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|Prescription for Natural Cures|
by James Balch, Mark Stengler
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Balch, who coauthored the bestselling Prescription for Nutritional Healing, and Stengler, a naturopathic doctor, present this hefty reference book with detailed entries for about 200 ailments, from "abscess" to "warts." Each entry offers a definition of the condition and an explanation of associated symptoms, causes and testing techniques. The authors provide treatment options for each problem, including homeopathy, hydrotherapy and "Super Seven Prescriptions" (specific remedies mostly involving dietary supplements). Although some readers may wonder why almost as many pages are devoted to "dizziness" as "cancer," the entries do provide a helpful overview of common therapeutic approaches and include journal references, though it appears only some of the recommendations are supported by published studies. Balch and Stengler review basic alternative therapies, too, such as diet and nutrition, nutritional supplements and traditional Chinese medicine. While they acknowledge that some people will require both conventional and natural treatment, their tendency to equate "natural" with "nontoxic" seems overly simplistic. Many dietary supplements, for example, can be as potent as prescription drugs and cause side effects or interact with other medications. Still, readers navigating the sprawling world of alternative medicine will find this comprehensive resource to be a helpful starting place.
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