If you want to learn more about herbal medicine and culinary herbs you may be interested in The New American Herbal by Stephen Orr.

The author is a gardener so the book focuses on herbs that North Americans can generally grow in their gardens, although some species might need to be sheltered indoors during winter. Orr discusses how to grow a variety of different herbs and how to set up a herb garden.

He also explains the culinary applications of each herb when relevant including some recipes as well as special kitchen projects including:

  • Herbal vinegars and oils
  • Herbal beverages
  • Homemade dried spice blends

There are over 900 entries with beautiful full-color photos, which makes this book an enjoyable read. It might be a great addition to your coffee table as well as a valuable educational resource.


Some information on the historical use of each herb and its medicinal benefits is provided. If you just want to learn a little about the healing properties of medicinal herbs you will probably enjoy this book. Those of you who are already familiar with herbal medicine will also find much to appreciate.

However, this book isn’t really ideal as an introductory text for the serious herbal medicine student. I regard it more as a valuable addition to your library, especially if you are interested in growing a herb garden and cooking with herbs (although most of the recipes will not be suitable for those of you following a vegan diet).

Ultimately it is a worthwhile book – that is obviously very well researched – to help increase your knowledge of herbs and their practical use.

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. A positive review is not required nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.

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