Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs” as Want to Read:
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs

(Peterson field guide series)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,323 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides (R))

The second edition of this volume shows how to identify more than 500 kinds of healing plants. More than 300 color photos illustrate the plants, their flowers, leaves, and fruits. The descriptive text includes information on where the plants are found as well as their known medicinal uses. An index to medical
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 432 pages
Published December 28th 1999 by Houghton Mifflin (first published May 24th 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,323 ratings  ·  26 reviews

Sort order
Anna Nesterovich
To put it mildly, I'm not a fan of identifying plants by color. By lacking any other passable plant guides for this continent (it's quite a regrettable gap in the US publishing tradition), it would do. It was useful for me on several occasions. Actually, it's the best botanical field guide I've seen here. But it's still so far from a really good guide, I can't give it more than three stars.
Meghan Wyrd
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
super helpful and clear, index in the back was crucial
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great reference guide. It's small and compact enough to fit in your purse/bag, as well as to have in your hands while exploring. The colorful pictures of each plant and herb helps a lot. Many books typically come in black and white. The thorough explanation of each plant and herb is very informative; for instance: common names/scientific names/family names, plant part used for medicinal purposes, description, where to find them, medicinal uses, preparations, dosage, and most importantly - warnin ...more
Benjamin Page
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great reference. I didn't read all 530 entries, but the book includes a great preface, how to use this book section, and index, and contains loads of illustrations and photographs. I learned a good deal while perusing the volume, reading the preface and how to, and reading the captions for all of the photographs. I am confident I will learn a lot on our next hike by taking this along. I already found pictures of plants we have encountered on past hikes and which we found noteworthy.
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This guide warns that some plants look similar and can be deadly. For the severity of this warning, it has very hard to see pictures and poor descriptions. The organization, by flower color and plant type, would make more sense if you already knew what you were looking for. All in all I found it interesting to read the many uses for plants but could never see it being a practical guide to take out in the wild and harvest anything.
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gave me info on the plants The Harvester collected on his property, as well as others. It is amazing how God gave us these herbal plants to cure disease and common ailments.
Heidi Kuchta
Jan 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: herbals
This field guide is pretty good - all color photos, the essential info you might want. The book aims to be more extensive than thorough. I would prefer a field guide with larger and more photos of the plants themselves. Many of the photos do not provide very good leaf close-ups. This is why I only gave this guide 3 out of 5 stars.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This guide was recommended at a herbal salve making class I took. I'm so glad I purchased it as it is a beautifully illustrated, informative, well organized reference on medicinal herbs and plants. It is also the perfect size for carrying with you on hikes. Highly recommended.
Steven Horne
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent field guide to medicinal plants. The information on how to use them is sketchy, as it lacks dosages and other information needed to confidently recommend herbs, but for a professional herbalist who understands how to prepare and use plants it's a great resource.
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: healing-arts, nature
This field guide unfortunately uses (sometimes poor) color photos instead of drawings to represent each plant. A thorough survey, but it will need to be supplemented with other guides for accurate ID.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference, own
a great and easy to use field guide with many pictures.
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informative
Incredibly Educational And Informitive
Gay Ann
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Small field guide packed with information and identification photos for plants with medicinal qualities.
Apr 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Not useful as a reference book for home use. The choice of plants seems strange, the layout is not easy to follow and the descriptions are choppy.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: nature lovers, travelers, and everyone else
good guide with lots of photos, good descriptions. would be better if included specific preparation methods and dosage.
Oct 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, flora-fungi
Great little book. And I know guidebooks need to remain small enough to bring out into the field, but as always, I'd like more info packed in...
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a good book of North American medicinal plants. It contains pictures, genus names, and uses. I enjoyed it, and will be buying a copy for my personal use in the field.
Arya Stark
awesome read my friend, awesome read.
Mary  (Biblophile)
Another good reference book for identifying medicinal plants. Cautions noted on their use.
Sharon K.
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My favorite new book; making me look at my backyard in a new way
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: field-guides
rated it really liked it
May 14, 2013
Jennifer Fenster
rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2015
Art Carney
rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2012
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2015
Maria Christina
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2014
rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2013
rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America
  • Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants
  • Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West
  • A Field Guide to Eastern Trees: Eastern United States and Canada, Including the Midwest
  • Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs
  • The Way of Herbs
  • The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
  • Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate
  • A Peterson Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and North-central North America
  • Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks (Peterson Field Guides)
  • The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines
  • A Modern Herbal, Vol. I
  • The Herb Book: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to More Than 500 Herbs
  • The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook: A Home Manual
  • Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide
  • The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies
  • Herbal Healing for Women
  • The New Age Herbalist: How to Use Herbs for Healing, Nutrition, Body Care, and Relaxation
Best-selling author, photographer, consultant, and herbalist, Steven Foster, has 39 years of comprehensive experience in the herbal field. He started his career at the Sabbathday Lake, Maine, Shaker’s Herb Department—America’s oldest herb business dating to 1799.

As an international consultant in medicinal and aromatic plant technical and marketing issues, Foster has served on projects in Argentina