There are a seemingly endless plethora of books on medicinal plants, herbalism, healing foods, traditional remedies, and so forth. However, most of these books lack strong scientific evidence supporting their recommendations. Thankfully there are a few gems among these with a wealth of knowledge and based on current scientific research. Here are some of my favourites.
The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine Third EditionÂ by Michael T. Murray andâ€Ž Joseph Pizzorno
This book is a great resource for both practitioners as well as the general public. The authors do an amazing job of discussing each pathology, the conventional treatments and the possible treatment options. What I really appreciate is that they also deal with herbal treatments which are common but ineffective and explain as much. I think this is extremely useful, as often people will say “I saw on the internet that I should be taking x”, or “This person told me about x”. At the end of each chapter (the pathologies are ordered alphabetically and each has a dedicated chapter) is a treatment summary with a recommended treatment plan. I really love this book, and it is quite comprehensive.
Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffmann
This book beautifullyÂ blends western traditional herbalism with a modern scientific understanding of biochemistry. The introductory chapter is almost poetic and followed by very succinct and easy to understand chapters on phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicity and safety. After establishing this needed background knowledge, the author then goes on to examine the preparation of herbal formulations for various disorders grouped by body system. This is another great resource to deepen one’s understanding and appreciation of Vis Medicatrix Naturae.
Naturopathic Oncology Third editionÂ by Neil McKinney
In this detailed, encyclopedic text on natural treatments for cancer, Niel McKinney ND reviews a wide variety of natural treatments of varying efficacy, from the down-right dangerous to those that are so versatile they can simultaneously attack the cancer cells, enhance the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug and reduce its toxicity. The book begins with a very detailed overview of the pathogenesis of cancer, the biochemical and genetic abnormalities, and then goes on to provide a broad overview of conventional therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and immunotherapy. In the second half of the book, there are recommended protocols for many specific forms of cancer, as well as protocols for concurrent use with specific chemotherapies. This book brings a lot of clarity to the important and very misunderstood subject of natural treatments for cancer.