There is a powerful popular movement abroad in the land, a movement for a new, and more effective, less toxic, more humane, more people-centered kind of health care. One of its rallying cries is “homeopathy.” Homeopaths tell us that tiny doses of substances that in larger doses can produce symptoms can be used to alleviate those symptoms, that like cures like. Though this concept pervades the thinking and practice of most of the world’s great healing traditions, including our own Greek Hippocratic medicine, it is foreign to most of us. It is qualitative rather than quantitative. It seems “soft” to many, mystical, or, in the words of its critics, even bizarre.
Yet homeopathy works. There are now close to 150 controlled scientific studies on homeopathy, many of which document what Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg- Ullman tell us in this book: homeopathic remedies are effective for common conditions such as asthma, arthritis, allergies.
We in the United States once believed that homeopathy worked. At the turn of the century between fifteen and twenty percent of all M.D.s were homeopaths. Then, intimidated by orthodox medical pressure, homeopathy faded from the American healthcare scene. Now, it is making a powerful comeback. And the reasons area simple. It often works. It’s inexpensive. Its principles are clear and its practice pleasing. And, it has very side effects.
In recent years, there have been a number of books about homeopathy. Some are scholarly and technical. Fortunately, many are popular in the best sense of the word. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that lends itself to self care. One can observe one’s own or a family member’s symptoms without technology and ask simple questions. Are there blisters on the skin, or led bumps? Is the nose running, or just the eyes? Does it hurt more on the right or the left? Is it worse when you get up or go to sleep? One can, based on the answers, prescribe and see the results.
In this book Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg Ullman, naturopathic-physicians, who previously focused on emotional problems, in particular, hyperactivity and attention deflect disorder; give us the guidance we need to successfully treat ourselves with homeopathic remedies. They give us succinct, easily remembered descriptions of commonly used remedies and list “key symptoms” that distinguish one condition from another. They give specific instructions for prescribing homeopathic remedies and how to decide when a remedy is working and what to do if it isn’t.
Homeopathic Self-Care is clear, kindly (as I read, I felt though the authors were at my side, gently helping me to see and think and prescribe), will organized and wonderfully useful. It is a powerful tool for those of us who want to enhance our own health and take back of our health care and an enormous contribution to the field. I will recommend this book to my patients.
James S. Gordon, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, Georgetown Medical School and author of Manifesto for a New Medicine: Your Guide to Healing Partnership and the Wise use of Alternative Therapies.
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