William Thomas Fernie (b. 1830). Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure, 2nd edition. (Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1897.)

Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure is one of the best herbals ever written. Fernie was a late 19th century medical doctor who possessed endless curiosity, a sharp eye, and an excellent ability to summarize what he had discovered. Not only was he familiar with the great British herbals but he had a healthy respect for folk healing traditions. The result is this remarkable book, which contains endlessly fascinating information about the medicinal powers of plants. Later herbal writers have mined this book repeatedly, usually without giving Fernie the credit which he was due.

If you're interested in finding out which tree possesses "an almost human consciousness", or discovering a charming recipe for violet tea,or which herb will refresh the memory and comfort the brain, this is the herbal for you. Diviners in particular will be interested in reading what Fernie has to say about mugwort, rue and vervain, plants which have long been recommended for helping second sight.

Fernie wrote several other interesting books on natural healing, some of which are available at the Internet Archive.

Read Herbal Simples here