QUESTION: Which books will give me good enough information to safely begin using herbs?
ANSWER: In order to give yourself a well rounded source of information you should be willing to purchase more than one book. You do not need to remember and commit to memory all the information in these books. You just need to get to know your books well enough so that you can find your answers when you need to. I recommend Varo Tyler’s books: Herbs of Choice and The Honest Herbalbecause the information is from scientific studies. Daniel Mowrey author of The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine and Herbal Tonic Therapies as well as Michael Weiner author of Herbs That Heal are more examples of information collected from recent studies. David Hoffman’s book The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal is one of my favorites because it not only includes safety data but it also speaks about so many different topics that a newcomer to herbalism needs to know. It covers general information about a holistic approach, harvesting herbs, how to make preparations (with pictures!), chemistry, actions of herbs, therapeutic index as well as an herb encyclopedia section, shares very practical information about all the major systems of the body and offers exact recipes as remedies to common problems. Some of the most enjoyable books I have read on the subject of using herbs have been by the author Jeanne Rose. Her Herbal Body Book is still one of my all time favorites. It is mostly the external use of herbs and a perfect first book to be introduced to herbs. There is a greater freedom for the beginner when the main focus is not the internal use of herbs. Other highly recommended books by Jeanne Rose are Herbs & Things, Modern Herbal, and Herbs & Aromatherapy for the Reproductive System.