The greatest way to learn about traditional herbalism is to look to the teachers who came before us. True herbal wisdom comes from those who have dedicated themselves to becoming intimately familiar with the plant world. We asked some of our team members (many of which are herbalists and herbalists in training) to share some of their top herbal book recommendations. Within this list, you’ll find everything from botany and keying books to the most unique herbal recipe books. 

Olivia’s Top Picks: 

  • Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman: This is my favorite of the list, because I’m a textbook kinda gal who really needs the science to back up the tradition. This jumps right into the medical applications of herbs rather than their folklore and history, but this means that it gives you an excellent foundation upon which you can start understanding phytochemistry
  • Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb: If you live in the Northeastern/North-central U.S., this book is a must-have for Spring and Summer hikes and neighborhood plant walks. 
  • Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech: Ready to start making your own tinctures, teas, and topical preparations?! This book by Richo Cech is great if you’re new to making herbal remedies and you want to know how to do it, step-by-step.

Jess Top Picks: 

  • Medicinal Plants of The Desert and Canyon West – Michael Moore: I like to think of myself as a bit of a desert woman, even though I grew up on the east coast and now  reside in LA, so this is my go-to book for identifying native plants out here in the west. From Chickweed to Yucca I look to Moore when I’m identifying plants on my walks or when I’m trying to figure out what to plant next in my garden.
  • The Herbal Kitchen – Kami McBride: I’m obsessed with this book. If you’re looking to roll up your sleeves in the kitchen and work with herbs – I highly recommend starting here. I’ve made everything from herbal vinegars to bath soaks and infused olive oils following Kami’s instructions.  This is my type of herbalism.
  • The Herbal Book of Wisdom – Matthew Wood: I’ll be honest I’m still working my way through this book, but the way Mathew Wood writes about plants is truly a journey in itself. If you’re looking to learn more about healing herbs while also feeling romanced by their power and grace – this is your next read!

Nasya’s Top Picks:

  • Always Coming Home by Anja Rothe: This is a short and sweet guide through the seasons from an herbalist lens, sharing simple practices and plants to support you as our environment shifts.
  • Herbal Revolution by Kathi Langelier: This book feeds the creative soul of plant people. There are so many fun herbal recipes to experiment with, from salves + tinctures to syrups + food.
  • Forage by Liz Knight: If food as medicine is your thing, this is a great book to guide you through plant identification, medicinal benefits and delicious recipes of our local, wild plants. 
  • Culpepper’s Color Herbal by Nicholas Culpepper: Having a monograph-style herb book is always a good idea. The monographs in this book weave in the knowledge of herbalist Nicholas Culpepper, as well as astrology of plants and beautiful botanical illustrations that really capture the essence of the plants.

Sophia’s top picks: 

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