7 Nature-Based Healing Books to Read this Year


There are many paths you can take when deciding to further your education on plant medicine. Medicine making, botany, foraging, herbal remedies, and cultivating medicinal plants are just a few we can name. If you are brand new to herbalism, you may have already discovered the abundance of information available. From books to YouTube videos, herbal practices and information can vary a great deal and can often leave a budding herbalist left in sea of information with no real direction of where to begin. The key is to simply start with the basics.

After years of internally protesting against the idea of digital books, I finally broke down and can realize the benefits of a digital reader such as the Kindle. The ability to carry 30 to 40 books at a time with a total weight of just 3 pounds suddenly allowed me to take my library where ever I choose - well not quite the entire library. There are many books that I cannot replace with its digital counterpart and herbal books are among them. My herbal books serve as ongoing reference material for me as I quench my thirst for herbal education and satisfy my desire of being a life long learner of plant medicine. Which ever path of the plants you decide to walk on in the natural world, here are seven nature based books you must read this year.

*Please note the links to the books below are affiliate links and Amazon will provide a small incentive for us if you decide to purchase using the links provided. Our intentions are pure and we appreciate your understanding. 


 Botany In A Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification by Thomas J. Elpel 

Looking for a faster, easier, and engaging way to identify plants? Related plants have similar characteristics, and they often have similar uses. Rather than learning new plants one-at-a-time, it is possible to learn them by the hundreds, based on plant family patterns.

Each family of related plants has unique patterns for identification. Learn to recognize these patterns, and discover them again and again in the plants you encounter. It is possible to instantly recognize a plant never before seen, and in many cases, to know its edible or medicinal properties on the spot-even before you have identified it down to the species!

I recommend this book especially for homeschooling families. This is a great way to integrate science and the natural world of plants for children ages 9 to 99. More info...

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Working the Roots: Over 400 Years of Traditional African-American Healing

According to author Michele E. Lee, African American traditional medicine emerged out of the necessity of its people to survive. She describes it as a fusion of African, Native American, European and other healing traditions associated with colonization and slavery in the US. This is strong Medicine. Many of these medical practices crossed the Atlantic with the slave trade from Africa, and some had their origins deep into African history all the way back to ancient Egypt.  
Divided between sections on interviews of elders and their stories lies a comprehensive collection of traditional African American medicines and remedies for many common ailments they were called cure. I particularly enjoyed reading about the many remedies my mother used for during my childhood as taught to her by my great-grandmother.  Some of the medicines that mom used included cod liver oil, vinegar, and even ear wax and they are all mentioned in this book!  
This book is truly a treasure and will serve well as your household healing guide. More info...



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Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit by Queen Afua

Through extraordinary meditations, affirmations, holistic healing plant-based medicine, KMT temple teachings, and The Rites of Passage guidance, Queen Afua teaches us how to love and rejoice in our bodies by spiritualizing the words we speak, the foods we eat, the relationships we attract, the spaces we live and work in, and the transcendent woman spirit we manifest. With love, wisdom, and passion, Queen Afua guides us to accept our mission and our mantle as Sacred Women—to heal ourselves, the generations of women in our families, our communities, and our world. More info...



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African Holistic Health by Dr. Laila O. Afrika

African Holistic Health addresses health issues from a comprehensive african -centered viewpoint. It provides a complete guide to herbal remedies along with homeopathic disease treatments. What makes Afrikan holistic health truly unique is the research Dr. Afrika has provided on the physiological and psychological differences between people of African descent verses people of European descent. 

Dr Afrika's book serves as a reference of knowledge for the treatment of many ailments. He has left a map for understanding the body, the mind, and the spirit. He dedicated his life for people of color, so that they will have direction in all aspects of holistic living. More info...



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Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using and Enjoying More than 100 Herbs by Tammi Hartung

A well designed book containing colorful photos featuring over 100 herbs. This book covers growing herbs with concepts like secrets to great soil, how to propagate, garden maintenance and pest control. The book also touches on tips for harvesting and how to make herbal preparations for medicine and personal care.

The chapter on herb personalities will provide you with a closer look at each plant by discussing how individual herbs exist in their natural habitat and how learning each plants personality will help you garden appropriate to your climate and personal needs. More info...


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A Pocket Guide To Herbs by Jenny Linford

This book carries with it some sentimental value since it is one of the first books Chanowk gifted me years ago when I became focused on my personal herbal journey. This book has great images of many herbal allies and is a wonderful book for beginners or anyone who is working to improve their ability to identify plants. 

This petite pocket guide identifies the most common herbs, with a picture, quick reference box, & informative text for each. Includes information about the history & folklore of herbs & the traditional & contemporary used of herbs. You may find this book with a different cover photo than the one pictured.  More info...



Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide

You’re not going to get far in herbal education without hearing the name Rosemary Gladstar. In this book, Gladstar shows you how easy it is to make your own home herbal remedies from wild edible weeds, herbs you have grown, or dried herbs you have purchased locally. This book is easy to read and very approachable and loaded with lively colorful photos of herbs to assist with plant identification and inspiration.

There is a chapter completely dedicated to show its readers how to made herbal remedies such as syrups, oils, teas, salves, tinctures, pills and more. Many of the recipes show step by step instructions for those who desire more visual appeal. Some of my favorite recipes include Cinnamon-Ginger Tea for menstrual difficulties and Cinnamon Tincture for stabilizing blood sugar. Gladstar also covers over 30 different herbs and spices to use medicinally.  More info...

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