Fire Cider for the Cold and Flu Season

Fire Cider for the Cold and Flu Season

Fire Cider Vinegar November 2021

Fire Cider Vinegar November 2021

It’s cold and flu season and lots of people swear by fire cider vinegar for getting themselves and their families and friends through the sniffly time.

You can buy fire cider vinegar at the farmers market or some stores, but if you are so inclined, you can make your won and customize it your taste or what you have available (though I think with its heat flavor isn’t as much of a consideration). Making your own is also much cheaper if costs are a consideration. and ingredients can be purchased with SNAP benefits!

Fire cider (often with “vinegar” left off the name) is an old way of infusing cold-and-flu-bug-busting herbs and making them palatable and easy to take. It was named over Fire Cider Vinegar over 30 years ago by Rosemary Gladstar, who began sharing her version of the recipe; it now has almost as many variation as people who make it.

You can take fire cider vinegar to help your immune system fight off what’s around, at the start of cold or flu symptoms (and sometimes it seems to stop them, though no guarantees), or it seems to lessen the severity of the cold or flu, though again no promises.

 How to take Fire Cider Vinegar (FCV): Most people don’t take it straight, but diluted in some way. Take a tablespoon or two (or a glug or two from the bottle is it in) and put it in a glass of water, juice, or a cup of tea–you decide how much it needs to be diluted. You can take it every couple of hours, or, when you are feeling better, a 2 or 3 times a day.

You can also use FCV in a mixed drink, or use it in salad dressing–for some or all of the vinegar portion.

Below are two recipes, one from my friend Charles Garcia (, a wonderful Hispanic herbalist, and one from me with interesting choices and no particular measurements.

Fire Cider Recipe from Charles Garcia

Ingredients (makes about 2 quarts):
2 glass quart jars
1 heaping teaspoon of black pepper for each jar
1 lemon in 4 slices (2 for each jar)
3 small slices of apple
1/2 diced red onions
16 garlic cloves (8 for each jar)
Approximately 2 ounces sliced fresh ginger
Approximately 2 1/4 ounces horse radish in 1 inch chunks
1 Anaheim or Serrano pepper sliced into 1/4 inch slices,
separate them into equal amounts for each jar
20 Allspice seeds split evenly for each jar
2 heaping Tablespoons of honey for each jar

Pack everything tightly in each jar. Fill with apple cider vinegar. Allow bubbles to escape and add more vinegar.

Seal and shake. Keep in fridge. Shake every day. After three weeks remove all solid material and keep the liquid in the jars and use as needed.

Fire Cider Vinegar ingredients, waiting for vinegar

Fire Cider Vinegar ingredients, waiting for vinegar

A Recipe for Fire Cider Vinegar by Iris Weaver

Take some garlic, onions, hot peppers, horseradish or garlic mustard root, any herbs that are anti-microbial or anti-inflammatory, etc., that are in your garden or cupboard, whatever else appeals to you. Use whatever amounts you like or have on hand. Warning: go easy with the horse radish; from experience too much makes the fire cider tooo firey!

Chop the herbs, put in a jar, top with ACV (organic and local if possible) and let sit at least 6 weeks. When you strain it out, add local raw honey if you like (some people add honey in with the vinegar while it is steeping). To me this is easy–no fussy measuring or worrying about having just the “right” herbs! Oh, and if you have someone who can’t do alliums, just eliminate the garlic and onions.

The usual herbs that seem to be the base of any fire cider recipe are garlic, horseradish, ginger, and hot peppers. But, again, use what you’ve got.

Dose: 1 to 3 teaspoons in water, juice, tea, several times a day. This is also great added to soups, stir-fries, and salad dressings (but be careful how much you use–hot, hot, hot!).

Suggested herbs and other ingredients (fresh or dried; organic if possible):

  • Hot peppers/chilis
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish, or wasabi radish, or garlic mustard roots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Astragalus root
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Lemon Balm
  • Bee Balm
  • Peppermint/Spearmint
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Turmeric
  • Organic, raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Decide whether you want to make a quart, a half-gallon, or a gallon, and have appropriately sized jars, or use what you have!

Use organic citrus and ginger, and herbs if you buy them. Chop up your fresh herbs, onions, garlic, horse radish, etc. and slice your citrus if using (don’t worry about peeling it).

Fill your jar between 1/4 to 3/4 full with chopped ingredients, and then fill with apple cider vinegar to bottom of where lid sits. You can also add a bit of honey, you decide how much, in place of the vinegar and let it all infuse together. Put on lid and let infuse.

Make note of what herbs and ingredients you used and the date, Helpful for labeling and if anyone wants to know what’s in there.

Let it sit for 6 weeks or longer and then strain out the solids and bottle and use. Enjoy!

Making an Infused Oil with St. John’s Wort

Hypericum_perforatumMany people have heard of St. John’s wort, often as an herbal aid for depression. But St. John’s wort is also a marvelous herb for your skin.

Surprised? Well, many herbs have both internal and external uses, and St John’s wort is no exception.

This wonderful herb has been used for hundreds of years for nerves. We have nerve cells both inside our bodies (the central nervous system, where neurotransmitters regulate our moods) and in our skin, where nerves let us know if we’re hot or cold, or if our skin (our body’s outer defense layer) has been hurt in any way, such as scratches or insect bites or sunburn.

Over the years, many cultures observed that a plant’s shape and/or growth seemed to roughly correlate to parts of the human body. People realized that the herb, or the relevant part of it, benefits the corresponding area of the body (in Christianity, this was known as the “Doctrine of Signatures”).

It is easy to make a beautiful, dark-red oil from St. John’s wort to be used directly on your skin, or add to salves and lotions.

All you need is a clean, dry jar with a lid, good-quality olive, sweet almond oil, or other vegetable oil (preferably organic), and a nice stand of the plant in bloom.

St. John’s wort is easily identified with the help of a good field guide. The cultivar you want is known botanically as Hypericum perforatum, the “perforatum” of the species name referring to little translucent glands scattered throughout its leaves, somewhat mimicking the nerves and glands of our skin.

Other species of Hypericum don’t have the constituents that are needed, so even if you have a beautiful ornamental St. John’s wort shrub in your yard, resist the temptation to use it –you’ll get disappointing results.

St. John’s wort grows in sunny fields and roadsides, as well as partial shade. I was surprised one year to find it taking over the woodsy hill in my backyard!

It blooms from the middle of June until August or September, though less profusely after July. The herb got its name because it blooms around St. John’s Eve, June 24.

So, on a beautiful, sunny day, when dew or rain have dried off the plants (usually late morning), take a pair of scissors and a basket or paper bag and go harvest St. John’s wort tops.

Take only the top quarter of the plant (flowers, buds, possible seed heads, leaves, and stems). All these parts contain active ingredients.

Two cups loosely packed is enough.

This allows the perennial plant to keep growing and blooming so it can come back next year.

Be aware of where you are picking. Do not take plants closer than a few yards next to a highway or busy street, or from an area you know or suspect is contaminated with lead or other chemicals/heavy metals. Remember that whatever goes onto your skin gets absorbed into your body to some extent.

When you get home, spread the St. John’s wort out to wilt for a few hours or overnight, or place in a very low-temp oven for a short time. This gets out some of the moisture, so your oil is less likely to mold. It is called fresh-wilting.

Next, cut up the plant material to some extent.

Lightly pack the St. John’s wort into your clean jar. You don’t want to cram as much plant material as possible into the jar, but you also want more than a few sprigs of herb. The herb matter should be slightly springy.

Pour the oil in and fill the jar to a little above the top of the plant matter, then take a skewer or chopstick and stir to get air bubbles out.

Screw on the lid.

Label your jar with the date, the herb, and the kind of oil you used.

Check the jar the next day and add more oil if necessary, because the plants may have absorbed some and the level may have dropped. Make sure plant material is completely covered, because any plant matter that is above the oil, in air, can easily cause molding. You can shake the jar to get the herb and oil to combine more completely.

Depending on your preference you can leave your oil on a sunny windowsill or place it in a dark cupboard. Either way, put it on a plate or something oil-resistant! Some of the oil will inevitably ooze out of the jar. Let this mixture brew for six weeks (if you’re in a hurry, 4 weeks will do), checking it occasionally and stirring out air bubbles.

After six weeksyour oil may go bad if you wait too long. Using cheese cloth or clean muslin (don’t use a coffee filter or paper towels, the pores are too fine and will clog up), strain out the plant matter, then squeeze out any leftover oil from the plant matter.

Put your infused oil into another clean, dry jar. Label this jar also.

The oil will last for several years, especially if you keep it refrigerated or in a cool place.

You can use the oil directly on your skin, or as the base for salves and lotions. St. John’s wort oil is a great soother for sunburn, sun-poisoning rash, and some eczemas. It is also a fine moisturizer. Traditionally St. John’s wort has been used externally to help with nerve pain.

Remember not to use it on open wounds, and always consult a health-care practitioner about any skin problems.

Oils and Waxes for Skincare and Skincare Products

This is a listing of some of the oils and waxes used in making herbal lotions and salves and other skincare products.

There are more oils than mentioned here, but this gives you a start.


Olive Oil (Olea europaea)

  • Comes from the fruit of the olive tree.
  • Olive oil has good keeping qualities and doesn’t easily go rancid.
  • The best olive oil to use is extra virgin. It’s high in chlorophyll and an excellent solvent for the medicinal properties of herbs, therefore it has traditionally been used by herbalists for making medicinal oils.
    It has medicinal properties of its own. It is occlusive and emollient.
  • High in fatty acids and vitamin E, and packed with vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
  • Traditionally used by herbalists to make healing herbal oils.

Almond Oil (Prunus amygdalus)

  • Comes from the seed (the nut you eat).
  • Almond oil is emollient, nutritive, and skin-softening. It is rich in protein, minerals, and amino acids. It relieves itchy or inflamed skin.
    It is lighter than olive oil, therefore popular as a bath and skin oil.

Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca)

  • From the seed of the apricot fruit.
  • Apricot kernel oil is light and fine, good for sensitive or delicate skin. It is a skin softener, and helps heal damaged skin cells. Rich in Viatmins A and B. Can be used as a substitute for sweet almond oil.

Avocado Oil (Persea americana)

  • From the avocado fruit. Contains vitamins A, D, and E; protein, lecithin, and fatty acids. These are all helpful for dry skin or eczema.
  • Helps rebuild skin collagen and diminishes age spots.
    Useful for soothing sunburn.

Castor Oil (Ricinus communis)

  • From the seed of the castor plant fruit.
  • Humectant, soothing, emollient, and deeply penetrating.

Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao)

  • from the cocao bean (a seed).
  • Solid at room temperature, but melts on contact with the skin; has a lovely chocolate scent. It is very fatty and therefore it is great for dry skin, but not oily skin.
  • Soothing, emollient, and lubricating. (Don’t use as an emulsifier for salves and lotions as it liquefies when warm.)

Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera)

  • from coconuts (seed of the coconut tree).
  • Solid at normal room temperatures, will liquefy when temperatures get to about 76-80 degrees F.
  • Moisturizing, emollient.
  • Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic.
  • Externally it increases skin cell turnover and decreases healing time; good for pregnant bellies and breasts, stretch marks, and C-section scars. (Don’t use as an emulsifier for salves and lotions as it liquefies when warm.)

Grapeseed Oil

  • Antioxidant, antibacterial, deodorizing.
  • It is very light, rapidly absorbed, and leaves no oily residue. It is good for use on oily skin.

Hemp Seed Oil (Cannabis sativa)

  • From the seed of the plants. Emollient.

Kukui oil (Aleurites molaccana)

  • A seed oil. Easily absorbed. Emollient, soothing to irritated, sunburned, or burned skin.


  • An oil produced by sheep to protect and waterproof their fleece. Works well as a skin conditioner.
    Some people are allergic to lanolin, and some people with wool allergies may also be allergic to lanolin.
  • Lanolin can be used as an emulsifier in lotions and creams. It can hold up to 2 times its weight in water.

Sesame Oil (Sesamum indicum)

  • from sesame seeds. Occlusive and emollient, polyunsaturated. Antifungal. In Indias it’s used to cure athlete’s foot.

Sunflower Seed Oil (Helianthus annuus)

  • from sunflower seeds.
  • Lightweight, full of vitamins and minerals.
  • Good for all skin types.

Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii)

  • nourishing and moisturizing. Good for sensitive skin.

Walnut Oil (Juglans regia)

  • From the nut of the walnut tree.
  • The oil contains minerals and is emollient and vulnerary.



  • A by-product from bees.
  • Contains tiny amounts of pollen, propolis, and honey.
  • Holds fatty oils in emulsion in salves, creams, and lotions.
  • It is an emulsifier and skin softener. It does not clog pores. Has melting point of about 144O.

Candelilla wax (Euphorbia cerifera)

  • A vegetable wax.
  • Used as a substitute for beeswax in cosmetics and candle-making.
  • Derived from flakey residue on stems of candelilla plant that grows in American Southwest.
  • Has melting point of about 155-165O.

Carnauba wax (Copernicia cerifera)

  • A vegetable wax derived from the Carnauba palm of Northern Brazil.
  • Hardest of the natural waxes. Has melting point of about 172-181O.
  • When using carnauba wax in place of beeswax, always use less carnauba wax than the amount of beeswax called for.
    Start with an amount of carnauba ¼ that of beeswax, and gradually increase until desired consistency is reached.
    You’ll probably use about ½ the amount of carnauba as of beeswax.

Jojoba (Simmondia chinensis)

  • a wax ester extracted from the seeds of a native cactus that grows in the American Southwest and Mexico. It appears to be a viscous oil, but is actually a wax.
  • Contains protein, minerals, and a waxy substance similar to collagen.
  • Lubricant, cleanser, moisturizer; reduces wrinkles and stretch marks, helps lighten and heal scars.
  • Helps protect agains UV rays.
  • Antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, emollient.
  • Similar in chemistry to sebum, skin’s natural moisturizer.
  • Conditions and softens skin and hair.
  • Good for dry, chapped skin and as a nail and cuticle conditioner.
  • Doesn’t clog pores. Non-toxic, non-allergenic.
  • It’s an emulsifier.
  • The oil is similar to, and has replaced, sperm whale oil

Foraging for Local Food Plants

It’s April, and in my little corner of New England, that means it’s time to go out and see what’s coming up that’s good eatin’.

ground ivy swathYou can call it wild-crafting or foraging, or just plain nibbling on weeds, but whatever it’s called, it comes down to finding the plants around you that are edible and palatable and then eating them.

So as the season begins, I thought I would share some thoughts on foraging and suggest a few guidelines.

Whether you forage only once or twice a year, or you forage every day, there are a few things that are really important:

  1. Know your plants! Or at least the ones you want to use. And the ones that are poisonous.
  2. Know the area where you are foraging. Is it pristine wilderness? Is it your lawn, or a city park? Is it where dogs congregate? Were chemicals used on the land or dumped there at some point? Do you know what plants grow there at different times of the year?
  3. What do you want to do with the plants you collect, and what parts of them do you want to use?
  4. Take care of the land and the plants where you forage, whether in the middle of the city or the middle of the wilderness.

Let’s take these one at a time.

Know Your Plants

It’s pretty useless to go out foraging if you don’t know what you’re looking for! So you need to know at least one plant you want to find, and where to look for it. No use looking for a desert plant in a swamp and vice versa. No use looking for a plant that only grows in the western part of the country in the east (believe me, I know this—I’ve tried!).

You need to know which plants are edible, or medicinal (or both), or can be used for what you have in mind. You also need to know which ones are inedible or even poisonous. There is a difference between inedible and poisonous. Inedible simply means that it can’t be eaten or that it does not have nutrition for humans (e.g., cows get nutrition from grass, humans do not). A poisonous plant will have physical or psychological effects on you, making you sick in some way or even causing death. The amount needed varies with the plant, some will make you sick but not kill you even in fairly large amounts, others will kill you with tiny amounts (e.g., certain mushrooms).

How do you know which plants are edible/useful and which ones to avoid? If you’re lucky you’ve picked up at least a few in passing. Otherwise, and to get a broader scope, you have to learn. How do you learn? Books, classes, friends, the internet.

Books are some of the best sources I can think of for learning about plants. The best have been around for awhile, and the information has been checked and double-checked. Despite the prevalence of handheld electronic devices I think the pictures in books are easier to see and compare. At the end of this article, I have a list of a few of my favorite books for foraging and identifying plants in general.

Taking a class or going out with an experienced teacher or friend is invaluable. Having someone who knows what they’re looking at and explaining it to you is the best way to take in this knowledge. I have been on plant walks, and what a teacher said, say, eighteen years ago, still echoes in my mind, I carry that with me. It helps me know the plants better and gives a richness to the experience. Also, having a person there that can answer your questions is really helpful.

These days the internet is a valuable tool for getting to know your plants. I love being able to plug a plant name or description into a search engine and have the answer or the beginning of the trail to an answer pop right up. The reason I don’t put the internet at the top of the list of ways to learn is because there is so much information and if you don’t know what you are doing, you don’t know whether it’s right or wrong. At best, it’s right and you get good information; at worst it’s inaccurate or plain wrong and could lead to being sickened or worse. The internet has plenty of information and lots of wonderful pictures, a real plus. But I use it more to confirm and add to knowledge than as a starting point. I also have an idea of what sites and bloggers, etc. are reliable.

Know About the Area Where You Are Foraging

Now that you know what plants you want to find, where do you go to forage? I’m lucky, I can go out in my backyard or my garden and start plucking the weeds (aka wild foods) that grow there. Foragable plants grow everywhere! It’s just a matter of whether you want to eat the plants that grow where you have found them.

What you want to be aware of is the environment in which your plants are growing. If you are foraging in your backyard, or a neighbor’s, make sure that chemical fertilizers and/or pesticides haven’t been used there. Also be sure that the land doesn’t have lead or other contaminants in it from previous uses. This same advice goes for foraging in fields, empty lots, woods, and so on. You can’t always know what was used on the land or how it was used previously, but use your best judgement.

Don’t forage where dogs congregate. Their feces carry parasites and other unpleasant critters that you don’t want getting into your body. Do check the ground around where you are foraging before you begin.

What about foraging in the city or near roads? This is a perennial question for which I have never developed a definitive answer. Cars spew chemicals that contaminate roadsides. Weed-killers are sometimes used as well. But sometimes that’s where you find your plants. Use your own judgement and intuition. My best advice is not to use plants really close to the road if you can help it.

I have such mixed feelings about using plants growing in the city. So many pollutants, so many germs. But what’s a city-dweller to do? See advice above. There are people who forage in Central Park in New York City, and who grow plants in pots on fire escapes or in little pocket lawns in the city. Again, it’s up to you. And a question to ask yourself: is what you are foraging for in a less than  pristine environment anymore contaminated or polluted than conventionally grown produce?

And it really, really helps if you know something about the environment in which your desired plants grow. That way you are looking for plants in the right places to find them. I was so happy to get a field guide that shows in what parts of the country various plants are found, so that I finally understood why certain plants in my edibles books just never, ever showed up in my eastern New England plant hunts.

If you go to the same places to forage month after month, year after year, you learn to know the plants that grow in the area. You know what plants to look for, when they appear, and what time of year they are ready for use. You develop a real connection with the plants and the land that cannot be taught in any book or gained on-line. It is subtle and sublime. There is an ineffable joy in meeting your plant friends in the same places each year, greeting them and watching them grow and change.

You also notice when new plants appear and ones you’ve been seeing for years disappear. Sometimes this is part of the natural cycle of change, sometimes this is an indication that something may be wrong that you may possibly be able to address.

Knowing the land where you forage also helps you to know what may be poisonous in the area. You know where to skirt around the poison ivy or poison oak, where the poison hemlock grows that you must avoid. When a new plant appears you don’t have to appraise every plant in the area to determine if it’s poisonous.

What About the Plants You Are Foraging?

Now, you know what plants you want to find, you know pretty much where to look for them. However, you also need to know what parts of the plant you will use. Some plants only have edible roots, some only have edible leaves or flowers; some, like chickweed, can be eaten in their entirety, excepting the roots. And some plants have edible parts only at certain times of the year, seeds being a prime example.

Some plants may be poisonous but have an edible part at one time of the year. Amazing, isn’t it? Pokeweed is an example of this, having edible shoots in early spring, but being poisonous in all other parts and other times of the year. Other plants may need certain types of processing to take out or neutralize their toxins. These are not the sort of plants that I would recommend for beginners. Far easier are plants like dandelions that are not poisonous and don’t require special preparation.

This is where books and classes come in really handy, as well as some internet info. Field guides specifically for edibles or medicinals tell you what part of the plant to use and when to eat or use them. Some even include directions and recipes for using the plants you find.

Take Care of the Plants and the Land

It is very important to be respectful of the land where you forage and the plants you harvest. It is not acceptable to go ripping up plants or ground to get what you want or over-harvesting for your own use. You share this land and the plants with other creatures and plants, and the very land itself.

When you forage and harvest, do your best to leave the area undisturbed. Pat down the dirt where you dug your roots, tidy up the stems and twigs from what you cut or plucked.

Never take all of a population of a plant in the area where you are harvesting, even if it is abundant. Leave some for others, and for the plant itself.

Make sure that you help the plants keep regenerating. If the plant has seeds, scatter some around to start new plants. If you are digging roots or tubers, leave some that are capable of regenerating, or replant some that you have dug up.

If you are foraging for endangered or at-risk plants, think long and hard about what you are doing. Do you really need to get it from the wild? Can you find a source that is grown organically? With some endangered plants, such as goldenseal, they are so rare that it is never alright to harvest them from the wild. With at-risk plants particularly, it is imperative to pay attention to how much you are taking and to make sure that the plants can continue to grow and reproduce. And if it is the only plant of its kind in the area or one you’ve never seen there before, please just leave it where it is.

An excellent resource for finding out what plants are endangered or at-risk is United Plant Savers.

Tools for Foraging

What do you need to have with you when you go out to forage? Foraging is not generally a tool-intensive activity and often the most important thing you’ll need, or wish you had, is bags or containers to carry things home!

When I go out to forage I try and remember a couple of things. The most important, to me, and most versatile, is a good pair of scissors. Scissors with points and that are well sharpened can do a variety of things, They cut stems, leaves, and flowers, of course, but they can also dig into the dirt in a pinch or used to pry things out. Some people may prefer a good knife, which I think could work just as well; I just never think to use a knife.

If you are going after thicker stems or small branches, pruners are very useful. At a certain point scissors just won’t cut it (pun intended) and you will be frustrated. But pruners don’t really substitute for scissors, because they are not good at cutting very thin stems, etc.

A trowel or small shovel is a handy thing to have along if you are going after tubers and roots.

And of course, you need something to put all those wonderful plants in to carry home! Stuffing a couple of plastic bags in your pockets is simple and easy. Having a cloth bag of some sort is handy, and can carry those plastic bags as you separate the different plants you’ve collected. Baskets are also lovely, and you can find baskets woven in a deep bag shape or made of wonderful materials like birch bark to make your collecting even lovelier. And if worst comes to worst, you can slip off your shirt or your jacket and use it to carry your plants. I’ve done that more than once.


Here is a list of some of the books I’ve found helpful. Some field guides focus on the eastern or the western part of the United States, so depending on where you live, you may want to get the appropriate guide.

I always recommend using more than book. No one book has all the information you will need or all the plant you will encounter. And each book has its own slant and way of organizing the plants and information. I also find general plant guides to be very useful, as they have many more plants in them than the specifically edible or medicinal plant guides. They also let you identify the interesting plants that grow around you, many of which don’t necessarily have an assigned use, or one that is currently popular.

If you look, there are often field guides to specific places, such as Baja California or the islands of BostonHarbor in Massachusetts.

My favorite field guide for general use, and an absolute must-have, is Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide.

Enjoy foraging and learning, and while using good sense and caution, don’t be afraid of getting to know the wonderful plants around you!

Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb, 1977, Little, Brown     and Company

A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America by Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny, Houghton  Mifflin Company

The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Eastern Region, 1979, Alfred A.  Knopf, Inc.

 A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guides) by Lee Allen Peterson and Roger Tory    Peterson, 1999, Houghton Mifflin Company

 A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides) by Steven Foster, James A. Duke and Roger Tory Peterson, 2000, Houghton Mifflin Company

A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Christopher Hobbs, Steven Foster and Roger Tory Peterson, 2002, Houghton Mifflin Company

A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants: North America North of Mexico (Peterson Field Guides) by Roger Caras, Steven Foster and Roger Tory Peterson, 1998, Houghton Mifflin Company

Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants by Christopher Nyerges, 1999, Chicago Review Press

Edible Wild Plants by Elias and Dykeman, 1990, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Color Field Guide To Common Wild Edibles by Bradford Angier

Field Guide To Edible Wild Plants by Bradford Angier

 A Field Guide To Berries And Berrylike Fruits by Madeline Angell