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Books about Herbal Remedies Are Increasingly Popular

As long as there have been people, health, and freedom from sickness and pain have been almost as important as food, water, clothing, and shelter. And from prehistoric times until just recently, people relied on herbal medicines and natural remedies to find the cures they needed.

While in the past, this knowledge was often passed from mother to daughter or from priestess or shaman to disciple, nowadays, this knowledge has been written down, so that the information is far more available. And the public is going for it in a big way!

The fact is, until the development of modern chemistry, that’s all they had! There wasn’t a choice of ‘eating organic’ or ‘natural cures,’ because that’s all there was!

Here is just a shortlist of medicines from plants and natural sources:

  • Aspirin – A pain killer derived from the willow tree
  • Morphine – comes from opium poppies, is widely used to stop excruciating pain
  • Penicillin – discovered as a chemical in cheese mold, and used as an antibiotic
  • Caffeine – Most of us use it as a stimulant, it, of course, comes from coffee beans and tea
  • Cocaine – Grown high in the Andes Mountains of South America, it comes from coca leaves, and has been used to offset altitude sickness and increase energy levels. It was an original ingredient in Coca Cola

Benefits of Natural Remedies

When you dive into natural remedies, you need to take a look at all the possible benefits you will find. For example, some natural remedies are actually more affordable than conventional medicine and far easier to obtain than prescription medicine.

Some natural remedies have also been found to help stabilize hormones and a person’s metabolism and promote natural healing throughout the body. They can strengthen the immune system and have far fewer side effects than conventional medicine.

With natural remedies, you can take control over your health and well-being and eliminate the number of prescriptions you may already be taking to help heal or manage pain. Before trying any natural remedies for pain, however, you should always discuss it with your doctor first. This is especially true if you are already taking any over the counter medications or prescription medications.

Here is a list of the most popular books on Amazon:

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Modern Medicine Versus Traditional Medicine

Probably the biggest misconception in modern society is that we humans exist outside the laws of nature. Think about it:

In addition to the use of medicines in indigenous cultures such as Native Americans before the use of modern medicines, many cultures developed their own forms of medicine using plants.

We breathe air as all animals do. We eat food that comes from Nature. We are living organisms and share lots of DNA with both other mammals as well as vertebrates.

So if you kiss that frog, he or she may turn out to be a prince or princess in disguise….but seriously, all this means is that we are intertwined with nature, which traditional peoples have known for literally thousands of years.

Understanding how to use natural medicines is one of the most basic skills people have had for centuries. We’d all be better off knowing something about it. Examples of systems of medicine from other cultures are:

Herbs used in Ayurveda, which developed in India

  • Ayurvedic Medicine from India
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Homeopathy

For example, naturopathic medicine is a system that uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself. It embraces many therapies, including herbs, massage, acupuncture, exercise, and nutrition.

Here is more information about Naturopathic Medicine specifically as it relates to knees.

Possible Disadvantages of “Big Pharma” Drugs

Needless to say, modern medicines have been a great step forward in treating both maladies as well as their symptoms. In the “old days,” if you had to have surgery, they’d give you massive amounts of alcohol….not a good thing.

However, modern forms of anesthesia have been a huge improvement in pain management during surgery. Likewise, antibiotics have cut the rates of infection and death due to disease or injury. However, we see some serious disadvantages to pharmaceuticals, such as:

  • Inadequate testing, which resulted in serious side effects, an example being Thalidomide, which caused serious congenital disabilities. Or Vioxx, which resulted in a number of deaths.
  • Overprescribing, especially antibiotics. Over time, disease and infection-related germs and pathogens develop resistance to such medicines. We see a resurgence of diseases like tuberculosis, or flesh-eating bacteria, as these noxious organisms become immune to the medicine.
  • Improper or even unethical use. Nowadays, we are bombarded with advertising, to scare us into begging our doctor to give us some medicine, which not only costs money but may have side effects, which then need yet more medicine. It becomes a downward spiral of overdependence on manufactured drugs.

The best current example is the opioid crisis, where doctors end up making addicts of their patients.

Graph of opioid deaths show steady increase

US Drug Deaths Are Showing Alarming Increases Over Time

Possible Advantage of Natural vs. Manufactured Drugs

There may be several advantages to using natural medicines instead of pharmaceutical medicines, one being that you get additional ingredients or trace minerals that medicines made in a lab just don’t have. As the well-known site, Natural News, points out:

“While the pharmaceutical industry thinks it can just copy the primary medicinal compounds found in plant medicines, the truth is that these isolates will never compare to the real deal. By missing out on the synergistic effects of trace minerals, pharmaceutical copycats pale in comparison.”

Herbs vs. Pharmaceuticals: Understanding the Effectiveness of Natural Medicine

From a nutritional point of view, suppose you had a disease called scurvy, which is actually a severe Vitamin C deficiency. You could take pure Vitamin C, but if you take it in the form of an orange or a lemon or lime, you get complimentary chemicals called bioflavonoids, which aid in the absorption and use of Vitamin C by your body.

Turmeric, a relative of ginger root, is well known as an anti-inflammatory. So, it is best taken with Black Pepper, which makes the turmeric absorb into the body more effectively.

At least partly because of the problems coming from modern pharmaceuticals, people are returning to traditional and more natural medicines.


Disadvantages of Natural Herbal Medicines

There are some disadvantages to traditional herbal medicine.

  • It may be difficult to get consistency in strength
  • If you buy a prepared or prepackaged herb, it may also be expensive, especially if it is in capsule form
  • In rare cases, herbal remedies may interact negatively with other drugs, especially pharmaceuticals

Are You Someone Who Studies Plants – Or Would Like to?

Would you like to become an herbalist? You could go to a special school that teaches these specialized skills, which would take several years and probably several thousand dollars. Or to start with, get a good guide for herbalism for beginners.

But your best bet is to simply have a handbook or guide, where you can read about natural herbal medicine, see photos, and learn their healing properties, to see what makes the most sense in your situation. These books are available at a relatively low cost.

Here are the 5 best traditional herbal medicine books you’ll find.

  1. The Lost Book of Remedies
  2. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine–550 Herbs and Remedies for Common Ailments
  3. The Modern Herbal Dispensary: A Medicine-Making Guide
  4. Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal
  5. Alkaline Herbal Medicine: Reverse Disease and Heal the Electric Body
The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies
20,124 Reviews
The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies
  • Survival & Emergency Preparedness
  • Claude Davis (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 07/25/2024 (Publication Date) - Global Brother (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Lost Book of Remedies

The Lost Book of Remedies is excellent. It covers over 200 different plant remedies and classifies them by where they are found:

  • Backyard Weeds
  • Forests and Woodlands
  • Wild Plants in Great Plains
  • Trees and Shrubs
  • Coastal, Tropical and Water-Loving Plants
  • Nationwide Plants
  • Household Remedies (not plants but easily available items)

The index is quite helpful because it lists various maladies and then points you to the page where you can find the right plant or treatment. It places them in alphabetical order, so you can search the issue you have, and then find the plants to use, plus what page it is listed on, so you can find them easily.

For example, under “Bones,” it lists Osteoporosis, then cites four treatments: Red Clover, Black Cohosh, Evening Primrose, and the non-plant item, Diatomaceous Earth. It gives the pages where they’re located, and the index is pleasant to read, easily accessible, unlike typical indices with small print.

On Amazon, the book is available in paperback.  The main issue  is that the book is a bit overpriced, and the print quality is not the best.

On the other hand, it as a valuable reference, with lots of information and excellent color illustrations.

DK Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: 550 Herbs Loose Leaves and Remedies for Common Ailments
  • Hardcover Book
  • Chevallier, Andrew (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 07/05/2016 (Publication Date) - DK (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine–550 Herbs and Remedies for Common Ailments—A Quick Reference Guide

As the name suggests, Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine is an excellent reference book.

The Table of Contents divides the material into the following sections:

  • The Development of Herbal Medicine, which gives the theory and background of using herbs as medicine
  • Key Medicinal Plants. This is the main section covering 100 of the most commonly used plants for medicine
  • Other Medicinal Plants. This section covers 450 plants that are also used
  • Herbal Remedies for Home Use. You can learn how to grow and prepare your own medicines at home
  • A final section with Glossary, Bibliography, General Index, and a particularly useful Index of Herbs by Ailment

The book sells on Amazon in hardcover. It’s very popular there.

The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide
9,011 Reviews
The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide
  • Easley, Thomas (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 376 Pages - 11/29/2016 (Publication Date) - North Atlantic Books (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Modern Herbal Dispensary: A Medicine-Making Guide–A Book on How to Make Your Own Product


As the title suggests, this book is more about how to make medicines from herbs. It divides herbs according to their different types, for example, Pungent herbs, acrid herbs, and salty herbs. A total of 13 different types of herbs. It also recommends different types of solvents. A solvent is a medium that delivers the herb to the body. It recommends using water, alcohol, glycerin, vinegar, or oil.

However, each type of herb fits different solvents. So, the book is really what to do with an herb, once you know what you need for a particular condition.There is not much wrong with this book from an herbal preparation point of view.

The book also has a Materia medica, which lists many well-known as well as some newer herbs. This book would be a good complement to books that emphasize the identification and use of various herbs. This book is available either in Kindle or as a paperback.

Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal
4,523 Reviews
Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal
  • De La Foret, Rosalee (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 04/04/2017 (Publication Date) - Hay House LLC (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal


As the title suggests, this book of herbs is a very practical way to ‘teach by doing.’ While it does give some theory of how herbs work, unlike other books reviewed here, it limits the number of herbs to those you would commonly find right at home. It then gives you specific recipes for how to use them.

The main purpose of this book and why in my opinion it is so popular is because most people don’t want to spend hours, days and years studying herbs a discipline. People just want to know, for example, if their child has a sore throat, is there a way to treat it without going to the drug store. And there is! Cinnamon tea. Or for colds and flu, Ginger Lemon tea. The book gives numerous examples and recipes that are highly practical without being technical.

So, Alchemy of Herbs is great for the average person who just wants some basic knowledge of how to treat common ailments easily and cheaply. The book is well illustrated and very pleasant to read. Another benefit of this book is that it comes in three different formats:

  • Kindle – for those of you who prefer to go digital and not have lots of heavy books
  • Paperback – convenient to keep on the kitchen shelf
  • Spiral-bound – best if you want to use it while working. The pages stay open

For your basic ‘home use’ herb book, this is the one you’ll want.

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Alkaline Herbal Medicine: Reverse Disease and Heal the Electric Body

The main difference between this book and the others is that it gives historical context to the question of diet itself.

As the title suggests, it recommends a real change in dietary habit, based on the idea that humans originated from Africa, and the original diet which is plant-based is superior to the diets that humans adopted as they migrated to more Northerly climates, and started to eat meat.

There is an emerging movement towards veganism or a 100% plant-based diet. So, if you’re attached to that T bone steak or KFC chicken, this book may not be for you.

However, if you find that your health is in such a state that you really need to rethink what you eat, then this may well be the book for you. Indeed, the lead review even cites the reviewer’s mother, who had cancer, and benefited from changing her diet to an alkaline food and herb diet.

Alkaline Herbal Medicine also points out that the pharmaceutical industry derives 50% of its drugs from plants —a point they really don’t want you to know. Indeed, buying an herb, or worse (from a corporation’s point of view) growing your own medicine for a fraction of what they charge, is way cheaper than going to a doctor, waiting for hours, paying for a prescription, and so on. Plus, it’s a lot more fun!

In sum, if you have doubts about your health and want to make a real change, instead of just treating this or that ailment, this may be just what you are looking for.

Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use
12,544 Reviews
Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use
  • Medicinal herbs beginner's
  • Language: english
  • Book - rosemary gladstar's medicinal herbs: a beginner's guide: 33 healing herbs to know, grow, and use
  • Gladstar, Rosemary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Honorable Mention. Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use

I included this book as an honorable mention. Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use is also a best seller on Amazon in the category of herbal gardening.

So, it is not precisely on the topic here. Also, it does not have a very large list of medicinal plants. But if you are looking for a beginner’s guide, to get you started in herbal medicine, then this book is also worth checking out.


If you type into the search area, “Herbal Remedy Books” in Amazon, it shows over 10,000 results. That is Ten Thousand choices of books in the category of Herbal Remedies! How are we supposed to decide what to buy?

On the one hand, I looked at what books have strong sales, which tells what the market thinks. But I also looked at books that have very high ratings. Every book reviewed here has at least a 4.5 rating, which is excellent. Second, I realized that people might be looking for quite different things when searching for a book about herbal medicines.

Some of you may want a much larger list and overview of all the possibilities. On that basis, the Lost Book of Remedies, or the Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine would be the books I recommend. If you are looking for the more technical aspects of preparation of herbal cures, then The Modern Herbal Dispensary would be a good choice.

If you are doing a serious rethink of your overall health and want a road map for that, then Alkaline Herbal Medicine is the book for you. And if you just want a basic book of household remedies with simple to prepare recipes, then Alchemy of Herbs or Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs would be good choices.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article, and it helps you clarify both your own objectives in looking for books about herbal remedies, as well as specific suggestions based on your needs.

Be sure to click on any of the images or links for more information about these books.

Herbal Remedy FAQ

Are herbal remedies considered medicines?

When using the term herbal remedy, you need to remember that they are types of dietary supplements and not actual medications. They are not regulated as medicines are, they do not need to go through extensive testing before they are sold, and labels do not need to be approved.

Does natural mean safe?

Just because something is labeled as natural and is said to have natural ingredients doesn’t always mean it is safe. It is important to do your homework and your own research and to read the books we have listed above to get a better understanding of the different herbal remedies there are and how they work.

How do you choose and use herbal remedies safely?

There are some herbal remedies mentioned in the books above that can help you keep healthy and feel better. However, it is important to use them safely. Before choosing any to use, discuss it with your doctor. They can help determine if the remedy will be safe and if there are any risks in your particular situation. You should also look very closely at the claims being made about each natural remedy you are interested in and how it is described. If it sounds way too good to be true, then it probably is.

Can natural remedies help with chronic pain?

If you have been using pain relief medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat pain and have been experiencing side effects, then you may be interested in trying more natural remedies. Cloves, for example, are often used as a topical pain reliever and have also been found to treat fungal infections. This is because the active ingredient in cloves is eugenol, and it is a natural pain reliever you will find in many topical pain relief applications.