Top 5 Must-Have Herbal Books

Herb books2

Ok.  This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written…and that is because I have so many favorite herbal books that it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down to a top 5 list!

I get several questions from readers asking what herbal book I would recommend they start with.  Each herb book has unique, helpful information of its own, and I happen to love collecting them.  But, I know that everyone has to start somewhere, so below I’m listing 5 herb books that will encourage beginners in the right direction, and give insight to experienced herbalists.  In the future I may have another book that steals my heart and replaces one of these in my top 5 list, but the following books are the ones I currently use the most.  They are full of information and herbal recipes!

Be Your Own Doctor



This is probably THE book I refer to the most.  You can tell by the creased corners and edges from the photo at the top.  I have poured over this book and brought it out and about with me many times.  Anytime someone asks me for advice for a health problem, this is the book I grab first.  It is written by Master Herbalist, Rachel Weaver.  She has written a couple other books, but this is the one I use the most!  This amazing herbal guide contains 101 home health care stories.  She talks of common illnesses as well as how to deal with emergencies.

Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health


This book by Rosemary Gladstar contains 175 teas, tonics, oils, salves and tinctures for the entire family!  I am very impressed with the recipes for herbal medicines she has come up with!  I’m planning to make the adrenal, nerve, and brain booster recipes this year found in this book.

Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide

medicinal herbs

This book is also written by Rosemary Gladstar.  It is packed full of so many wonderful recipes – 124 of them!  It also includes a great introduction to growing and using 33 herbs.  Rated #1 Bestseller in herb gardening on Amazon.  I was inspired to make fire cider for the first time after finding it in this book.  {I can’t believe I haven’t posted on this very effective natural antibiotic medicine yet!  Look for it in the future…}

Homegrown Herbs


Making your own natural medicines from herbs that you grow yourself makes the cost of herbal medicine next to nothing!  It is my goal to have as many herbs growing in the yard so that I don’t have to rely on ordering them.  This book has not given me a natural green thumb, but it has been my go-to book when I set time aside to dig my hands in the dirt.  This book covers over 100 herbs, and gives a lot of information on growing herbs, companion planting, pest control, and using the herbs.

Herbal Home Health Care

herbal home health care


My copy of Herbal Home Health Care is the white 3-ring binder in the photo at the top.  That’s because a pdf version is included in the School of Natural Healing Family Herbalist Course.  I printed the pages of the book and stuck it in the binder for easy access.  This herbalist course is an online course that I took a couple years ago and I was required to read this book of Dr. Christopher’s.  If you are interested in furthering your herbal education and becoming a family herbalist, I recommend taking this course.  Just be sure to use this link for $100 off.

This book was written by the late Dr. John R. Christopher.  I don’t completely follow or agree with his diet suggestions of no dairy or red meat, but this book contains a lot of valuable herbal healing stories that are helpful to read.  Dr. Christopher was well-known for his wise natural healing methods, and his formulas work so well.  This book contains most, if not all of his formulas.  Some of the formulas in the book do not indicate how much of each herb to use, so in those cases I typically use equal amounts of each herb.

The lung tea recipe that I use often for asthma, coughs, and congestion are from this book, as well as cough syrup.  I am currently using his eyebright formula to correct my daughter’s eye condition.  {More on that in the future.}

What are your favorite herb books?  I would love to hear them!  I’m always looking for more suggestions to add to my collection! 🙂

Linked to:  A Mama’s Story    What Joy Is Mine    The Modest Mom   Wildcrafting Wednesday    Raising Homemakers


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. This post is for educational purposes only. The information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links. In order for me to support this website, my research, and blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or links to products or services. However, I only recommend products or services I trust.


  1. says

    Hello Jill,
    Great post, I’ll have to start looking for copies of those books in my local library. I recently started my herbal adventures and I am having a great time. I am using’s home study guide to help me. Herbs are wonderful!

    • says

      It’s a great one! I also recommend checking out Rachel Weaver’s other 2 books: Be Your Child’s Pediatrician and Backyard Pharmacy.

    • says

      I have a friend that has that book and it is great, I agree! I would like to own it one of these days, but last I checked it was unavailable to buy.

  2. Jessica says

    As a fellow Christian, I’m a little surprised to see you endorsing Rosemary Gladstar. While she is unquestionably very good at herbals, she is also Wiccan, as I understand. As such, I believe there are more appropriate endorsements to be made.

    • says

      Jessica, I have never read that Rosemary is Wiccan. If she is, I definitely understand your concern. She does refer to things like “Mother Nature” occasionally so I have suspected that she may not be of the Christian faith, but have not seen her promote Wiccan at all. If she did promote it, I would for sure not use her books.

  3. says

    Hello! This is wonderful,
    My wife Crystal is actually very interested in the very same things you already are, we have one baby girl and will choose home-school and also the decision to become a Christian Master Herbalist.

    Please friend her and help her, she has really no one and has the means, heart and ability to do this well.

    Thank you!
    Michael, Crystal’s concerned and caring husband


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