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Best Herbal Medicine Book and website for medicinal herb seeds

Posted by zepherinedrouhin 6 VA (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 2, 12 at 11:01

As a Master Gardener project I have started a medicinal herb garden that represents the herbs collected and used by the Brethren minister, Elder John Kline. From his diary we have a list of 16 herbs that he collected on horseback from the mountains of West Virginia. I have found some of them at a specialty nursery here in VA, but I would like to grow some from seed this winter. Could someone suggest a good herbal book for my area and suggest a website where medicinal herb seeds can be purchased? thanks

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Best Herbal Medicine Book and website for medicinal herb seed

My two favorite sources for herb seeds and plants are Richters and Horizon Herbs. Both have a wide range of medicinal herb seeds and plants available. Richters is in Canada but they ship to the US.

You didn't say if the plants you intend to grow are native plants. If so, there are many more sources of plants and seeds that you can shop from. Prairie Moon Nursery is one of my favorite sources for native plants and seeds. Forest Farm is also a wonderful place to get plants not available elsewhere. They ship potted plants so shipping to the east coast (me too) is more costly than bareroot shipping but the plants are nice quality and grow nicely.

Sources of info.....try any of the eastern US or Appalachia herb or native plant references. If you can share the list of plants, perhaps I can suggest something more specific that might help with growing info.


RE: Best Herbal Medicine Book and website for medicinal herb seed

List of Medicinal Herbs used by Elder John Kline

Anise Pimpinella anisum L.
*Black Root Varonicastrum virginicum L./Leptandra virginica L.

*Blue Cohosh Caulophyllum thalictroides L.
*Boneset Eupatorium perfoliatum L.
*Gentian Gentiana lutea L.
*Goldenrod Salidago odora L.
*Goldenseal Hydrastis Canadensis L.
*Lobelia Lobelia inflata L.
*Mayapple Podophyllumm peltatum L.
Peppermint Mentha piperita L.
*Pleurisy Root Asclepias tuberosa L.
*Red Raspberry Rubus strigosus L.
Sassafras Sassafras officinale L. (tree)
*Seneca Snakeroot Polygala senega L.
*Slippery Elm Ulmus rubra L (tree)
Solomon�s Seal Polgonatum multiflorum L/Polgonatum biflorum L

*Spignet Aralia racemosa L
Star Root Liatris squarrosa L.
Sumac Rhus glabra L. (tree/shrub)
Sweet Fennel Foeniculum vulgaris L
Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana L. (tree)

*Herbs specifically connected to Elder John Kline. They were referenced in Life and Labors of Elder John Kline the Martyr Missionary collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk. The other herbs/trees were mentioned in a medical book owned by John Kline: The Botanic Physician by A. H. Mathes

RE: Best Herbal Medicine Book and website for medicinal herb seed

Most all the plants in your list and all the ones *'d are native plants. Nurseries specializing in native plants and seeds will also have these for sale.

Many native plants can be quite challenging to start from seed. Winter sowing is one of the best ways to try, but even then it can be difficult or take multiple years. I would suggest trying to start seed but also plan on buying young plants as well. It will provide a less frustrating experience for you.

I've grown or are growing many of the plants you list. While some like the sun, many are woodland plants. You will want to check the growing conditions before planting all of them in the same garden. For example, butterflyweed (A. tuberosa) likes the soil lean and dry plus a lot of sun. While blue cohosh on the other hand will fry in the sun and likes the rich and moist woodland conditions. I would suggest planning a sun garden and a shade/woodland garden if you intend to grow all of these.

For sources of info, try:

Planting the Future: Saving Our Medicinal Herbs by Gladstar and others for growing plus usage info on some of the plants

Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers by Phillips has growing info on quite a number of wild plants

I like Native Plants of the Northeast by Leopold as a general reference on native plants of our region

The Medicinal Herb Grower, Volume 1 by Richo Cech

For herbal references on native plants of the area, I like Cherokee Plants by Chiltoskey, A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America by Foster & Duke, Native American Ethnobotany by Moerman, and A Handbook of Native American Herbs by Hutchens.

You may also wish to look for herbal references of the practitioners of America's Eclectic and Thomsonian medicine traditions which may be of similar time period to Kline, who I am unfamiliar with. Some of these references can be found online.


RE: Best Herbal Medicine Book and website for medicinal herb seed

I 'second' "The Medicinal Herb Grower" by Richo Cech. Also, is an incredible resource.

For seeds, it's either Horizon, or All Good Things Both are organic, too.


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