The Home Herbalist Library: 17 Good Books To Have

I have been studying herbalism and aromatherapy for nearly a year now. I have enjoyed each and every day, learning new things and putting those things into practice.

While this is not an exhaustive list of “must have” books, and my library is sure to keep growing, here are some of my favorite resources that I look to on a daily basis.

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All about herbs

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  1. The Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman
  2. Backyard Medicine by Bruton-Seal & Seal
  3. The Herbal Handbook by David Hoffman
  4. The Essential Guide to Home Herbal Remedies by Melanie Wenzel
  5. Home Herbal by DK books
  6. The Complete Guide to Wild Edible Plants
  7. Backyard Pharmacy by Rachel Weaver

Each one of these books has a lot of information, packed neatly.

They do share a lot of that same information, and for research purposes, it’s nice to have several things say the same thing. There are recipes and how to grow your own herbs tips in each book, and any one of them on it’s own would be a great resource.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

I first really got my feet wet in the essential oil world when I got involved with a MLM company selling oils.

After learning more, I decided that I could no longer support the company and some of the suggested uses that others were sharing. Some of it was good advice, but some of it was outright dangerous practices when done under certain circumstances.

My goal is to now share what I am learning with others, so they can get the benefits of essential oils, while using them safely. Some of my favorite resources so far have been:

  1. The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook by Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless
  3. The Art of Aromatherapy by Robert B. Tisserand
  4. Aromatherapy for Everyone by Robert B. Tisserand
  5. The Essential Oils Book by Colleen K. Dodt

These books are chock full of information about proper and safe usage of different oils, as well as recipes for creating your own bath and body care with essential oils (in The Essential Oils book by Colleen K. Dodt mainly).

Anything by Robert B. Tisserand is going to be all science based information, and while awesome, can be a bit hard to just lie back and read. They are more “research based” than enjoyment to learn books. However, they are a really great source of information.


Along my path to Master Herbalist, I have also been reading many other books.

It’s been interesting to learn where modern medicine “came from” as well as different ways we got here. I have also been enjoying different stories about real people and their lives. Some of my favorites have been:

  1. Typhoid Mary by Judith Walzer Leavitt
  2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  3. The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
  4. The Dose Makes the Poison by Frank Ottoboni
  5. The Cancer BattlePlan by Anne Frahm

If I could tell you to only read one of these books, I would have to say it would be The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

This is a truly heart wrenching story about a black woman in the early 1950’s with cervical cancer. She was treated for cervical cancer, but wasn’t really told what was going on with her treatments.

During the time of her treatments, some of her cervical cells were extracted and not only did they NOT die in labs like others, they actually grew.

So much so that her cells were able to be sold to other labs, without her knowledge. Her cell line is referred to as HeLa, and is still in use today, as researchers continue the battle against cancer. How this affected her family will astound you, truly.

However, each of the books is a must read to me. In A Cancer Battle Plan, we are taken through Anne’s journey of cancer, and her natural approaches in treatment.

Although Anne eventually lost her battle, the leaps and bounds of what was learned is amazing. Of course, we all know the story of Typhoid Mary. Or do we?

I was shocked to learn at what really happened to this woman, when it was believed that she was a carrier of this deadly disease.

And, The Ghost Map lays out the start of epidemiology as we journey through Victorian England and the deadly cholera disease.

Which books do you want to start reading? Be sure to pin this to your favorite board for later.

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3 thoughts on “The Home Herbalist Library: 17 Good Books To Have”

  1. Thank you for your recommendations! I recently began detoxing our home from chemical based products. I’ve also embraced the need to change our diets and ditch the convenience/junk food. I’m tired of not feeling well! I’ve been doing a fair amount of research on essential oils and would like to learn more about herbs and natural remedies. Your library of books looks right up my alley!

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