Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs is a virtually endless source of useful information and herbal know-how. Presented in A-to-Z format, supplemented with easy-to-use charts and lists, beautifully illustrated with drawings and color photographs, it is the only book on herbs you ever need to buy.
First, I'd like to say, I'm very sad that I can only give this book 5 stars. I bought this book many years ago and have used it countless times. I own a lot of herbal books, but this is always the first one I grab when I'm going to look up anything about an herb. I must have sifted through this book thousands of times and it's still in perfect condition, and thankfully so, as I don't know what I'd do without it. When this book dies I'll have another one ordered that day. The herbs are listed alphabetically and each herb has a history of the herb, uses, medicinal, cultivation, and harvesting & storage. Anything I ever wanted to know about my herbs was easily found in this book. On pages 120 & 121 is a list called, "What Herbs Go Best With." It is a list of foods and underneath each food item is a list of herbs that go best with that food. Years ago I printed this list and taped it inside one of my cabinets in the kitchen. Almost every single night when I'm cooking I look at this list, then I pick out the herbs I want to use. I love my book and thank everyone involved in it's creation to make it the most amazingly perfect book on my bookshelf.
Superb herb garden guide with excellent tips and new ideas, great pictures for identifying various plants and even includes methods of utilizing various plants in combinations to make natural defenses against pests and other plants.
Pretty normal as far as herbals go, nothing special.
This herbal seems to cautious for me (which is unusual as I usually find myself wishing for more warnings). The thing that made me distrust the cautiousness here was warning that because of one case of potential burdock toxicity that burdock may be toxic. I agree with that sentiment but not the degree in which it was expressed. Burdock is often used as a food and as such I would assume that it if it was unsafe there'd be more evidence. I would also expect some sort of proposed mechanism of toxicity. They did say that perhaps it wasn't even burdock that caused the toxicity but perhaps they received another root (they suggested Belladona) from their supplier. This is probably just a personal preference (I am not Rodale's biggest fan so I am also somewhat biased), but the way they threw Burdock under the bus made me less willing to trust there other (probably valid) cautionary statements.
This is one of the best basic reference guides to growing herbs, with a nice mix of common herbs (like rosemary and thyme) and ones that were once commonly grown but are now less so (like lady's bedstraw and germander). Each entry also includes brief sections on the history and uses (medicinal, culinary, and historical) of each herb featured. The book also contains some entries about general topics, such as pest and disease control on herbs. I have been consulting this book for several years.
Informative and entertaining, this encyclopedia has already helped me improve my black thumb to more of a yellowish hue. Practical information such as ideal planting times and soil conditions fill sidebars, while the main pages are devoted to beautiful (and useful) illustrations and explanations of the history/uses/growing conditions of each herb. So far its information helped me save some flagging basil and lavender plants, and grow dill and sage from seed.
Another fabulous (random) find at Bookmans. I saw it out of the corner of my eye and grabbed it off the shelf. I've had this book for several years and it is a great back up source of knowledge to have when studying essential oils. It is also very helpful for kitchen and gardening herb knowledge.
Excellent resource, covers so many different herbs from so many angles. This will probably be my main reference because its the best I've read so far and covers everything I could possibly need to know.
A great reference tool with herbs listed alphabetically. Each plant is illustrated with a written description including growing conditions, history, various species, and uses from medicinal to food preparation to craft ideas.
I need to buy this book as often as I keep checking it out of the library. Great amount of information on herbs, medicinal, and ornamental plants. History, use, cultivation. Great black and white hand-drawn illustrations - but precious few color ones.
This book was a God send the first 10-15 years of my herb gardening. All the women in my family had one and we all used them almost everyday in the summer for planting, harvesting and using our herbs. Love Rodale!