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They deliver even more than they promise. This is one of the most comprehensive and well-written herbal guidebooks available. The opening pages are devoted to important discussions about herb usage, including safety tips (such as never giving herbs to children younger than 2 years old without your doctor's approval), dosage information, and how to make your own herbal remedies. It has a quick-glance chart of familiar ailments, along with a listing of commonly used drugs and herbal alternatives. (For instance, according to the chart, bladder infections are routinely treated with antibiotics, but numerous herbal remedies exist, including bearberry, cranberry, goldenseal, goldenrod, and Oregon grape root.)
The meat of the book, however, is devoted to an alphabetized listing of ailments as well as extensive discussions of herbal remedies, dosages, and ongoing treatments. For example, under "sinus infection," readers will find a list of symptoms, a sympathetic write-up about the causes and different kinds of infections, and a list of numerous herbs and treatments, from echinacea to the Chinese herb astragalus. Entries address minor ailments such as a hangover to serious diseases like diabetes and Parkinson's disease. The book closes with a thorough index and a listing of manufacturers that sell herbs. Without a doubt, this is the book for treating common ailments with herbs. Anyone interested in exploring alternatives to prescription drugs will find safe and sound advice within these informative pages. --Gail Hudson
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