Books

A glossary of enjoyable and educational books gathered by the Everything Herbal team. This resource list will always be a work in progress as we'll keep adding new recommendations when we have them!

Informational/Textbooks

  • Ayurveda: Life, Health and Longevity – Dr. Robert Svoboda

Ayurveda addresses the well-being of the entire being – physical, psychological and spiritual – in an approach to health and healing that is as relevant to the modern world as it was to the ancient world from which it emerged. Herbs and minerals, nutrition and purification, affirmative ways of living are a few of the ways in which Ayurveda treats not just the ailment but the whole person, emphasizing prevention of disease to avoid the need for cure. The Ayurvedic principles and practices outlined in this book form a sound basis for accessing optimal health in balance.


  • Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine – Dr. Thomas Bartram

Containing over 900 entries of general disease conditions and corresponding herbal treatments, this book covers: therapeutic action, 550 monographs of medicinal plants, and the properties of herbs and preparations such as tinctures, liquid extracts, poultices and essential oils. **Said to be the most widely owned book amongst clinical herbalists in North America and Europe, an invaluable resource for clinical practice.


  • Culpeper’s Medicine: A Practice of Western Holistic Medicine – Graeme Tobyn

Drawing on the writings of Nicholas Culpeper, the 17th-century herbalist, apothecary and astrologer, this updated, accessible introduction celebrates the holistic medical traditions of the West, and places Culpeper in his appropriate context as one of the forebears of modern holistic medicine and a prophet of the NHS. An extensive new introduction to the work comments on the latest research and developments in the area.

The book traces the development of the Western holistic medical tradition from its origins in the natural philosophy of Ancient Greece to the work of Culpeper himself. It describes and explains the relationship between the four elements, the four humours and the four constitutional types: sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic, as well as explaining the functional relationships of organs and body systems. The book explores the interconnectedness of psyche (mind) and soma (body) and includes a section on herbal medicine and therapeutics with a study of 20 common herbs, dietary suggestions and uses for culinary herbs. It also provides accessible information on astrology and the importance of the horoscope for holistic patient assessment. The book looks at the holistic approach to the preservation of health and prevention of disease, with explanations of the various disease states, their humoral medical diagnosis and treatment.

An authoritative insight into the expanding world of holistic medicine, this book is an indispensable resource for medical herbalists, students of herbal medicine and all those interested in Western holistic medicine and its origins.


  • Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: 550 Herbs and Remedies for Common Ailments – Andrew Chevallier

If you’re in search of natural remedies for common ailments, this comprehensive guide has over 550 healing herbs to promote health and well-being.

Invite Mother Nature into your garden! Learn how to cultivate, harvest and make your own treatments with this definitive reference book for medicinal plants.

From ginger to lavender, thyme, and even the little dandelion, this book is a complete encyclopedia of herbs, plants and their healing properties. Learn about the chemistry of the plants and how they act as a medicine. Create alternative treatments for nearly 200 common health concerns in the comfort of your home. 

Treat yourself with the most natural medicine and become your own herbalist. The helpful instructions are easy to follow so you can start your own medicinal garden with the best know-how. Create the ideal habitat for planting, practice careful cultivation and know the best time to harvest.

The well thought-out format of the book means you can look up information by plant names or by ailments. There are 550 essential herbs with a beautiful photographic plant index discussing their different uses. Learn how to safely and effectively process the correct parts of the plants to encourage holistic and healthy healing. 

Traditional Medicine with Modern Research

A treasure trove of information on the history of natural remedies and the many uses of plants. An essential index for any level of herbal expertise and supportive advice for beginners.


  • Culpeper’s Complete Herbal – Nicholas Culpeper

For more than 360 years, Nicholas Culpeper’s historic guide to herbal remedies has been THE definitive book on the subject. Culpeper, an English herbalist, is the author of the bestselling herbal guide of all time. He offered valuable and sometimes unusual advice on using, gathering, and preparing herbs. Now, this beautifully illustrated new edition, edited and with commentary by acclaimed US herbalist and bestselling author Steven Foster, combines the charm and information of Culpeper’s original seventeenth-century text with up-to-date, modern, practical usage. It includes details about where to find each herb, astrology, and medicinal benefits.


  • Healing Plants (three volumes) – Wilhelm Pelikan

This three volume work presents a new botany of medicinal plants. Based on Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science it strives to re-establish a link that had fallen into oblivion for a long time and to make us aware again of the relationships between human being and medicinal plant. It is not a book which tells us how to prepare and use different plants for therapy, but instead first develops paths for us through which we can gain insights into the healing powers of plants.


  • Healing Plants: Herbal Remedies from Traditional to Anthroposophical Medicine – Dr. Markus Sommer

Rosemary, mint and onions are commonly found in kitchens, but physician Markus Sommer argues that cooking only makes use of one aspect of plants like these. In this illustrated, readable book he vividly describes their full characteristics, helping the reader to understand their true nature.

He discusses the properties of over thirty plants. For example, did you know that St John’s Wort is not only good for depression, but also heals wounds? Plantain is good for coughs, but is also effective in treating strokes and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Sommer demonstrates the deep connection between the character of the plant and the nature of the conditions they can cure or alleviate.

More than just a simple guide to herbal remedies, this book lifts the lid on the powerful secrets of the plant world.


  • Herbal Allies: My Journey with Plant Medicine – Robert Rogers

Twenty plants, including familiar trees like the aspen, birch, spruce, and poplar, as well as lesser-known plants like Labrador tea, cow parsnip, and buffalo berry, form the soul of herbalist Robert Rogers’s medicine kit. Herbal Allies chronicles the journey that led Rogers to become an herbalist and shares his deep knowledge of the plants that shaped his practice. The author weaves personal experience, observations, knowledge from indigenous healers, and many years of expertise from his practice as a professional herbalist and clinical professor to present a unique and fascinating narrative that not only limns one man’s vital connection to plants but also provides invaluable information on effectively using plant medicine for the prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions.


  • Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals (Five volumes) – Dr. Jill Stansbury

Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals is a five-volume set that serves as a comprehensive, practical reference manual for herbalists, physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals. Dr. Jill Stansbury draws on her decades of clinical experience and her extensive research to provide an unparalleled range of herbal formulas.

Organized by body system, each volume includes hundreds of formulas to treat common health conditions, as well as formulas that address specific energetic or symptomatic presentations. For each formula, Dr. Stansbury briefly explains how the selected herbs address the specific condition. Sidebars and user-friendly lists help readers quickly choose which herbs are best for specific presentations and detail traditional uses of both Western and traditional Asian formulas and herbs that are readily available in the United States.


  • Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health – Rosemary Gladstar

Promote vibrant health and radiant beauty, soothe everyday ailments, and ease persistent stress with these simple, natural cures for everything from dry skin and infant colic to cold symptoms and insomnia. Renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar provides 175 proven therapies and herbal remedies that are easy to prepare and safe enough for children.  Offering a potent and effective alternative to commercial pharmaceuticals, Gladstar will inspire you to nurture yourself and those you love with nature’s healing herbs.


  • Making Plant Medicine – Richo Cech

Making Plant Medicine is about making herbal medicine. This is a modern medicine making book and formulary with its roots in original herbalism designed for every medicinal herb gardener to cultivate the full potential of the plant-human relationship. Richo Cech tells very good stories based on his experience as a global wanderer, herbalist and medicine maker. In the context of his lifelong love of gardening, he has produced this long-awaited book that is original, amusing and absolutely useful.


  • Medical Astrology for Health Practitioners: A Healer’s Guide – Judith Hill

This basic layman’s text allows the medical practitioner, astrologer or layman to quickly understand basic medical astrology. World renowned astrologer and award winning writer Judith Hill introduces a few extremely fruitful methods for immediate use to health professionals, i.e. “what every physician should know”. The book opens with a practical “let’s get started” approach for locating the seat of chronic and acute dis-ease within the body. The author presents a simple, A-B-C elucidation of ancient Zodiacal Man, and the health impact of the natal planets and lunar nodes.

Rare material, exciting to astrologers, is included, e.g. “Doctor- Patient Relations”, “Surgical and Treatment Tips”, “Know Your Patient’s Needs”, plus perhaps the most exhaustive sections on health idiosyncrasies of all signs in print. As Michael Burton, PH.D., and licensed acupuncturist says: “If you are a doctor or practitioner who wishes, deep in your heart, that you could penetrate quickly to root causes of your clients’ illness, this book is for you. Go beyond symptomatic medicine.” This book serves as a delightful and useful prequel to Hill’s. classic Medical Astrology: A Guide to Planetary Pathology.


  • Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine – David Hoffmann

Medical Herbalism contains comprehensive information concerning the identification and use of medicinal plants by chemical structure and physiological effect, the art and science of making herbal medicine, the limitations and potential of viewing herbs chemically, and the challenge to current research paradigms posed by complex plant medicines. It also includes information on toxicology and contraindications, the issues involved in determining dosage and formulation types for an individual, guides to the different measurement systems and conversion tables, and the pros and cons of both industrial and traditional techniques.

With additional sections devoted to the principles of green medicine, the history of Western Herbalism, the variety of other medical modalities using medicinal plants, an extensive resource directory, and a discussion of treatments organized by body system, Medical Herbalism is the comprehensive textbook all students and practitioners of clinical herbalism need to develop their healing practices.


  • Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West – Michael Moore

In the first update since the original printing in 1979, renowned herbalist Michael Moore adds another twenty years of research and expertise working with medicinal plants to his classic Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. In this greatly expanded revised and enlarged edition, the book covers the entire range of medicinal herbs found in New Mexico, Arizona, west Texas, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and California.


  • Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West – Michael Moore

Michael Moore, renowned herbalist, teacher, and author of several medicinal plant books, presents a one-of-a-kind guide to over three hundred species of plants geographically ranging from Baja California to Alaska. This uniquely attractive book educates the reader to both native and introduced species within this region. With over eighty line drawings, forty-four color photographs, maps, and a glossary, this book contains clear and reliable information on identification and safe use of the plants; appearance, habitats, collecting methods, and storage; therapeutic uses, constituents, and preparations; potential toxicities and medical contraindications; and tea-making, tincturing, and salve making.


  • Planet Medicine: Origins (Vol. 1) and Modalities (Vol. 2) – Richard Grossinger

Planet Medicine is a major work by an anthropologist who looks at medicine in a broad context. A crucial text for understanding the history and philosophy of medicine. Including sections on: herbal medicine, homeopathy, shamanism, psychoanalysis, cranio-sacral therapy, reiki, and more.


  • The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines –Matthew Wood

Matthew Wood is recognized world wide as one of the United States’ most renown herbalists. His previous book, Seven Herbs: Plants as Healers, was a watershed in teaching herbal healing as a part of total wellness. In The Book of Herbal Wisdom, this is continued and enlarged in wonderful detail. This is a must-read for anyone working in the natural health field or interested in self healing with herbs. For those of us who consider not only our physical relationships to the herbs, but also the metaphysical ones, this book is invaluable. It affirms that when we work closely with nature, and the energies of the herbs and herbal medicine, we all are much better off. This is a work that empowers the reader and gives them a very deep knowledge of the herbs discussed.


  • The Earthwise Herbal, Volume I: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants – Matthew Wood

Noted herbalist Matthew Wood brings twenty-five years of clinical experience to this comprehensive book on medicinal plants. The first in a two-volume set, The Earthwise Herbal profiles Old World plants (volume two will treat American plants). Organized alphabetically, the book encompasses all of the major—and many of the secondary—herbs of traditional and modern Western herbalism. Author Wood describes characteristic symptoms and conditions in which each plant has proved useful in the clinic, often illustrated with appropriate case histories. In addition, he takes a historical view based on his extensive study of ancient and traditional herbal literature. Written in an easy, engaging, non-technical style, The Earthwise Herbal offers insight into the “logic” of the plant: how it works, in what areas of the body it works, how it has been used in the past, what its pharmacological constituents indicate about its use, and how all these different factors hang together to produce a portrait of the plant as a whole entity. Ideal for beginners, serious students, or advanced practitioners, The Earthwise Herbal is also useful for homeopaths and flower essence practitioners as it bridges these fields in its treatment of herbal medicines.


  • The Earthwise Herbal, Volume II: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants – Matthew Wood

In this companion volume to The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants, Matthew Wood, an expert herbalist who has used medicinal herbs with tens of thousands of patients over a twenty-five-year career, provides detailed descriptions of New World (North American) herbs and their uses. Organized as a materia medica (names and descriptions of herbs/plants are listed alphabetically), the book explains the use of the whole plant (not just “active ingredients”) in the treatment of the whole person and describes symptoms and conditions that the plants have been successful in treating—from digestive ailments, headaches, and high blood pressure to asthma, skin rashes, and allergies, to name a few.

Wood, who has systematically studied ancient and traditional herbal literature, takes a historical view and presents information in a thoughtful, engaging, nontechnical style. In addition, he provides remarkable case studies as well as insight into the “logic” of each plant—its current and past usage, pharmacological constituents, and other elements that together produce a comprehensive portrait of each herb.


  • The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for Use in Sexual Practices – Christian Rätsch & Claudia Müller-Ebeling

From plants and animals that enhance fertility and virility, like celery, snails, or oysters, to substances that induce arousal, like ephedra, opium, or cannabis, the encyclopedia is richly illustrated with more than 800 color photographs–many of which are from the authors’ extensive fieldwork around the world. Exploring individual, medicinal, and ritual use through historic and contemporary artwork, personal accounts, and literature as well as ayurvedic, tantric, shamanic, and European folklore practices and recent pharmacological research, the authors look at the revolving cycle of acceptance and condemnation of aphrodisiacs, the qualities that incur the label of “aphrodisiac,” the role of mind and setting, and the different ways aphrodisiacs stimulate desire–either physically, through the senses and vital organs, or mentally, through heightened awareness and altered consciousness. This comprehensive guide reveals these “remedies of the love goddess” as holy remedies whose proper use can help reestablish harmony with oneself, one’s partner, and the universe.


  • The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications – Christian Rätsch

The most comprehensive guide to the botany, history, distribution, and cultivation of all known psychoactive plants.

In the traditions of every culture, plants have been highly valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative properties. The most powerful plants–those known to transport the human mind into other dimensions of consciousness–have traditionally been regarded as sacred. In The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants Christian Rätsch details the botany, history, distribution, cultivation, and preparation and dosage of more than 400 psychoactive plants. He discusses their ritual and medicinal usage, cultural artifacts made from these plants, and works of art that either represent or have been inspired by them. The author begins with 168 of the most well-known psychoactives–such as cannabis, datura, and papaver–then presents 133 lesser known substances as well as additional plants known as “legal highs,” plants known only from mythological contexts and literature, and plant products that include substances such as ayahuasca, incense, and soma. The text is lavishly illustrated with 797 color photographs–many of which are from the author’s extensive fieldwork around the world–showing the people, ceremonies, and art related to the ritual use of the world’s sacred psychoactives.


  • The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America – Robert Rogers

In The Fungal Pharmacy, noted herbalist Robert Rogers introduces readers to more than 300 species of medicinal mushrooms and lichens found in North America. These fungi, Rogers explains, have the capacity to heal both the body and, through the process of myco-remediation, the planet itself. Throughout the book, he documents their success in optimizing the immune system and treating a wide range of acute and chronic diseases, including cardiovascular, respiratory, and liver problems, blood sugar disorders, cancer, and obesity.

Entries discuss the mushroom or lichen’s medicinal traits and properties, including active chemical components, preparation methods (including extracts, essences, and essential oils), and historical as well as modern-day usage. Two hundred full-color photos and thorough descriptions make identification easy for the reader. Rogers also delves into the cultural, religious, and literary significance of each mushroom, featuring fascinating tidbits about each one’s etymology and history.


  • The Language of Plants: The Language of Plants: A Guide to the Doctrine of Signatures – Julia Graves

It is only in the age of technology that human beings have lost a sense of nature being alive. Throughout history, people spoke to nature, and nature communicated with them. During the Middle Ages, reading the “book of nature” was called the doctrine of signatures, which had always been an important part of interacting with nature for traditional healers and herbalists.

“As a child, I just knew which plant to pick up and hold to my head for a headache to go away. Once I heard about the concept of a ‘doctrine of signatures, ‘ I would just stand silently, in awe of nature talking to me, talking and talking in her silent, direct speech. The book of nature seemed so obviously spelled out, and in oddest contrast to what I learned in medical school. My professors seemed never to have heard of nature being vibrant and alive and brimming with patterns of energy that are right there for us to understand and use…. This direct and primordial experience of being part of nature’s omnipresent, cyclic course taught me more in the realm of no-words than any university ever could have.”

The Language of Plants covers all aspects of the doctrine of signatures in an easily accessible format, so that everyone, whether nature lovers or healers, can learn to read the language of plants in connection with healing.


  • The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth – Stephen Harrod Buhner

An exploration of deep ecology and, plant intelligence, and the environmental implications of pharmaceutical medicine, written from the perspective of an herbalist.


  • The Way of Herbs – Michael Tierra

A classic text in 20th century herbal medicine, which provides useful descriptions of the most commonly used herbs in the Western materia medica.


  • The Western Herbal Tradition: 2000 Years of Medicinal Plant Knowledge – Graeme Tobyn, Alison Denham, & Midge Whitelegg

The Western Herbal Tradition is a comprehensive exploration of 27 plants that are central to the herbalist’s repertoire. This fully illustrated colour guide offers analysis of these herbs through the examination of historical texts and discussion of current applications and research. Your practice of phythotherapy will be transformed as the herbal knowledge from these sources is illuminated and assessed.

Each chapter offers clear information on identification, uses and recipes, as well as recommendations on safety, prescribing, dosage and full academic references. The Western Herbal Tradition reveals a deep understanding of the true essence of what each plant can offer, as well as a fascinating insight into the unique history of contemporary herbal practice. This book is a valuable resource for everyone interested in herbal medicine and its history.


  • The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine – Dr. Vasant Lad & Dr. David Frawley

For the first time, The Yoga of Herbs offers a detailed explanation and classification of herbs, using the ancient system of ayurveda. More than 270 herbs are listed, with 108 herbs explained in detail. Included are many of the most commonly used Western herbs with a profound ayurvedic perspective. Important Chinese and special ayurvedic herbs are introduced as well.


  • Practical Wisdom in Natural Healing: Sage Advice for Modern Times – Dr. Deborah Frances

In Practical Wisdom in Natural Healing, Dr. Frances draws from over thirty years of experience in homeopathic, herbal, and naturopathic medicine to provide practical and easy to apply therapies for a multitude of conditions. The book opens with a discussion of basic principals of healing and is followed by a chapter explaining the science of homeopathy. The rest is dedicated to practical tips for a multitude of conditions, interspersed with more lengthy in depth discussions of several herbs, highlighting each plants unique personality and ability to impart spiritual as well as mental, emotional and physical healing.

This book while full of practical advice and scientific references does not ignore the spirit that is alive with in each of us and the plants who help heal us. 


Identification Guides

  • The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants – Samuel Thayer

A guide to 32 of the best and most common edible wild plants in North America, with detailed information on how to identify them, where they are found, how and when they are harvested, which parts are used, how they are prepared, as well as their culinary use, ecology, conservation, and cultural history.


  • Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants – Samuel Thayer

A detailed guide to 41 of the most widespread wild foods in North America, covering how to find and identify them, which parts are used, when and how to harvest them, and how to prepare them for the table. The cultural and natural history of the plants are also discussed. There is no overlap between the plants covered in this book and The Forager’s Harvest.


Anatomy

  • Functional Morphology: The Dynamic Wholeness of the Human Organism – Dr. Johannes Rohen

Physicians around the world are familiar with Johannes Rohen’s books on human anatomy. In this, his last major work, Dr. Rohen presents the fruits of his lifelong study of the human organism. Viewing the various organs and organ systems in the context of the organism as a dynamic whole, he arrives at new and profound insights. Functional Morphology significantly supplements and expands the concepts of general anatomy and offers a new basis for approaching the interaction of body and soul. It not only conveys information, but also awakens the reader’s astonishment and joy at the unique nature of the human being.

Functional Morphology offers fresh insight and inspiration for physicians, therapists, educators, and anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the human organism.


  • Herbal Medicine – Dr. Rudolf Weiss

Arranged by organ system, the book’s clear structure and scientific orientation make the topic of herbal medicine accessible to even the most traditional medical doctor. You will benefit from the newest research, clinical studies, and the pivotal findings of the German Commission E on the efficacy of herbs.

Special features include:

  • In-depth coverage of the state-of-the-art of phytotherapy
  • Key prescription information highlighted in each chapter
  • Superb color photographs throughout the text
  • Two new quick reference sections that maximize your access to the material– by herbs and the disorder they are used for, and by disorder and the herbs used in its treatment

  • Holistic Anatomy: An Integrative Guide to the Human Body –Pip Waller

An engaging and accessible exploration of human anatomy, physiology, and pathology—through a holistic lens

Complementary and alternative approaches to health and medicine have become increasingly widespread as the limits of conventional treatments become more apparent. Holistic Anatomy presents an authoritative study of anatomy, physiology, and pathology, but it expands the discussion by connecting the science of the body to a variety of alternative modalities to explore how human beings exist within—and interact with—their environment, and how they experience existence in emotional and spiritual terms.

Author and massage therapist Pip Waller interweaves basic scientific terminology and detailed descriptions with informal—and sometimes humorous—observations, facts, and ideas about life. The mechanisms, structure, and functions of the body are explored, along with how they relate to spiritual and energetic paradigms, emotions, and ecological principles. The first half of the book covers basic anatomy and physiology, describing each major system of the body and how they interrelate. This part includes a thoughtful discussion of aging and the dying process. The second half focuses on models of health and disease, both traditional and holistic. Topics include western pathology, emotional health, five element medicine, and the spiritual cause for disease.


Indigenous Works

  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants – Robin Wall Kimmerer

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings – asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass – offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.”


Children’s Books

  • Sam: The Junior Herbalist: The Case Of The Tummy Troubles – Angela Rahim, illustrated by Ameenah Samuel

Sam The Junior Herbalist is a groundbreaking book about an amazing ten-year-old boy who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Sam is an urban herbalist and environmentalist. He is passionate about plant conservation and helping his community. Children learn about different plants, interesting herbs, and even how to prepare the same herbal remedy Sam makes. The book focuses on the spirit of ethical wildcrafting, environmental stewardship, and helping the creation – from the smallest to the largest creatures on Earth. In Book 1, The Case Of The Tummy Troubles, Sam is on a mission to help his little sister Angela. Her tummy is hurting and Sam has to find herbs for the remedy and get home in time. Will he make it?


  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein

Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein’s poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.


  • The Lorax – Dr. Seuss

A children’s book, with relevant lessons for those of all ages. It chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who “speaks for the trees” and confronts the Once-ler, who causes environmental destruction. As in most Dr. Seuss works, most of the creatures mentioned are original to the book.

The story is commonly recognized as a fable concerning the danger of human destruction of the natural environment, using the literary element of personification to create relatable characters for industry (as the Once-ler), the environment (the Truffula trees) and activism (as the Lorax). The story encourages personal care and involvement in making the situation better: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

It was Dr. Seuss’s personal favorite of his books. He was able to create a story addressing industrial/economic and environmental issues without it being dull: “The Lorax came out of me being angry. In The Lorax I was out to attack what I think are evil things and let the chips fall where they


Fiction

  • The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M Auel

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear.


  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel – Elizabeth Gilbert

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.


Non-Fiction

  • The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan

Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires, sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control, with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants have also benefited at least as much from their association with us. So who is really domesticating whom?


  • The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry –Paul Starr

Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize in American History, this is a landmark history of how the entire American health care system of doctors, hospitals, health plans, and government programs has evolved over the last two centuries.


  • The Weaving: Plants, Planets and People: Explorations through Time – Abrah Arneson

Between the covers of this book, you will discover a blend of plant wisdom and a love of astrology blended in a cauldron of storytelling and poetry. Not merely an herbal compendium, not only historic storytelling and a weaving of ancestor history, The Weaving: Plants, Planets and People follows the path of herbal medicine from roots in the Earth to planets in the Sky. Abrah Arneson brews up magic on each page.


  • Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype – Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller shows how women’s vitality can be restored through what she calls “psychic archeological digs” into the ruins of the female unconsious. Using multicultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, Dr. Estes helps women reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype.


Historical

  • The Untold History of Healing: Plant Lore and Medicinal Magic from the Stone Age to Present – Wolf D. Storl

The Untold History of Healing takes the listener on an exciting, expansive journey of the history of medicine from the Stone Age to modern times, explaining that Western medicine has its true origins in the healing lore of Paleolithic hunters and gatherers, herding nomads, and the early sedentary farmers rather than in the academic tradition of doctors and pharmacists. Anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wolf D. Storl vividly describes the many ways that ancient peoples have used the plants in their immediate environment, along with handed-down knowledge and traditions, to treat the variety of ailments they encountered in daily life.


Personal Journeys

  • To Speak for the Trees: My Life’s Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest – Diana Beresford-Kroeger

When Diana Beresford-Kroeger -whose father was a member of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy and whose mother was an O’Donoghue, one of the stronghold families who carried on the ancient Celtic traditions – was orphaned as a child, she could have been sent to the Magdalene Laundries. Instead, the O’Donoghue elders, most of them scholars and freehold farmers in the Lisheens valley in County Cork, took her under their wing. Diana became the last ward under the Brehon Law. Over the course of three summers, she was taught the ways of the Celtic triad of mind, body and soul. This included the philosophy of healing, the laws of the trees, Brehon wisdom and the Ogham alphabet, all of it rooted in a vision of nature that saw trees and forests as fundamental to human survival and spirituality. Already a precociously gifted scholar, Diana found that her grounding in the ancient ways led her to fresh scientific concepts. Out of that huge and holistic vision have come the observations that put her at the forefront of her field: the discovery of mother trees at the heart of a forest; the fact that trees are a living library, have a chemical language and communicate in a quantum world; the major idea that trees heal living creatures through the aerosols they release and that they carry a great wealth of natural antibiotics and other healing substances; and, perhaps most significantly, that planting trees can actively regulate the atmosphere and the oceans, and even stabilize our climate.

This book is not only the story of a remarkable scientist and her ideas, it harvests all of her powerful knowledge about why trees matter, and why trees are a viable, achievable solution to climate change. Diana eloquently shows us that if we can understand the intricate ways in which the health and welfare of every living creature is connected to the global forest, and strengthen those connections, we will still have time to mend the self-destructive ways that are leading to drastic fires, droughts and floods.


Animal Medicine

  • The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat – Juliette de Baïracli Levy

Dog and cat owners are becoming increasingly concerned about the safety of processed pet food and the possible side-effects of over-use of antibiotics and hormone treatments This work covers Natural Rearing, herbal medicine and disease prevention.


  • The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable – Juliette de Baïracli Levy

A pioneering work in herbal veterinary medicine.


Invasive & Native Plants

  • Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration – Tao Orion

Invasive species are everywhere, from forests and prairies to mountaintops and river mouths. Their rampant nature and sheer numbers appear to overtake fragile native species and forever change the ecosystems that they depend on. Concerns that invasive species represent significant threats to global biodiversity and ecological integrity permeate conversations from schoolrooms to board rooms, and concerned citizens grapple with how to rapidly and efficiently manage their populations. These worries have culminated in an ongoing “war on invasive species,” where the arsenal is stocked with bulldozers, chainsaws, and herbicides put to the task of their immediate eradication. In Hawaii, mangrove trees (Avicennia spp.) are sprayed with glyphosate and left to decompose on the sandy shorelines where they grow, and in Washington, helicopters apply the herbicide Imazapyr to smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) growing in estuaries. The “war on invasive species” is in full swing, but given the scope of such potentially dangerous and ecologically degrading eradication practices, it is necessary to question the very nature of the battle.


Updated 11/2021