Book Review: Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 1

In Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 1, the first in a five-volume series, Dr. Jill Stansbury makes a strong case for herbs in clinical case management–with tremendous success.  As a licensed naturopathic doctor and esteemed clinical herbalist, Dr. Stansbury shares thirty years of experience with botanical medicine from all over the globe in this incredibly helpful text, which is part guidebook, part materia medica, and part recipe-based formulary, laced with an enthusiastic appreciation of all things herbal medicine.

Taking Docere to the Next Level

Gotu kola illustration – Jillian Stansbury, ND

This compendium of original and traditional recipes, thoughts on patient care philosophy, and anecdotal clinical pearls bridges folkloric and historic uses of herbs with evidenced-based research, providing a useful, easily navigable, and trustworthy source for busy clinicians. On the whole, it embodies naturopathic philosophy in its entirety, highlighting particularly well the principles of Tolle totem, encouraging the use of herbs to treat the whole person, rather than a set of symptoms, and Vis medicatrix naturae, asserting that herbs support innate vitality, in addition to opposing disease.  Dr. Stansbury takes her role as doctor as teacher (Docere) seriously, and, with her clear and succinct writing style, is incredibly adept at teaching the reader about the energetic subtleties of herbal formulations and innovative ways to craft effective formulations.
I was particularly impressed with “The Triangle Exercise,” which is used to illuminate case examples throughout the book. This easily understood and easily utilized technique elevates herbal knowledge learned in years of schooling to clinical relevance, which is no small task.
In short, Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 1 is a well-researched and beautifully presented herbal resource from the desk of Dr. Jill Stansbury. Because of its easy readability, logical organization, and wealth of information, it is an asset to students, newly graduated herbalists and doctors, and seasoned practitioners alike. I recommend it as a frequently referenced text in the library of any herbal practitioner.

Did You Know?

Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 1: Digestion and Elimination focuses on 4 primary sections: Gastrointestinal System, Liver & Gallblader, Urologic System, and Dermatologic System (each linked to respective individual course page). Naturopathic CE has teamed up with Dr. Stansbury to offer an entire botanical medi​cine continuing education series, called ‘Creating Herbal Formulas’ – with each course in the series being based on a specific section of her book.

Buy the Book!

Click here to purchase Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals: Volume I.


Sarah E Ouano ND

After graduating from National University of Health Sciences (IL) as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in 2011, Sarah completed a residency in Seattle, WA, which focused on infectious disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder. While there, she also served as a volunteer physician at an LGBTQIA homeless shelter, acting as a primary care physician for both youth and adult patients. In 2016, she completed a term of AmeriCorps VISTA service, and has since become heavily invested in the intersection of public health and social justice, and how an individual’s health picture shapes a community.

Jillian Stansbury ND

Dr. Jillian Stansbury is a licensed naturopathic physician with 30 years experience, specializing in women’s health, fertility, PCOS, adrenal and thyroid disorders, and endocrine imbalances. She also treats immune and allergic disorders, and chronic disease including diabetes, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease, as well mental health disorders including anxiety and depression.

Dr. Stansbury served as the Chair of the Botanical Medicine department at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon and remains on the faculty. Dr. Stansbury enjoys keeping up with the latest research in natural products chemistry and sharing the developments with other health professionals, as well as delving deeply into traditional and folkloric wisdom on the uses of plants as foods and medicines. Dr. Stansbury compiles her research and presents some 10-20 original research papers at medical conferences each year, and has published numerous scholarly articles and several books, including Herbs for Health and Healing, and PCOS Health and Nutritional Guide. She is the author of Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals – a comprehensive herbal formulary text based on her decades of research and clinical experience (published by Chelsea Green).

Dr. Stansbury is also an ethnobotanist and has conducted field studies in the Peruvian Amazon for over a decade, living and studying with the Wachiperi, Matstigenka, Bora, and Yagua communities for many years, as well as studying Andean plants. She has created photo, video, and herbarium archives of the plants that she has learned and has published several books on this material as well, including Stung by the Rainbow, and the Mystical and Medicinal Plants of the Andes and Amazon. She leads ethnobotany field courses for nature, adventure, and plant enthusiasts in the Iquitos and Manu regions of the Peruvian Amazon each July 20-30, and winter holiday. Email Dr. Stansbury for more information at [email protected].