The availability and accessibility of information, education, and books on herbalism is immense – having all this access can sometimes be daunting. This is our list of tried-and-true herbal book recommendations, along with some of our favorite herbalists, herbal product brands, podcasts, and more!
Click through for information, resources, and links on each of the below subjects.
When possible, try to shop local! We’ve provided links for select titles, but if you’re able, shop at or order from a local bookstore near you.
Field guides are great for plant identification practice and plant exploration, among other things. These are the books we study with and take with us on plant walks and hikes – they’re our resources and reference guides.
Always remember that field guides are just that: guides. Please don’t consume or make medicine with any plant that you’re not absolutely certain you can correctly identify.
We turn to these books when we want to amplify our herbal knowledge. These books will help you understand how to use and work with a variety of common and exotic herbs – both medicinally and nutritionally, and both “in the field” as well as at home.
The Natural Menopause Handbooks: Herbs, Nutrition & Other Natural Therapies, by Amanda McQuade Crawford
Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies that Heal, by Rosalee de la Forêt
The Practicing Herbalist: Meeting with Clients, Reading the Body, by Margi Flint
Herbal Constituents: Foundations of Phytochemistry, by Lisa Ganora
The following books by Rosemary Gladstar:
The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual, by James Green
The following books by Christopher Hobbs:
Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine, by David Hoffman
The following books by Deb Soule:
Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, 2nd ed., updated and expanded edition, by David Winston
Online and in-person learning both have their pros and cons – a healthy combination of both will make you a well-rounded herbalist, but of course, choose the learning style that best suits you and your needs.
The benefit of online learning is that, typically, these programs allow you to work at your own pace and on your own schedule. These are great for folks who work or have families or other obligations, or for those who don’t have onsite herbal learning programs in their area. For many herbalists, online learning is their favorite mode of learning.
Besides our recommendations, be sure to also contact your local herb farm or a local herbalist to see if they are offering programs. Or check out the American Herbalists Guild website for more great options.
Note – the COVID-19 pandemic halted and/or paused many in-person herbal programs. If the below schools aren’t currently offering in-person learning opportunities, keep an eye on their pages to see if/when on-site learning will start up again.
The organizations and companies we support are ones that focus on accessibility, activism, and environmentalism, among other things. We believe that herbal medicine is people’s medicine and that there’s no need to gatekeep herbal knowledge or herbal medicine. We also believe in practicing herbalism in a way that’s sustainable to our environment and our society.
There are so many ways to get involved with these organizations, whether it’s volunteering, donating, or simply checking out what they have to offer – we know you won’t be disappointed.
American Herbalists Guild (AHG): This organization advocates for access to herbal medicine and high-quality herbal educations, and they support and promote clinical herbalism as a profession. Whether you decide to become a member of AHG or not, I highly recommend their list of resources, especially for herbal education. They also put on a yearly symposium that is well worth saving up for.
Herbalists Without Borders: This volunteer-based nonprofit is devoted to providing compassionate and holistic care to communities and countries in need and impacted by natural disasters, violent conflicts, poverty, trauma, and other access barriers to health and wellness.
Herbalista Health Network: This is an amazing organization to learn about and support! They focus on health care and work to protect health access through clinical services and educational opportunities. They strive for a community-based model of health care that is based on solidarity and not charity. They create community through herbalism by spreading knowledge and keeping costs down through mobile herb clinics. It’s truly an inspiring network.
United Plant Savers (UpS): This is an important organization to support. Their mission is to protect and conserve native medicinal plants and their habitat in the United States and Canada. We recommend heading over to their site and becoming a member, or at the least taking a look at the list of endangered and at-risk plants. This way you’ll know to avoid buying anything with sandalwood in it, etc.
We believe it's critical for our health and the health of our environment that herbs are organically grown. We love certified organic farms (we are one!) and there are also some wonderful small family farms that aren't certified but still practice entirely organic, GMO-free methods.
We suggest looking for an organic herb farm local to where you live, but if you don’t have access to a local farm here are a few options for ordering herbs online, in addition to our farm.
We think we do a pretty darn good job of providing some awesome farm-to-bottle herbal products, like elixirs & bitters, teas and dried herbs, and tonics, among other things. But we also recognize that we don’t have every possible product you might need for your personal apothecary. Check out some of our favorite herbal product businesses – businesses that value sustainability and are crafting high quality products.
We totally support hands-on learning, and one of the best ways to do this is through growing, harvesting, and preserving your own plants. If you don't have access to land (your own or a communal or in-trade space) try a few plants in containers if you can!
These companies offer high quality and organic seeds, seedlings, and supplies.
Like most things these days, there's a wonderful wealth of information about herbalism online. Here's a handful of our most trusted resources:
For auditory learners, there’s no better way to learn more about herbalism than a podcast. Pop one on during your commute to work, while you do chores, or during dedicated study time. Most of these podcasts will frequently feature the movers and shakers in the world of herbalism, and certain herbal podcasts allow listeners to call in with specific questions about herbal medicine and plants.
Of course, we'd love to connect with you also! Find us at @herbalrevolution.