The Woman's Encyclopedia of Natural Healing

Gary Null, Author Seven Stories Press $19.95 (411p) ISBN 978-1-888363-35-7

Nutritionist Null (Nutrition and the Mind) zealously promotes various alternative approaches to healing, including, among others, aromatherapy, homeopathy, acupuncture and reflexology. Interviews with dozens of alternative health practitioners about their methods of treating a variety of women's health conditions yield 28 chapters arranged alphabetically from Aging to Varicose Veins. Most include a brief discussion of causes and symptoms, followed by a description by alternative practitioners of the shortcomings of conventional medicine and of their own successes. Often, glowing testimonials from happy patients are also featured. Some chapters include extensive herb lists, which are, however, of questionable usefulness since dosage information is lacking. Each chapter concludes with exceedingly brief summaries of what is described as state-of-the-art scientific research. While many of the articles summarized are from peer-reviewed medical journals, such sources as the London Evening Standard and Vegetarian Times may not inspire much confidence in the sometimes extraordinary claims for alternative medicine made here, e.g., that fasting can facilitate conception for women with fallopian tube obstruction. (Feb.)