The * Herbal * Nexus


in association with

The following herbal books and journals are divided into categories:


HERBALS: Beyerl, Paul. 1984. The Master Book of Herbalism;
Phoenix Pub. Co., Custer, WA 415 pp. ISBN 0-919345-53-0
The book is a remedial herbal (largely folklore, but may serve as an adjunct to more rigorous books), herbs and magical correspondencs, herbs and astrology. There are many tables of correspondences with things such as gemstones.

Bunney, Sarah, ed. 1992. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs: Their medicinal and culinary uses.
Dorset Press, New York 320 pp. ISBN0-88029-774-3
Handsome coffee-table book, containing useful color sketches of the herbs discussed, along with basic herbology.

Amazon.Com Chevallier, Andrew, 1996. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants;
Doring Kindersley. 336 pp. ISBN #0789410672
An excellent herbal with more than 500 herbs. Current and folkloric uses are detailed, as well as preparation methods.

Amazon.Com Culpeper, Nicholas, with modern commentary by David Potterton. 1983. Culpeper's Color Herbal.
Sterling Publishing Co, New York. ISBN #0-8069-8568-2.
Culpeper, writing in the early 17th century, was one of the original comprehensive herbalists. He relied on folklore, as well as astrology, in deciding on the properties of the herbs in his herbal. In using astrology, he made use of the law of opposites (something with a property antithetical to the disease or syndrome at hand) and the law of sympathy (if there was a similarity between the herb's ruling planet and the symptom in question). Together these form the law of signatures, which is discredited as a theory today.
The color sketches of the plants are very attractive as well as reasonably useful. Potterton's addendums to each herb are welcome, since more is known about many of the herbs today. Readable and worthwhile, especially considering the classic status of this book. One is advised to take Culpeper as a period piece, rather than serious medical advise, however. Potterton does not go into the kinds of specifics that would be necessary to understand interactions and contraindications.

Amazon.Com Foster, Steven, 1994. Herbal Renaissance: Growing, Using and Understanding Herbs in the Modern World.;
Peregrin Smith Books. 234 pp. ISBN #0879055235
124 herbs covered in depth: growing information as well as usage and phytochemistry.

Amazon.Com Gibbons, Euell, 1966. Stalking the Healthful Herbs;
David MacKay Company, New York. 303 pp. ISBN #0-9114-6906-0
Chatty folklore from the fellow who loved to gather dishes in the wild. Fascinating reading, but the health information is underendowed.

Amazon.Com Hoffmann, David, 1991. The New Holistic Herbal;
Element Books, Shaftesbury, Dorset. 284 pp. ISBN 1-85230-193-7
A well-organized herbal with a useful section on the best times of year to gather them, as well as making tinctures, infusions, etc. This book is best used in conjunction with a book focusing in on contraindications and cautions.

Amazon.Com Hutchens, Alma R. 1992: A Handbook of Native American Herbs: the pocket guide to 125 medicinal plants and their uses;
Shambhala, Boston, MA 256 pp. ISBN 0-87773-699-5

Amazon.Com Lust, John. 1974. The Herb Book.
Bantam Books, Sini Valley, CA. 659 p. ISBN 0-553-26770-1.
Good section on describing leaf nomenclature, but fails the pennyroyal test. Ie, it does not reliably give warnings about plants or plant constituents. There is what appears to be a comprehensive section on plants as dyeing agents.

Amazon.Com Molony, David and Ming Ming Pan Molony 1998. The American Association of Oriental Medicine's Complete Guide to Chinese Herbal Medicine. DK Publishing, London. 192 pp. ISBN 0-425-15705-9
How to treat illness and maintain wellness with Chinese herbs. A few of these herbs will be familiar; others are most likely only available in larger metropolitan areas in the western world. Fascinating and useful.

Amazon.Com Ody, Penelope 1993. The Complete Medicinal Herbal. DK Publishing, London. 192 pp. ISBN 1-56458-187-x
No book/website is truly complete when it comes to herbals, but this book is well- organized, reasonably informative, and profusely photographed.

Theiss, Barbara and Peter. 1989. The Family Herbal.
Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT. 281 pp. ISBN 0-89281-297-4
More than a bit enthusiastic over the healing powers of herbs, this book is best taken with a few grains of salt. There are color photographs of a fair number of herbs; these are quite good.

Amazon.Com Tyler, Varro E. 1993: The Honest Herbal: a sensible guide to the use of herbs and related remedies, 3rd edition;
Pharmaceutical Products Press, Binghamton, NY 375 pp.,ISBN 1-56024-287-6
This herbal discusses the properties of herbs, taking a look at the folkloric remedies, and mentioning whether scientific evidence has been obtained, or not. He is also very rigorous about discussing contraindications. Highly recommended. One aspect of herbalism that he does not discuss is that some herbs may well take their action via a synergistic combination and interplay of compounds within a given herb.

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Last Updated: March 6, 1999.