The best books to help you heal with herbs

Who am I?

I’m an herbalist, writer, and founder of Botanical Culture, a new compendium of plants and the people who cultivate them. I love helping people find the best herbs to support their health and well-being, whether by consulting, research and writing, or teaching workshops. After training at an herbalism school and more than a decade of growing and foraging, I’m still wonderstruck every time I walk into a garden or browse an apothecary. Great books about herbs inspire the same feeling of reverence for our oldest healing traditions and put the power of nature within reach. 


I wrote...

Nature's Remedies: An Illustrated Guide to Healing Herbs

By Jean Willoughby, Katie Shelly (illustrator),

Book cover of Nature's Remedies: An Illustrated Guide to Healing Herbs

What is my book about?

Throughout history, herbs have been used medicinally to promote healing and vitality. This beginner-friendly guide welcomes a new generation to the trusted tradition. Engagingly written for a wide audience, it presents richly detailed profiles of 60 herbs, including cultural history, uses, tips, and beautiful watercolor illustrations.  

The books I picked & why

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The Art & Practice of Spiritual Herbalism: Transform, Heal, and Remember with the Power of Plants and Ancestral Medicine

By Karen M. Rose,

Book cover of The Art & Practice of Spiritual Herbalism: Transform, Heal, and Remember with the Power of Plants and Ancestral Medicine

Why this book?

As a child in Guyana, Rose was steeped in African, Caribbean, and Latin American healing traditions. Trained in Eastern and Western herbal medicine, she is a master herbalist and owner of Sacred Vibes Apothecary. Her first book brims with insights that guide her work to unite “plants, ancestral practices, and community.” Rose affirms that spiritual herbalism is based on “a relational vision of health, with the understanding that we cannot heal alone in a vacuum.” I love how her use of stories, recipes, and daily practices makes healing with herbs accessible and enjoyable. With chapters organized by major body systems, Rose builds the reader’s knowledge of how physical systems work, insight into the sources of imbalance, and confidence to embark on a path of transformative well-being. 


The Green Pharmacy: The Ultimate Compendium Of Natural Remedies From The World's Foremost Authority On Healing Herbs

By James A. Duke,

Book cover of The Green Pharmacy: The Ultimate Compendium Of Natural Remedies From The World's Foremost Authority On Healing Herbs

Why this book?

Dr. Duke was a legend in the worlds of herbalism and botany, a field in which he not only earned a doctorate but made his life’s work. After immersing himself for many years in the Amazonian rainforest and Central America, he went on to create Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases at the USDA. Traveling widely to find plants with anti-cancer activity, Duke and his team documented the chemical properties of thousands of species. His bestseller is stocked with remedies for more than a hundred of the most common ailments. Among the most accessible herbals for a general audience, this book is delightfully written, scientifically sound, and quite funny. With warmth, wit, and abundant good reason, Duke describes why and how to make your own natural medicine cabinet.


Iwígara: American Indian Ethnobotanical Traditions and Science

By Enrique Salmón,

Book cover of Iwígara: American Indian Ethnobotanical Traditions and Science

Why this book?

Delving into the most significant herbs among Indigenous peoples of North America, Dr. Salmón revels in the stories that stitch plants into the memory of a culture. The result is an engaging repertoire of 80 beloved and well-illustrated herbs. Dr. Salmón, an ethnobotanist and professor, has marinated each entry in this beautiful book in a lifetime of learning from people who have profound knowledge of their homelands. Its title is inspired by his own tribe, the Rarámuri (Tarahumara) of the Mexican Sierra Madres, whose concept of iwígara reflects the understanding that all of life is interconnected and “shares the same breath.” I love the spirit of this book with its focus on narrative and come-sit-by-the-fire storytelling. If you’re hungry for the action and poetry of a good story heaped onto a plate of botanical legend and lore, this book is for you. 


The Male Herbal: The Definitive Health Care Book for Men and Boys

By James Green,

Book cover of The Male Herbal: The Definitive Health Care Book for Men and Boys

Why this book?

This book has been borrowed from me and not returned twice, so I suppose that says it all. It’s also the reason my third copy is an e-book. Once you read Green’s excellent guide, you’ll understand why two otherwise honorable men found the need to hang on to it. With its accessible model of male physical systems and insight into common stressors, Green’s book is a revelation on male health and illness. The ultimate goal of this book is not simply to remedy this or that ailment but more broadly to help men and boys create a personalized approach to wellness based on their body type and needs. Its alphabetical herb list and tasty recipes make this a handy reference as well. May it have a long off-the-shelf life in the home of any man who wants to heal and thrive. 


Hormone Intelligence: The Complete Guide to Calming Hormone Chaos and Restoring Your Body's Natural Blueprint for Well-Being

By Aviva Romm,

Book cover of Hormone Intelligence: The Complete Guide to Calming Hormone Chaos and Restoring Your Body's Natural Blueprint for Well-Being

Why this book?

Drawing on more than three decades of experience, Dr. Romm has written an essential guide to female health and wellness. For Romm, herbs hold pride of place in the art and science of healing. As a midwife, herbalist, and board-certified family physician with a specialty in women’s health and obstetrics, her work combines a deep understanding and respect for both traditional herbal medicine and Western allopathic medicine. Anyone who wants to better understand or address specific female health issues will benefit from this revelatory book. Anyone who wants to integrate herbs into their lifestyle will enjoy the book’s abundant tips, meal plans, and 6-week action plan. Dr. Romm’s big-hearted and encouraging style will leave readers feeling committed to charting a course for better health at any age.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in herbs, health, and flora?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about herbs, health, and flora.

Herbs Explore 10 books about herbs
Health Explore 62 books about health
Flora Explore 19 books about flora

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Illustrated Herbiary, Magical Herbalism, and Crafting with Herbs if you like this list.