I believe that you hold the power to make the medicine you yearn for and need. I want you to feel empowered within the herb realm. It is your birthright to have the tools to create your own medicinal apothecary; a sacred space to fill with loving remedies made by you and your herbal friends. creating salves, tinctures, or a simple lip balm with friends or family is an extremely nourishing event.
one of the reasons I got into herbalism was because I was sick of reading labels and not being able to pronounce half or more of the ingredients. If you're putting something onto your skin (the largest organ of your body) you definitely want to be able to feel confident that the ingredients are simple and recognizable. I believe that if you can't eat it, it shouldn't be on your skin. Hence why I stick with whole plant infusions into a carrier oil like sunflower oil. Because, realistically, if I wanted to I could make a salad dressing with my sweet dreams oil (mugwort, chamomile, & hops in sunflower oil), and not worry about anything. awesome and simple, right?
I wanted to share my favorite books that I have come to know and love in my herbal studies so far. reading is one of the most powerful tools we hold.
Pick up one or all of these at your local used book store,
yay for recycling!
yay for supporting your local bookstore!
yay for keeping your money in your local economy!
1. Rosemary Gladstar
The Beginner's Guide is amazing. It is simple but holds amazing information that I go back to often. it begins with how to's for salves, lotions, tinctures, etc. and then introduces you to the many medicinals herbs she has chosen.
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health is a more in depth and detailed book, giving explanations and aids for many ailments.
2. Susun Weed
This book is an all time favorite for me. It was gifted to me by a dear friend/herbalist for my birthday last year which makes it feel that more special. Susun Weed focuses on 7 herbs so that you can really get to know these plants on an intimate level. The beginning of the book outlines the Wise Woman Tradition, which is a beautiful explanation about getting back to the goddess. My favorite part is how in the beginning of the chapters the plants introduce themselves to you. Each in it's own unique tone and voice, the plants give you the vibe of their medicine. It sets a really awesome tone and a fun, imaginative learning environment. Magical and unique, a must have in the library!
3. Bonnie Rose Weaver
Bonnie is amazing and her book is an extension of her plant intelligence and kind heart. I go back to this book often because it is so intuitively organized and just feels good. She managed a small urban farm in the heart of San Francisco; growing, tending, and making medicine. I love the book because it is personal and also informative. I learn something new each time I pick it up. *if you live locally I saw it in the Moonrise Herbs window just the other day*
4. Karin C. Uphoff M. S., M.H.
What a book! Seriously, this is an amazing asset to your library. Karin is a wealth of knowledge, and while the information is dense, it is accessible and digestible. I love her writing style and detailed explanations of the systems of our body. There are diagrams, recipes for cleanses, medical advice, and so much more.
5. Brittany Wood Nickerson
This book was gifted me less than a month ago, I haven't really put it down. I go to it for anything from dinner recipes, her "vital roots" kimchi recipes, or her creative style of writing about the lifestyle she lives and insight she gains from it. I have always felt a deep sense of love and praise for the culinary herbs like rosemary, thyme, & oregano and she goes into detailed explanations of each. This book would be a great addition to anyone and everyone's life.
6. Jeff Carpenter & Melanie Carpenter
When I found this book last year I couldn't believe it was real. They provide you with ALL of the information you would need if you were interested in running a medicinal herb farm. From how to build drying racks to the temperature to dry certain herbs at. They lay out all of their framework and how things flow for them. The book goes into detail about all of the uses of each herb, how much they yield from an acre of a specific herb, and so much more! A must have if you're interested in farming medicinal herbs.
7. Robin Wall Kimmerer
I saved the best for last. This is one of the best books I have ever read. "Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants." Robin has a writing style that waxes poems about the trees, brings you to tears about motherhood, and provides information and studies about the ecosystems that are surrounding us. I loved the balance of it all. I will probably read this book once a year. Go pick it up, you will not regret it!
one more idea! pick up a native species book & go on plant walks around your neighborhood or wildlife area. identify different friends along the way! this is such a simple and fun idea for a Sunday morning ritual. you'll be surprised to see how many plant allies are around, ones to help anything from your liver to your heart. it's fun to find a book that lists the energetic and spirit medicine of the plant as well!
reach out with any questions
& happy reading!