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Ethnobotany of Pohnpei: Plants, People, and Island Culture. Michael Balick (ed). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press; 2009. Paperback, 585 pages. ISBN: 978-0-8248-3293-3. $28.00.

This book explores the plants, people, and traditional culture of Pohnpei, one of the 4 island members of the Federated States of Micronesia. Pohnpei is home to various unique plant species, many of which are described and pictured in this book. The book further presents the findings of a comprehensive ethnobotanical study and stresses the importance of preserving the culture, habitat, and biodiversity of Pohnpei.

Mental Health Naturally: The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body. Kathi Kemper. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2010. Paperback, 621 pages. ISBN: 978-1-58110-310-6. $21.95.

This book emphasizes the importance of exercise, sleep, communication, and nutrition in combating common mental and physical ailments, including stress, Attention-Deficit Disorder, anxiety, and depression. Natural and alternative remedies for these and other conditions are also explored, such as dietary supplements, herbs, homeopathy, massage, and acupuncture.

Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe. Maria Rodale. New York, NY: Rodale Books; 2010. Hardcover, 208 pages. ISBN: 978-1-60529-485-8. $23.99.

This book explores the benefits of eating organic foods, rather than foods grown and processed with synthetic chemicals. The author, Maria Rodale, is a third-generation advocate for organic farming; she states that the large-scale use of agrichemicals in farming does more damage to the environment than the burning of fossil fuels or the loss of rainforests. Organic farming can contribute to solving the climate crisis, as well as provide general health benefits, she writes.

Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon. Stephan Beyer. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press; 2009. Hardcover, 530 pages. ISBN: 978-0-8263-4729-9. $45.00.

Mestizos are the Spanish-speaking descendants of Hispanic colonizers and the indigenous people of the Upper Amazon. This book provides a glimpse of shamanism practiced by mestizos in this area, including ayahuasca healing ceremonies, spiritual relationships with healing plants, the use of psychoactive plants, and the use of plants for healing, magic, and sorcery.

The H.E.R.B.A.L. Guide: Dietary Supplement Resources for the Clinician. Robert Alan Bonakdar (ed). Baltimore, MD: Wolters Kluwer Health and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010. Paperback, 424 pages. ISBN: 978-0781782685. $59.95.

This book is intended to help clinicians integrate herbal and dietary supplements into the treatment of common conditions. Key issues such as labeling, dosing, regulation, interactions and reactions, efficacy, and clinical trials are explored. Also included are case studies of common conditions matched with a quick reference guide to natural medicines for specific disorders.

The North American Guide to Common Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms: How to Identify More than 300 Toxic Plants and Mushrooms Found in Homes, Gardens, and Open Spaces. Nancy Turner and Patrick von Aderkas. Portland, OR: Timber Press; 2010. Hardcover, 373 pages. ISBN: 978-0881929294. $29.95.

Numerous poisonous plants and mushrooms are found within the environment, and the best way to avoid mistaking them for something edible or non-toxic is through identification. Written by noted enthobotanist Nancy Turner, PhD, and Patrick von Aderkas, this resource aims to help parents, pet owners, gardeners, and others avoid accidental poisonings.

What the Drug Companies Won’t Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn’t Know: The Alternative Treatments That May Change Your Life—and the Prescriptions That Could Harm You. Michael Murray. New York, NY: Atria Books; 2009. Hardcover; 339 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4165-4933-8. $25.00.

This book provides information on ways to improve quality of life and health with diet, exercise, lifestyle, and natural remedies, while encouraging decreased reliance on pharmaceuticals. Author Michael Murray, ND, who has over 30 years experience in natural medicine, also explores the connections between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and pharmaceutical companies.