A Whole Foods Primer: A Comprehensive, Instructive, and Enlightening Guide to the World of Whole Foods. Beatrice Tram Hunter. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications; 2006. 188 pages, softcover, references, index. $15.95. ISBN 1-59120-086-5.
A Whole Foods Primer divides whole foods into 5 groups, with a chapter for each: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and animal and vegetable protein foods. Chapters discuss the nutrients, functions, benefits, and roles both in general and for partic-ularly valuable items within each group, as well as providing suggestions for selection, storage, and use. The author encourages a rational and practical approach to incorporating whole foods into the diet to optimize health.
The Herb Society of America's Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking with Herbs. Katherine K. Schlosser. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press; 2007. 349 pages, hardcover, b&w illustrations, recipes, references, bibliography, general and recipe indexes. $29.95. ISBN 978-0-8071-3255-5.
The book has 3 distinct sections. The first profiles each of the 63 herbs in the Culinary Garden of the National Herb Garden in Washington, DC, with information on classification, origin, history, growing requirements, and suggestions for use in cooking. The second is made up of more than 200 unique and creative recipes, arranged by type of dish and contributed by Herb Society of America members. The book closes with descriptions and plant lists for each of the gardens within the National Herb Garden.
Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom. Andy Letcher. New York, NY: Ecco; 2007. 360 pages, hardcover, b&w photos and illustrations, appendix, notes, references, index. $25.95. ISBN 0-06-082828-5.
Shroom examines the history of human encounters with psychoactive mushrooms and their cultural impact. The first section discusses species characteristics, ancient representations and references, and case reports of accidental ingestion through the ages. The second examines the lore on the genus Amanita, and the third and primary focus of the book is on the genus Psilocybe and its rise in the modern subculture. A primary concern of the author is the critical analysis of the popular conception that intentional use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is an ancient practice.
Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process. Lewis Mehl-Madrona. Rochester, VT: Bear & Co.; 2007. 324 pages, softcover, notes. $20.00. ISBN 1-59143-065-8.
Explores the role of storytelling in Native American cultural and healing traditions, arguing for a holistic view of illness as occur-ring in the context of a person’s personal and cultural history and requiring an examination of that history in order to heal. Provides examples of how this concept can be applied for healing in general and for asthma, mental illness, cancer, and diabetes specifi-cally.
Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine. B. Bauer, C. Frye, K. Wallevand, R. Dietman, and K. Kaufman, eds. New York, NY: Time Inc.; 2007. 192 pages, hardcover, color photos, additional resources list, index. $24.95. ISBN 1-933405-92-9.
This colorful and lavishly designed volume is an accessible basic reference directed at the layperson. The book covers a wide array of topics, including herbs and supplements, mind-body techniques, energy therapies, and hands-on therapies. Part 1 introduces the concepts and discusses the impact of lifestyle choices on health. Part 2 is a guide to therapies organized by type, with entries for each therapy including a brief explanation of the therapy, a global recommendation on safety and effectiveness, and a synopsis of research results. Part 3 provides information on both conventional and alternative treatments organized by condition.
The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy. Dana Ullman. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books; 2007. 387 pages, softcover, references, notes, index. $19.95. ISBN 1-55643-671-8.
The author begins by discussing the basic assumptions underlying homeopathy and his proposals as to why it provides benefits, followed by an account of the resistance and retaliation encountered by homeopathic practitioners in America, Europe, and Asia. The remainder of the book catalogues the support and use of homeopathy by prominent people arranged by profession, providing the author’s argument for its acceptability and popularity through the past several hundred years by a wide cross-section of human-ity.