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by C. Norman Shealy
Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2012
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Jan 8th 2013

The Healing Remedies Sourcebook

If one is not adequately alarmed by the lengthy catalogue of horrible side effects that drones in the background of television advertisements for pharmaceutical products, one need only look to another type of advert--those from lawyers looking to locate the victims of bad drugs and seek recompense for the serious harms those drugs have caused--to appreciate the fact that something is terribly wrong with the current medical paradigm in the Western world. The manifold ongoing tragedies associated with the current paradigm and the new calamities that surface every day--from adverse drug reactions (700,000 emergency visits/per year and 120,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. alone) to death tolls--demonstrate the degree to which current "cures" are actually crippling health and in some cases killing or driving to suicide the people they promise to heal.

The broad catastrophe sweeping the very profession dedicated to human well-being has persuaded enlightened medical professionals to increasingly seek alternative approaches to the drugs-and-surgery model that currently reigns in the medical arena. Curiously, the new medical methods of the future for promoting health and curing ills often look backwards in time, drawing from ancient alternative healing traditions of Chinese and Ayurvedic origins and various indigenous lineages, to return the medical focus to primary care and to rediscover natural restorative remedies found in the pantry and forest. Dr. C. Norman Shealy is one such doctor leading the charge in new medical directions. His new book, The Healing Remedies Sourcebook, offers the reader a compendium of low-risk alternative treatment options, which have behind them centuries of home-use testing and testimony. Shealy's new sourcebook provides over a thousand natural remedies to prevent and cure hundreds of medical maladies from common everyday complaints to many of the chronic diseases that are endemic in modern societies--from memory loss and allergies to high blood pressure, obesity, stress, depression, anxiety and diabetes, as well as the more common ills of colds and flu, sore throat, conjunctivitis, dandruff, acne, stomach ulcers, headaches and hair loss.

Shealy's sources for these natural remedies to what ails us derive from the spectrum of holistic health and treatment traditions of Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, traditional home and folk remedies, herbalism, aroma therapy, homeopathy, flower remedies and vitamin and mineral therapies. The Healing Remedies Sourcebook represents a comprehensive catalogue of treatments and remedies that is skillfully organized to give a history of each practice and a full explanation (that only a medical doctor could give) of how the treatment works upon the body and mind, as well as a detailed account of appropriate usage and cautions or concerns about the treatment. Moreover, the book offers an exhaustive index of symptoms to guide people in identifying their condition and readily locating a range of treatment options from the many traditions, so that readers can maintain their health and self-treat any health concerns naturally, safely and effectively.

The book is organized according to an appealing and helpful logic. The first part offers a detailed overview of each of the eight healing traditions, packing the medical kit of each tradition with its basic medicinal ingredients, a how-to guide of treatment and application techniques, cautions and warnings, and an outline of the professional applications as they are in use today. The second part of the sourcebook then reviews common ailments, grouping them by type or bodily location and then explaining how each tradition approaches treatment of the condition. A final section offers first aid remedies for emergency care of such problems as bites and stings, bruises, mild shock, cuts, abrasions, sprains, travel sickness, nosebleeds, burns and scalds, sunstroke and food poisoning. The book ends with a comprehensive index.

Shealy is no newcomer to the field of natural and traditional remedies. He is the founder of the American Holistic Medicine Association and a world-renowned neurosurgeon. The Sourcebook is the third in Shealy's major works on the subject of holistic approaches to health and healing. This book would prove an vital compendium of alternative approaches for medical professionals, as well as for parents and teachers. It would also be of great benefit to people who travel beyond the reach of medical professionals, a handy resource to keep alongside their copy of Werner, Maxwell and Thuman's Where There Is No Doctor  (Hesperian Foundation, 1992).  In short, it is an invaluable resource for those who reside--both geographically and philosophically--far from the modern medicinal paradigm.

 

© 2013 Wendy C. Hamblet

 

Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D., Professor, North Carolina A&T State University.