Traditional herbal remedies hold appeal for people frustrated by pharma-happy doctors and uncredentialed social media influencers.
“There’s wisdom and help available in ancient traditions that we’ve lost,” says Susan Hitchcock, senior editor at National Geographic Books, which is releasing National Geographic Herbal in November. “Herbal medicine can bring that back into our lives.” Sarah Monroe, senior editor and director of training at Page Street Publishing, says that consumer-friendly books like her acquisition The Homegrown Herbal Apothecary (Mar. 2024) can “make herbalism part of our daily lives in an enjoyable way that’s also supporting our health.”
These and other forthcoming titles appeal to a renewed interest in herbal medicine, which Monroe calls “a holistic approach to wellness that incorporates mental health, physical health, and our social environments.”
The Healing Tree
The forests of Africa are the spiritual setting for Bird’s previously out-of-print title, first published in 2009 by Lawrence Hill as The Healing Grove. Part memoir and part guide to rituals and remedies, the revived edition features a new foreword by the author and a sourcing list for the botanicals discussed in the book. In May 2024, HarperOne will release Bird’s Motherland Herbal, a new encyclopedia of ancient and contemporary African healing practices.
The Heart and Its Healing Plants
Ethnobotanist Storl starts with the premise that for ancient peoples, the heart was “the home of the soul,” not a mere organ that could be sickened by poor nutrition or other modern concepts. He shares herbal medical practices for heart health from Indigenous African, American, and Asian cultures, illustrating each with color photographs of herbs and vintage drawings that amplify historical context.
Herbal Remedies for Sleep
In 2019’s Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies, Groves, who owns Wintergreen Botanicals Herbal Clinic and Education Center in New Hampshire, offered tips on cultivating a medicinal garden. Her new book homes in on 15 herbs believed to promote healthy sleep, identifying plants used for relaxation, emotional balance, and sleep-inducing sedation. She teaches readers to grow the herbs and then dry and process them into teas and powders.
The Homegrown Herbal Apothecary
Herbalist and Nitty Gritty Life blogger Young explains how to grow, harvest, and use herbs for soothing migraines, improving immunity against common viruses, and more; low-effort suggestions include chewing on fennel seeds after a meal to soothe digestive symptoms. Young is the author of two previous books on medicinal plants, both published in 2019: The Backyard Herbal Apothecary and The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen.
The Home Herbal
Organized by ailment rather than herb, this illustrated compendium rounds up more than 100 treatments for common concerns including arthritis, cuts and minor wounds, headaches, and sore throats. Chevallier is a medical herbalist and the author of DK’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, which has sold more than 175,000 print copies since its third edition pubbed in 2016.
The Land in Our Bones
Feghali, a social worker and herbal practitioner of Lebanese ancestry, reflects on the healing arts of SWANA, a decolonial term for Southwest Asia and North Africa. Highlighting plants that are native to SWANA and also found in the West, such as cedar trees and khebaizeh (common mallow), Feghali describes traditional herbal practices and rituals for everyday healing, birth and motherhood, and working toward healing generational trauma.
National Geographic Herbal
This encyclopedic volume, written by the executive director of the American Herbalists Guild, covers global herbalism traditions including Celtic, Gulla Geechee, and various Latin American practices, as well as traditional Chinese medicine. Photos and archival illustrations in classic NatGeo style depict sensory, topical, and medicinal herbs, with an eye toward harvesting and processing plants safely and sustainably from woodlands, fields, and gardens. Physician and herbal advocate Tieraona Low Dog contributes the foreword.