Author Topic: A good herbology/complementary and alternative medicine book?  (Read 1040 times)

Offline bluefoxicy

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Anyone know of any actually useful herbology and traditional medicine books?  I mean it's way easy to get a good book on Traditional Chinese Medicine... too bad a ton of stuff in TCM is ineffective, wrong, or just plain toxic.  A lot of stuff is scientifically proven, though, for example the effects of panax ginseng.

I'm looking for something that covers a wide variety of useful things, and rates them as "scientifically proven," "inconclusive," "useful for purpose X but no notable effects for claimed purpose Y and Z," etc.  Straight information, maybe some history.

Field remedy is a good thing to know.  There are tons of plants that are benign or outright toxic to ingest, but are not toxic when used topically as a wound antiseptic (absorption into the blood stream is at less-than-harmful levels, whereas eating it brings in a lot more).  Wasabi (probably horse radish too) is actually in there:  you can clean wounds with this stuff. Witch hazel too, and it causes wounds to heal quickly; but don't ingest it.  Ingesting siberian ginseng (not a ginseng plant) will slow internal bleeding, and is safe.

What sucks is everyone wants to jump right on the wagon and start shouting about how this stuff is either A) a load of crap; or B) a lost art of perfection and eternal life.  It's not like that.  A lot of this stuff is great, a lot is total and complete fail.  I need something practical.

EDIT:  Hmm, it seems searching for "phytotherapy" turns up something that's actually got a scientific body behind it!  In fact, a scientific body that revolves around clinical studies, mostly funded by universities and pharmacy companies looking for a new chemical to isolate.  Okay, data tables updated, information sources noted.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 02:05:48 PM by bluefoxicy »

Offline euge

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Re: A good herbology/complementary and alternative medicine book?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 01:07:47 AM »
I wish I had something for ya BFI. I'm a member of the ignore a problem, it'll eventually fix itself... school. ;D

How's that? Maybe some of the beer drinkers and white collar hell-raisers got better advice than the bs on google. Actually google is sometimes very helpful...


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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: A good herbology/complementary and alternative medicine book?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 01:01:26 PM »
I wish I had something for ya BFI. I'm a member of the ignore a problem, it'll eventually fix itself... school. ;D

How's that? Maybe some of the beer drinkers and white collar hell-raisers got better advice than the bs on google. Actually google is sometimes very helpful...


There is that, yes...

Then there's drinking tons of tea as a laxative (works, but I'm not sure I'd advise this...), or licorice root and anise tea to combat cold and flu (oddly, was covered in Immunity and Microbiology, causes increased interferon production AND reduces bronchial inflammation), and of course you can't discount ginger for eliminating non-severe nausea (alcohol poisoning and food poisoning aside, there have been studies for acute nausea and pregnancy-induced nausea treatment with ginger root).

It's a useful skill, just like familiarity with the making of small pale ale (around 2.5%) is useful because face it:  a major blizzard like we just had last year isn't exactly sunshine and butterflies.  The first minor storm blew my water out for a week and a half; the second kept me indoors with a freshly fixed water main for two weeks.  You do understand how absolutely useful having about 20 gallons of small ale stocked is, right?  Like, say the big snow was the first, and the water main broke... then we'd have no way to fix it for two weeks, and emergency vehicles couldn't even get around(!), and the stores were closed, and nobody could drive to somewhere with water, so we'd have people freezing and dying of thirst and emergency services failing to deal with it.

An encyclopedia of home remedies is similarly useful in an emergency situation, I guess.  Not really; it's not like you're going to say, "OH MY GOD, HERE IS MUGWORT!  WE CAN USE THIS TO HEAL YOU!"  But at least I feel like I have useful knowledge.  ... as long as these "home remedies" aren't voo-doo "appeal to tradition" things (it's been done this way for thousands of years, must be correct) and actually have observable effects and some scientific research (even for anecdotal:  this does/does not have dangerous toxins, etc, useful peripheral knowledge if you can't give scientific papers showing a definite effect; I'll try anything that falls under GRAS, even if it might be placebo).

Hard to do.

Offline weazletoe

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Re: A good herbology/complementary and alternative medicine book?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2011, 09:13:11 PM »
Man, this one sure fell flat!  ;D   

   I would just like to add..............Taco?
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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: A good herbology/complementary and alternative medicine book?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 09:33:43 AM »
Man, this one sure fell flat!  ;D   

   I would just like to add..............Taco?

Cilantro leaf tea?

Offline denny

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Re: A good herbology/complementary and alternative medicine book?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 09:57:57 AM »
I like turtles....
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Offline weazletoe

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Offline 1vertical

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Re: A good herbology/complementary and alternative medicine book?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 01:29:03 PM »
BFE funny this post arrived when it did.  I recently had high cholesterol numbers that
warranted my attention. This was in January.  I modified my diet and incorporated
No red meat and little dietary cholesterol as possible,
Cut out milk went to Almond milk.
Cut out cheese totally.
Ate Turkey, shrimp and fish, chicken for meats only...
Increased Salad intake with balsamic vinegar for dressing....
Ate oatmeal every morning with Honey for sweetner and almond milk for texture...
Incorporated palm dates for sweet tooth and snacking...
I put Omega 3,6, &9 caps twice daily along with Red Yeast Rice twice daily and

DROPPED My cholesterol from 220 to 147 in 60 days....that is like 73 points....

The red yeast rice did NOT hurt I am sure...and I did experience some muscle soreness from that I am sure.

granted this is not a scientific study just one true factoid of my personal mileage.
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.