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10 Books Recommended To Get You Onto The Holistic Path

Updated on December 28, 2012

Healing holistically is an amazing path to take the self along. It begins perhaps with simply wanting to learn about medicinal plants around the house - just in case, mind you - which turns into learning how the systems in the body function together. This might lead to realizing what the body must regularly consume to optimally run, as a well oiled machine might. It could lead on to understanding how the mind and body are connected, and that a healthy mind can influence an unhealthy body, or visa versa - which may perhaps turn to the understanding of spirituality. A curiosity of spirituality, the energetic bodies and lines which run through us, might lead us skipping along the curling path of the chakra wheels, meditation, shiatsu, and so on.

There is so much to learn.

The term holistic means whole. Applying medicine to the term means not just healing a certain part of the body, but allowing the body to remain in balance with itself, the mind and spirit. It is not about treating a symptom, but just sustaining equality throughout the self.

I want to point you in the direction of some of the best and most influential books which made an impact on me during my studies.

Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffman
Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffman

Medical Herbalism

Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine by Dr. David Hoffman started off my intense studies. I could not keep my nose out of that book. I came to call it Das Grosse Buch as it was the book which topped all my other ones in my medicinal plant study.

Within it's hard cover lay pages upon pages of information which does not simply just list plants and their uses, but looks at the chemical compounds in them. It goes through and defines what active chemicals are within us, and what we are likely to come across, and explains them.It touches lightly upon the human anatomy, plant anatomy, what a plant should and should not be combined with, and so on. This book is 672 pages of intense study, which is well worth your time.

Holistic Anatomy

Holistic Anatomy: An Integrative Guide to the Human Body by Pip Waller is an excellent introduction to the body and how it works.

Limb by limb, system by system, it explores how the body works, all the while explaining how each system relies on another in a symbiotic relationship. It reminds the reader that the body's inner balance can rely on the exterior, and how the mind perceives the exterior can greatly depend on the interior's health as well.

This book talks about the chemicals we put onto our skin as a beauty aid, though will damage our largest organ. It links digestive health with the health of our skin, and reminds us how the skin is the system which releases toxins. This can also be linked to the liver, as it is this organ which processes everything we put into the body.

In a round-about way, it covers the whole of the being in a fluid and comprehensive writing style.

The Secret Science of Numerology

This seemingly unlikely book was important to the development of my holistic education. The Secret Science of Numerology: The Hidden Meaning of Numbers and Letters by Shirley Blackwell Lawrence explains numerology, which is divination via numbers. It is the building blocks of Sacred Geometry.

The reason why I say it is an important book to read is due to its explanation of the Universe. It shows the reader how all matter is compiled of vibrations - the chair we sit on, the food we eat, air we breathe, our bodies, our minds, the planets, and so on. This means everything is connected, and what's more, it explains what this means in our every day lives, in the words we speak, for each word has its own sound which has its own vibration, which resonates or clashes with other vibrations. Which words resonate or clash with your vibrations?

The Cosmic Serpent

The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby was extremely influential for me.

This is a book written by an anthropologist who went to the Peruvian Rain Forest to talk to native tribes about how they came across their medicines. He wasn't after the answers as to what their medicines were (they were reluctant to give him that information any way!), he just wanted the how.

This was a question far more loaded than he bargained for. It lead him down the road of discovering the spirit of the plants, and how these people communed with them. It made him realize that with his DNA, and everyone and everything else's DNA all created a ladder to the cosmos, that it was all inter connected.

This was an extremely stimulating book to read, and I would recommend it to any one. It allows us to remember that we are just as the plants are, we are as the rest of the animals are, and we are part of the cosmos.

In order to heal the self holistically, one needs to understand their relationship and place in the Universe, and this book is a good step to getting there.

Wheat Belly

I won't lie, generally I don't go for books that have anything on the cover which ends with "Best Seller". However, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis was certainly worth the read. In this book he talks about the damage that gluten can do to the body.

This is a much disputed topic. Many believe that food allergies are just a fad, and cutting out certain foods from the diet will fade out just as the Atkins Diet did. Whether that is true or not, food intolerance or allergies does occur and fairly frequently. If nothing else Davis opens up the window of questioning what one's food does in the body, and pushes the reader to learn more.

Read More in my "Wheat Belly" Review

Radical Healing

In Radical Healing: Integrating the World's Great Therapeutic Traditions To Create a New Transformative Medicine, Dr. Rodolph Ballentine writes about the foundations of a healthy being including Nutrition, detoxing, exercise, before moving on to educating the reader about the body's energy and what consciousness means. He writes with an ease that can captivate any one, as well as shares personal experience with patients to help to make his explanations clearer.

Going into this book I knew little about homeopathy, but his chapter on it made it quite clear and interesting. I began branching off into my own studies on the subject, which I don't know that I would have found an interest for had it not been for this book.

Food of the Gods

Terrence McKenna, an ethnobotanist wrote the book, Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge - A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution. It expresses the origin of our evolution, coming from the trees to the grass lands and becoming hunter gatherers from there. He talks about how it has been found that we consumed mushrooms and wheat which had been consumed by ergot. He explains that these mushrooms and other fungus was how man "opened his eyes, and saw".

He also goes on to explain that this could also be how alcohol was made a common creation among our ancestors, as we wanted to preserve the mushrooms when they were not plentiful and thus put them in clay jars of honey. The honey fermented and thus became mead.

You may be wondering how this book contributes to holistic healing. I believe it is important to remember that we are not above nature or our environment. We are part of the world we were born on, and should always respect that nature is what allowed us to get as far as we have. With our uses of plants for medicine as well as allowing our consciousness to expand.

The Fourfold Path to Healing

This book is an all-encompassing study of ancient healing methods as well as western natural medicine. it drives in the importance of nutrition, plants, while giving energizing exercises for both the physical body and the metaphysical body. Author Thomas S. Cowan gives ways to strengthen and heal the emotional flow.

One of the best parts about his book, aside from the applicable exercises and over all abundance of information is the cooking instructions in the back! These include how to make different stocks, coconut soup, ginger ale, cream cheese, kombucha, and so much more!

Chakra and Kundalini Workbook

The Chakra and Kunalini Workbook I think is quite important because it shows you how to improve your inner energy. Part of healing holistically is acknowledging the energetic aspects of the body. We all have chakras, points in the body which correspond to different aspects of the self. For example, the base chakra is just at the pelvis, and corresponds to basic survival. It represents what the body needs.

if all the wheels of the body are balanced, then the person is in good spiritual health, and can be healthier as a whole. Some of the aspects which the chakra's deal with can be communication, understanding, love, spirituality, emotion, and so on.

One earth Herbal Source Book

The One Earth Herbal Source Book explains not only different healing systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but how to go about researching herbs. It talks about the way studies are done, what it means for a double blind study to be conducted, as well as reminding the researcher to look at who is funding the research. it also talks about how to pick out the right herbal supplement, what the ratios mean, what companies tend to supplement another herb in a capsule which might make the herbal capsule cheaper to produce.

This is important when looking at a holistic healing path. not only are you healing yourself and learning to be more vigilant with your body, mind and spiritual self, but the path-walker needs to be vigilant in their external environment, and make the wise decisions. This book will definitely be beneficial.

Bonus Book

the next one, the next ten, the next hundred - are up to you. These were what helped me down my holistic path of healing. I recommend looking into some of those things which might seem far out there such as astrology and crystals. Remember, everything is created by vibrations, including sound, you, the planets and minerals clumped together to create crystals. All these things interact with one another, whether consciously realized or not.

Branch out into other interesting forms of therapy such as homeopathy, reiki, shiatsu, meditation, yoga and so on. Don't be afraid to try new things, but always check with your GP first!

I hope your path will be as beautiful and enlightening as mine has! Safe journeys!


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    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      7 years ago from North Central Florida

      Quite a collection...I am always looking for ways that I can help to get the toxins from my daughter's and grandson's bodies. they both cancer. Thanks for sharing these titles. Angels are on the way ps

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Very useful, awesome and interesting. You have some really good references as part of this list. I have not gotten around to reading some of the heavy hitters on this list, like the popular "Wheat Belly", but I sure intend to get around to them soon. Thanks for sharing your list!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I used to use a bunch of all-natural medicine and stuff. I was also gluten and casein free as well for a while.

    • the Blue sun profile image

      Larry D. Hudson 

      8 years ago from Lake Charles, LA

      Really interesting hubs, there are most impressive thanks for the info......

    • KerryAnita profile image


      8 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

      Very informative hub! I look forward to reading some of these!


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