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The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies
ISBN 1862044090 / 9781862044098 / 1-86204-409-0
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This is an excellent reference book for alternative medicine, whether you're searching for a specific therapy to follow or you just want to view all the possible treatments for a specific ailment. The first half of the book breaks down alternative medicine into various schools of philosophy such as Ayurveda, Chinese herbal medicine, aromatherapy, and homeopathy. Each chapter provides a history of how the therapy developed, an illustrated explanation of the most common methods of treatment, advice on finding a qualified practitioner, and an exhaustive introduction to the therapy's most prominent herbs or other medicinal sources. These sections instruct you on how to use each type of herb or substance while offering cross-references to other therapies. For example, in the Chinese herbal chapter under ren shen, commonly known as ginseng, it not only tells you what to use it for and how, but also warns against side effects and refers you to similar uses in the herbalism chapter. The second half of the encyclopedia is divided into general areas, such as skin or respiratory problems, which are further broken down into individual ailments. If you want only one book to consult for your natural and alternative medical needs, this is among the most comprehensive and well written. [via]