The Top 10 Books on Natural Medicine: These Should Be On Your Bookshelf

My wife and I are often asked to recommend books on various health topics, probably because we're both Naturopathic Physicians. We're good people to ask. We are both addicted readers, and a few moments ago, I roughly calculated that we have close to 100 square feet of shelf space dedicated to mind/body/spirit-related books. The ten books that follow are among the best books in their fields. Naturally, each health-savvy person will have their own list, with perhaps no overlap between lists at all. We have tried to include only books that have a lasting, long-term relevance and have avoided including books that reflect current health fads.

1. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, by Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. and Michael Murray, N.D.

If you only had space on your shelf for one book on natural medicine, this might be it. Scientifically well researched and documented, Drs. Pizzorno and Murray present easy-to-read discussions on and natural approaches to over 70 common conditions. Perhaps just as important as the conditions discussed are the introductory chapters on natural medicine and the section on the four cornerstones of good health, which guide the reader to a deeper understanding of naturopathic and holistic medical approaches to health care.

2. What About Immunizations? Exposing the Vaccine Philosophy, by Cynthia Cournoyer
The most important decision parents will have to make concerning their newborn's health is whether or not and when to vaccinate. Continuing research in the field of immunology has raised serious questions about both the viability and safety of vaccinations. It is the responsibility of each parent to open-mindedly analyze the issues before buying into the present conventional wisdom. The thought-provoking, beautifully-researched, common-sense discussion in this book was written by a mother who was not getting clear and convincing answers to questions she was asking her pediatrician about vaccinations.

3. Ritalin Free Kids, by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, N.D. and Robert Ullman, N.D.

ADD and ADHD are trendy diagnoses that are currently being (mis)applied to almost every behavior or learning challenge that children encounter. This book should be read by any parent, friend or concerned relative before a decision is made to treat a child with conventional medication for behavior problems. Ritalin Free Kids offers safe, effective and lasting alternatives to ADD and ADHD.

4. The Homeopathic Emergency Guide, by Thomas Kruzel, N.D.

Although there are a number of basic guides to homeopathy, this book ranks right near the top of the list in terms of ease of use and quality of information provided. The Homeopathic Emergency Guide is organized by diseases and symptoms to provide ease in selecting the correct remedy.

5. Breast Cancer: What You Should Know (But May Not Be Told) About Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment by Steve Austin, N.D. and Cathy Hitchcock, M.S.W.

Dr. Austin and his partner, Cathy Hitchcock write from the personal, first-hand experience of living through Cathy's breast cancer. More than anything, this book teaches how to ask the right questions and evaluate the risks and benefits of diagnostic procedures and treatments. This book is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking guidance in making difficult treatment decisions. We often recommend this book for persons suffering from non-breast cancers, as well.

6. Flower Essence Repertory, by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz

Lore has it that plants offer all that is necessary for the healing of humankind, on every level of being. Flower essences operate on the level of the energy body, and aid in mental, emotional and spiritual transformation. The Repertory categorizes the essences both by name and by condition, cross referencing for easy access. You'll find sections on sadness, sexuality, change of life, eating disorders, and pages and pages of other states of imbalance. Flower essences are non toxic, easy to use, and profoundly impactful. This book guides you in their use.

7. Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies, by Richard Gerber, M.D.

It is often said that energy is the medicine of the future, and that the more subtle the modality, the more powerfully transformative the potential of the medicine. Dr. Gerber marries ancient wisdom with space age science in his commentary on the many modalities of energy healing: acupuncture, homeopathy, flower essences, radionics, crystal healing, psychic healing, and many more. This book is the classic exposition of these cutting edge therapies and thought forms.

8. The Natural Pharmacy, by Skye Lininger, D.C., ed, with Jonathan Wright, M.D., Steve Austin, N.D., Donald Brown, N.D., and Alan Gaby, M.D.

For those of you who don't recognize the names here, the authors are four of the foremost medical nutritionists in the United States. They offer dietary, lifestyle, nutritional and botanical suggestions for treatment of common conditions, with information on side effects and interactions. Part One is indexed by condition, Part Two by nutritional supplement. This is a very handy reference guide.

9. Divine Will Healing, from the Original Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda
Compiled by Mary Kretzmann (director of the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry)

A compilation of original articles on yogic healing by Paramhansa Yogananda, this book includes profound, yet simply stated sections on right diet, right thinking, the sending of Life Force, and healing through breath and "energization" exercises. It also offers unique techniques such as "heliotropic healing", the simultaneous use of sunlight and Life Force to bring one's body into balance. We were awed by the coincidence of yogic philosophy with naturopathic thought, and by the depth of the teachings. (This is my wife's #1 pick).

10. Kahuna La'au Lapa'au: The Practice of Hawaiian Herbal Medicine, by June Gutmanis

Drawing from interviews of the living and journals and collections of the departed, Ms. Gutmanis weaves a magical picture of life when the mana of medical kahunas prayers soothed Hawaiian people's fear and suffering. More than just herbal prescriptions, the information is presented in cultural and historical contexts and is punctuated by 35 full color plates of Hawaiian medicinal plants and a variety of appendixes and glossaries.

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