How to Use This Book
This book is a comprehensive guide for the layperson seeking to use herbs to enhance health and manage disease. Herbs can be used with other dietary supplements and conventional health treatments to relieve diseases that threaten comfort, health, or life itself. Herbs also can be used to improve athletic performance, enhance sexual response, and complement a healthy diet. This book has been designed to be a user-friendly reference to the most readily available, effective, and reliable herbal remedies.
While not every herbal remedy will work for every person, there are so many herbs available that you'll likely find the right one or mixture to suit you. If you are disease-free, herbs are available to help you stay that way. Disease varies from person to person, and treating only the symptoms and not correcting the cause will not bring about a cure. The key to finding the right remedy is relying on the professional diagnosis of a qualified health practitioner in addition to self-evaluation. When symptoms are understood and conditions requiring urgent medical care are ruled out, then it is possible to choose the right herb or herbs to add to your plans for personal health.
Many herbs have been used successfully for centuries to treat a multitude of health problems. Other herbs offer benefits in the context of conventional, modern medical treatment. Herbs may extend the effects of medication, enabling lower dosages. However, changes in your medications should always be under the supervision of the prescribing doctor. Herbs may also soften conventional medication's side effects. In some cases, herbs may gradually replace manufactured medicine altogether. As herbs and conventional treatments gradually relieve symptoms and their causes, complementary healing techniques may accelerate recovery. Diet, nutritional supplements, massage, meditation, exercise, and other disciplines can round out a treatment plan.
This book has been written to provide the easiest way of choosing the most effective herbal treatments. It is divided into three parts. Part One offers an overview of the principles and materials used in herbal healing, and describes the herbs and herbal formulas recommended in this book. Each entry gives a description of the herb or formula and a brief review of how it is understood in terms of science-based medicine. The entries describe how each herb and formula can be used by itself, and how it can be used with other herbs, nutritional supplements, and prescription medications. Information has been updated to comply with what is presented in The Complete German Commission E Monographs and the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) for Herbal Medicines.
Part Two is an alphabetical listing of the health conditions that can be treated with herbs. Each entry begins with a brief discussion of the condition in mainstream medical terms that physicians use in describing their diagnosis. Then the entry lists A-to-Z options for dealing with the condition. There are recommendations for diet, nutritional supplementation, and complementary healing practices that can help herbs and medicine work even better. There are considerations for exploring further possibilities for healing, avoiding harmful interactions, and accommodating individual needs in therapy.
Part Three gives information needed for preparing herbs at home. This book also includes appendices listing sources of herbal products and a glossary for easy reference. The author has used some 2,000 technical references documenting the scientific validity of the herbs and formulas described in this book. Searches in medical literature, called Pubmed, were done to capture the latest high-quality science. This is the same website that your physician will use to seek the best treatment practices for your condition.
This book is designed so that it may be read as a reference manual, by individual herb, disease, and healing techniques. It is also designed to be read from cover to cover by the layperson and health-care practitioners with special commitment to herbal healing in the creation of health. It is designed to give you the information you need for a confi dent discussion with your health-care providers.
This book is not, however, a manual for self-diagnosis. It is usually simple to match the symptoms of minor complaints of short-term illnesses to the applicable herbal remedy. In these cases, self-assessment can be verified with a doctor. It is always imperative to consult a medical doctor when symptoms persist, cause acute pain, render unbearable disability, or appear to be life-threatening. Readers who find it difficult to locate qualified health-care practitioners knowledgeable in herbal medicine may refer to Appendix B: Resources.