Woman herbal for the childbearing year; i love susun's storytelling ways with herbs/weeds
Foster and Duke, Field Guide to medicinal plants; this is a peterson field guide, organized by flower color, and full of medicinal uses as well as an identifier
Stephen Foster, herbs for your health; good clear photos and advice.
Barefoot Doctor's manual, published by Running press, a chinese para-professional tool; a tiny book with advice
about body parts and help with diagnosis of illnesses, besides herbs no one else has -even juliette.
Foster's Herbal Renaissance has been useful - well written and illustrated.
Thank you, Eric. Foster is one of my favorite herbalists, and I haven't heard of this title yet. I will look for it.
Some more herbal books.