Steven Foster is the author or co-author of eighteen books, the latest is a new THIRD EDITION of the Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America (with James A. Duke, photography by Steven Foster). Why a new edition? The new edition has over 700 photographs, 88% of which are new images. The book includes 60 additional species and is updated throughout with updated scientific and family names, distribution information, and flowering times. From 2000 (2nd ed) to 2013, the medicinal plant research literature has increased by five-fold compared with ALL data published prior to 2000! Jim Duke and myself scoured the literature with an eye toward scientific and ethnobotanical/historical data that reconciles tradition with science. In addition we updated safety, toxicity, and drug interaction information. In short this is a new book, that stands alone beside the two previous editions.
In 2010 I collaborated on National Geographic Guide to Medicine Herbs (with Rebecca L. Johnson, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. & David Kiefer, M.D.; Photographs by Steven Foster, with a Foreword by Andrew Weil, M.D). I am also the co-author of National Geographic's A Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine (2006, with Rebecca Johnson), named a 2007 New York Public Library "Best of Reference." I am the senior author of three other Peterson Field Guides, including A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs (with Dr. James A. Duke), 2nd edition, 2000; A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs with Christopher Hobbs, (2002); and A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants of North America (with Roger Caras, 1995).
My goal is simply to explore the relationship between people and plants in words and images. My travels have taken me to every continent except Antarctica, mostly in search of medicinal plants to photograph from the Amazon rainforest to the highlands of Vietnam. In 1974, I began my career at the Herb Department of the Sabbathday Lake, Maine, Shaker Community, America's oldest herb business dating to 1799. It has been an extraordinary journey, and it is my pleasure to share my experience through my books.