Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

Thomas Bartram
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This is the most comprehensive book on herbs you are likely to find. That, however, is not to say that it will be the most useful. If you dislike small print, and dry information, you may want to find a different book. Nonetheless, Bartram provides detailed information for hundreds of herbs, including different names, the effect it has on the human body, different problems it can be used to treat, and how to prepare the treatment. Further than this, Bertram includes common ailments and illnesses and gives recommendations for herbal remedies.

Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

Scott Cunningham
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This is a very nice companion to any general herbal. Cunningham provides information on the magical uses and special properties of about four hundred herbs, which combined with the advice on general herbal techniques will give you the basic information you need to begin working with herbs. It’s worth noting that this book’s title is pretty accurate – it gives you information on a lot of herbs, not a lot of information on herbs. If you have a real interest in herbalism you can find books with better information on the magical properties, as well as complete information in general on these herbs.

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

Andrew Chevallier
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Although less comprehensive in the amount of herbs it covers than Bartram’s encyclopedia, this may prove more useful in the long run. This books will explain the basics of the development of herbal medicine and working with herbs, as well as providing information on 550 different herbs. It also comes complete with colour pictures which can be an invaluable aid when identifying plants growing in the wild.

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

Claire Kowalchik & William H. Hylton
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While targeted at a North American audience, this book does provide a broad guide to working with herbs, considering bathing, cooking, crafts, gardening, growing, healing, houseplants, lotions, scents and teas! There’s still room in the book for detailed information on over a hundred herbs, including history, uses and a description.

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