When in doubt, read a book.

I get asked all the time about my top two or three recommendations for herb books. But I’m a book geek! I have to have all the books!

That said, I’ve got a couple of short lists. One is in this article I wrote in early 2010. I’ll post the full text here soon.

Another, slightly longer list, I’ve compiled at my awesome local bookstore, Powell’s. If you don’t happen to live in Portland, they deliver.

Here’s a still longer list I put together on It’s a good one for browsing (though I haven’t updated it recently). But please buy from your local independent bookstore. Two of my favorites are Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon and Title Wave Books in Anchorage, Alaska.

If I’ve overgeeked you with too many options, my best advice is to go to your local bookstore and open some of these books yourself. See which appeal to you in their writing, their formatting, their pictures, their level of detail for your level of interest. When I was not yet even a brand-new herbalist, I was specifically advised against a particular book because it was “too advanced.” I couldn’t get myself to leave the store without it, so home it came with me. I still love that book and get a ton out of it. So go figure. But then again, I am a book geek, so maybe it’s not all that surprising.

Other book suggestions:


Organic gardening

Medicinal herb gardening and herb gardening

Herbal medicine

Holistic and alternative


Natural medicine

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