Thursday, June 15, 2006

Natural Medicine, Optimal Wellness: The Patient’s Guide to Health and Healing (softback)

Authors: Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. and Alan R. Gaby, M.D.
Publisher: Vital Health Publishing/$21.95 (388 pages)
Date of Publication: 2006
Reviewed by: James J. Gormley (member, National Book Critics Circle)

Originally published as The Patient’s Book of Natural Healing in 1999, the return of this encyclopedic and comprehensive natural health resource could not come at a better time. Written by two of progressive medicine’s most well-known physicians, Drs. Jonathan Wright and Alan R. Gaby, Natural Medicine, Optimal Wellness: The Patient's Guide to Health and Healing is collectively backed by decades of clinical experience and 30,000 scientific articles.

Wright and Gaby convincingly show how most chronic illness “can be treated safely, effectively, and relatively inexpensively with natural medicines.” Following foundational chapters--including the fundamentals of natural medicine, digestion and absorption, and food allergy and intolerance--the authors then provide a 300-page encyclopedia of enlightened nutritional and holistic approaches to conditions ranging from acne rosacea to ulcerative colitis.

Natural Medicine, Optimal Wellness is unique in a number of ways, one of which is its format: the condition “chapters” all begin with fascinating and very consumer-friendly case reports by Dr. Wright followed by detailed comments and recommendations by Dr. Gaby.

Another way this book is original is in its selection of health topics, since rarely covered yet common concerns, such as cervical dysplasia and bursitis, are also included.

While I might gently depart from the authors in one or two cases in the 388 pages (such as with the comments about milk and diabetes), what’s much more important is that this reference has automatically earned its rightful place in today's “pantheon” of classic health resources right alongside those “nutritional prescription” and “definitive guide to alternative medicine” tomes, one which deserves to be (and should be) in every health-food store and consumer home health library in North America--and beyond.

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