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Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

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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.

545 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1987

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Rodale Press

121 books6 followers

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5 stars
385 (51%)
4 stars
219 (29%)
3 stars
120 (15%)
2 stars
24 (3%)
1 star
6 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Michele McDaniel.
Author 4 books4 followers
July 3, 2016
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.
14 reviews1 follower
July 15, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Zora.
1,194 reviews50 followers
March 27, 2020
I'm not actually finished, but I've browsed and like. As a reference book, it will get used a lot in the future, I'm sure.
1,728 reviews53 followers
March 13, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Liz.
151 reviews
June 22, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Kristy.
52 reviews13 followers
June 25, 2012
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.
Profile Image for boatierra.
15 reviews10 followers
February 7, 2011
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.
Profile Image for Eileen.
77 reviews
January 9, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Nancy.
952 reviews59 followers
November 21, 2011
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.
Profile Image for Johanna Haas.
311 reviews5 followers
June 8, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Vannoy Fite.
Author 7 books125 followers
April 19, 2016
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!
Profile Image for Bob.
158 reviews7 followers
September 26, 2007
This is a very comprehensive, modern, user friendly book of herbs (except salvia divorninum and other recreational herbs) All aspects of growing and use are covered.
Profile Image for Dee.
Author 16 books28 followers
February 29, 2008
I have a number of good herbal references, historical and modern, but this is the best overall guide I own when I need answers to basic questions, such as soil, light, water, use, and so on.
Profile Image for Kami.
275 reviews
May 29, 2008
looks good. If I need a reference this is the one I will go to.
Profile Image for KA.
872 reviews
April 7, 2009
Best book on herbs there is, with instructions on growing herbs, their culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses, arranging an herb garden, and the history of herbs and their uses.
Profile Image for Beth.
Author 29 books439 followers
March 14, 2011
A highly useful book for gardeners and herb lovers.
Profile Image for Juliana.
165 reviews5 followers
October 14, 2012
This is a great basic herbal guide!!! It gets in depth, not so much where the book is enormous, but not too little so little that it leaves you with questions. Great gift for a tea lover like i am :)
10 reviews
April 17, 2013
Agreat book for basic herbal guide, in the same time amzing for herbal lover like me
Profile Image for Clarke.
1,314 reviews17 followers
May 15, 2015
Liked the book. It has a lot of details and uses for each of the herbs. Would've liked more/better drawings. Not for beginners but helpful.
Profile Image for Jason.
6 reviews
June 10, 2009
this is an awesome reference book for any and all those interested in herbs
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews

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