on January 6, 1999
An extraordinary, splendid production of alive Publishing is the "Encyclopedia of Natural Healing," 1997 (second printing 1998). The immediate impression is that this book must have been produced by bibliophiles who have poured their admiration for high-quality books into their production: colorful binding, first-class paper, romantic, picturesque and informative color photos, encyclopedic format; it looks and feels like something substantial yet beautiful. No wonder that it received the Benjamin Franklin Award for 1998 as best book of the year!
Much more important for the consumer, however, is the fact that the Encyclopedia surely must be the first of its kind on the market! Having had access to and having read a great variety of books on natural health, I have never come across such a wealth of information on this topic. Leafing through it rather carefully, I found it remarkable in our times that such an encyclopedia could have been produced without yielding to the pressure of the New Age proponents and related esoteria! Consequently, this book represents the very best in its field from the "basic principles of the natural health philosophy", a "history of natural health" (from Hippocrates, Paracelsus, Kneipp, Schoenenberger, to mention only a few, to the pioneers of North America), a section on "healthy living space" (discussing many environmental topics, among them organic gardening, a home remedy chest and natural insecticides) to careful research on body systems, nutrition, nutritional supplements, healing herbs, homeopathy, tissue salts and other natural healing methods such as acupuncture, chelation, chiropractic and magnetic therapy.
If one wishes to be informed in a systematic, precise yet easy to understand way, the choice must certainly be this encyclopedia as it offers not only the main section of health problems from A-Z (with careful instructions on how to use nutrition, herbal remedies, homeopathy, tissue salts and external/physical therapies) but also concludes with seven appendices which list resource material, a list of medical plants in Latin, English, French, German and Chinese, a glossary of medical terms and references. Spas around the world, an extensive index and measurement conversion tables. All this allows the reader to understand how to self-diagnose any of the over 300 health conditions described and to find a natural treatment for herself without having to rely on a visit to her doctor. Particularly delightful are the excellent color photos which underline, explain and generally enhance the appearance of this volume.
I cannot think of a better gift for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. The "Encyclopedia of Natural Healing" not only pleases the eye but also informs the mind and offers help and advice in this important area of our life: our health.