Good Books to Learn More About Herbs and Their Effects
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Gail DeVille
Posted on: January 17, 1999

We have relocated over seas to Dubai, UAE - from Colorado in the past month. I have received your catalog in the past and know that you may probably be able to help me with a question.

I’ve not had much experience with herbs and am very interested in learning. Cooking as well as medicinal. I’m looking for the names of a couple books that would be good source books to help me learn about them. I’m also interested in finding out more about herbs and their effects, such as a heating or cooling herb. For instance, I’ve been told ginger is a warming or heating herb. If there are some books you can recommend to me, please let me know if you sell them.

An excellent reference book is Deni Bown’s "Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses". This is beautiful large format "coffee table" book that happens to be very useful, and you will find yourself reaching for it regularly, as we do here. It has so many features that stand this book above others. It has excellent photos of not only the different herbs but of the different varieties of each herb so you can easily tell Beneden Blue rosemary from a Pine rosemary. It has lots of growing information: height, spread, hardiness, preferred sun exposure, etc. It covers over a 1000 herbs – far more than most books. It has culinary properties and uses, along with sections on cooking with herbs and using them in the home. And it has lots of medicinal information, including medicinal properties and uses. It will tell you whether a herb is warming or cooling, and much more.

If you are only interested in the medicinal information, Andrew Chevallier’s "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants" is excellent. It covers 550 herbs, is beautifully illustrated with photographs, and has excellent illustrated sections that show you how to make medicinal preparations. Andrew Chevallier is a well known practising herbalist and his book reflects that in his accuracy and completeness. This is not a book that relies heavily on regurgitating information from old herbals!

Both books are available from Richters. You can check our online catalogue at for more details about these and other books.

I would love to recieve one of your catalogs.

We will send one immediately.

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