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Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies Paperback – January 14, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Phyllis Balch was author of the bestselling Prescription for Nutritional Healing, as well as of Prescription for Nutritional Healing: The A-to-Z Guide to Supplements, and Prescription for Herbal Healing.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Open this herbal encyclopedia before you open your medicine cabinet. This book may help with illnesses from colds and flu to chronic fatigue to cancer. You can easily and quickly look up your ailment or disorder, get a clear explanation of what may have caused it, and find a list of herbal options to use in treating that particular illness or condition. You will get straightforward alternatives and establish when and if you should call a health-care professional. Prescription for Herbal Healing is a collection of herbal treatments that are reliable and understood in scientific terms. It offers precise herbal "prescriptions" that can be used to treat an array of health conditions. It lists herbs and formulas that can amplify the benefits of a healthy diet, nutritional supplementation, and natural healing techniques. It presents clear information on the compatibility of herbs with conventional medication in the treatment of health conditions. It points out possibilities for combining herbal healing with conventional treatment with outcomes that neither can achieve alone for various conditions. It's amazing how far we have come in natural healing, without serious side effects. Herbal treatments are capable of healing all kinds of disorders and all parts of the body. Many countries, especially the European countries and China, are ahead of the United States in using natural products such as herbs, but even in North America, many doctors now blend the best of conventional medicine with alternative healing and have found powerful new treatments that work.

Part One of this book defines the principles and materials of herbal healing. Then it lists over 200 of the plants used in traditional herbal healing and the scientific evidence for their use in extending health. It gives the most current scientific explanation of how each herb has been used successfully for centuries as a healing tool. It also provides current clinical information on the herbal formulas of ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, Native American, and South American medicine most widely used today, as well as several modern herbal formulas of great healing potential.

Although every herb and formula listed in Part One has been employed by one or more of the great schools of traditional herbal healing, no herb in Part One is employed only by informal healers. In fact, all of the herbs and formulas listed in this book are used in modern medical practice in Europe, Egypt, Israel, or Japan. The herbs and formulas listed in Part One are at least understood in chemical terms and can be used with predictable results with modern medicine. Interestingly, most conventional drugs were originally derived from plant sources. The problem with this is that to make a pharmaceutical drug, the component of the herb believed to be responsible for its activity is extracted and concentrated. In their whole form, herbs are buffered because they contain many different components. Because of this, they are less likely to cause side effects (which can sometimes be worse than the original problem).

People need to be educated about their treatment options and the potential risks involved. Anything you can do to help yourself, to empower yourself, helps to get rid of the sense of hopelessness when disease strikes. It's never too late to protect your health. There is no reason you should not know about your body and how it works, even as doctors know these things.

Not every herb recommended in Part One has been confirmed by the highest standards of research recommended (if not always actually used) in conventional medicine. That is, not every herb listed in this book has been confirmed as effective by statistically controlled, randomized, double-blind, clinical studies. But every herb and formula listed in this book is known to be safe when used as prescribed and has a long history of healing benefits, which makes for a brighter future for all of humankind.

Part Two of this book shows how these herbs and formulas can be used to treat over 150 specific conditions. This information is also based on scientific studies. It is included for those who wish to provide themselves with the widest range of possibilities for gaining health. This section reveals how herbs correct disease processes. It discusses the use of herbs with diet and nutritional supplements. It also lists dozens of therapeutic practices for which there is objective evidence. Herbs, nutrition, and personally directed healing therapies are included to give the reader even greater opportunity to take charge of his or her health.

Part Three provides information on making baths, compresses, creams, lotions, ointments, and tinctures. This information is included for those who are most comfortable using herbs as a healing art, as a healing connection to the natural world.

This entire book has been written with an acute and personal awareness of the frequently overwhelming cost of health care. The most economical approach to regaining and maintaining health is a combination of conventional medicine with supplemental approaches. Except for minor conditions, the herbs and formulas in this book are not chosen to replace conventional medicine. Instead, they are intended to work with conventional medicine, to help it work more quickly, effectively, painlessly, and economically.

Of course, for herbs to be useful with conventional medicine, it is essential to pay attention to herb safety. Only those herbs that are generally recognized as safe, or that can be processed by known manufacturing practices into safe forms, are included in this book. Special notes on safety for administration to children and during pregnancy and nursing are included where needed. Always read the precautions for each herb before using it. And since the philosophy of this book is that herbs can be used with a doctor's prescribed medication, interactions of herbs and drugs are noted throughout the text.

I want to thank you for choosing to read this book. Its purpose is to make the process of treating disease and returning to health a little easier for you. May this book help you use the best of herbal healing and, when needed, modern medicine to find greater health than you have ever known before.

--from Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, Copyright © January 2002, Avery Books, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc., used by permission."


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Avery Trade; First edition. edition (January 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895298694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895298690
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, was a leading nutritional counselor and advocate of natural therapies for more than two decades and spent more than twenty-five years researching natural approaches to health and healing.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 113 people found the following review helpful By G. Haim on May 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
We all loved the book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" by James F. Balch and Phyllis A. Balch, and now comes its long awaited twin; The same winning format, the same width of knowledge, and this time - the best herbs to treat (almost) every ailment. Besides an overview of the principles of herbal healing, the first part of the book describes a long list of herbs that are mentioned throughout the book, the scientific evidence of their benefit, and various considerations for use, alone and/or with other herbs. However, this part is missing a listing of active constituents (future edition?). The second part excells in bringing an alphabetical listing of various health conditions and summarizing, in a clear-cut table, the herbs that can be used, the doses, some ready formulas, and a short comment on action. I loved this format in the first book, and find myself praising this format in the present book. Need to treat an ailment? - just open the right page, and the table of beneficial herbs is right in front of your eyes. The story goes on - "Herbs to Avoid", general "Recommendations" and "Considerations" - all written by a super-expert in the field. Amazon found a very strange way to show us the contents of a book ("look inside") but never exposed "real" pages. Just give a customer a chance to look at a page from the second part of this book and he will know what this book is all about. In the third part I found the information I needed to prepare my own herbal extracts. The tips are invaluable and the various techniques for herbal healing are very well discussed. Ms. Balch made our life much easier and healthier by introducing two superb books where in a glance one can match nutritional healing with herbal healing for a wide array of common health problems. It's time to go one further step - to move both books to the CD format...
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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful By samiam on January 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book (I give 5 stars to few books) to anyone interested in herbs and herbal remedies from a more scientifically based approach. I found that her citation of studies and use of them to describe the actual effects of the herbs helpful, whereas most herb books are filled solely with arguments from tradition or some metaphysical bias. Although tradition, or any other tact, may actually be correct sometimes, I find it unconvincing alone. I like to know that ginseng, for example, has been shown in studies to relieve stress. I don't want to read an author only mention how it is a magic herb that will bring one closer to a certain positive force of the universe (apologies for the sarcasm). She does include, naturally, traditional uses (by multiple cultures) and their histories, but her descriptions/prescriptions aren't solely based on them. She does a wonderful job and has come up with a book I'd been seeking for a long time. She has obviously put a lot of careful time into this work, and ended up with what will surely earn its shelf life.

I hope this review has helped.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Robert on August 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found a flyspeck on page 407 so I'm giving this book 1 star---No, this is quite simply the most complete and the most reader friendly book on herbal medicine in print today, Phyllis Balch's finest effort. Free from the biases of authors who are selling particular products or promoting their in-store information kiosks, Prescription for Herbal Healing was obviously written to help real people get well with simple remedies at the lowest possible expense in the shortest possible time with the least risk of side effects (and when I checked MedLine, there were no reports of adverse results from using baby oil). I like it even better than the Prescription for Nutritional Healing books that are, for reasons I can't understand, for better known. Even if you think you've seen it all in herbalism, buy this book.
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97 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Penny Ormsbee on May 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I guess I was spoiled with "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" which I rated "5". I was expecting "Prescription for Herbal Healing" to be at least as good. I am in my last year at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, and I bought "Herbal Healing" as a reference tool.
While leafing through, I came across "Infertility". It mentions that spermicidal lubricants should be avoided since they will destroy sperm, which makes perfect sense. However, it goes on to mention that a good alternative would be baby oil or a light vegetable oil. I was shocked to say the least. Not only is baby oil a petroleum based product, it is highly scented with added fragrance. In fact, oil of any kind should never be used as a vaginal lubricant. Only water soluble, unscented products designed to be used in such a delicate area should ever be considered.
This alone has caused me to question the credibility of the authors on the subject of herbs. Maybe they should stick to vitamins and minerals as their specialty.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Estes on August 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book before realizing there was a newer edition. I wish Amazon would put a notice on a book's description page indicating a newer edition is available.

If you are interested in this book please note there is a newer, 2nd edition that came out April 3, 2012. But if it is anything like this edition, save your money.

Before you go searching for the new edition, consider this: On the first page that I randomly opened to, the author recommends using SBR-Lipocream for eczema.(SBR is no longer available, but similar creams are.) SBR-Lipocream contains the following ingredients: White petrolatum, purified water, mineral oil, cetostearyl alcohol, ceteth-20, methyl parabens, citric acid, sodium citrate.

If you're smart enough to be looking for a book on herbal remedies then I probably do not need to tell you just how wrong this advice is due to the toxicity of petroleum, mineral oil, denatured alcohol, ceteth-29 and methyl parabens. Such an outrageous recommendation indicates the author has absolutely no faith in a natural, herbal approach, which in turn casts doubt on the credibility of the author as to render the entire book a waste of time and money. It just begs the question: why would a so-called herbalist recommend toxic OTC pharmaceuticals? You can get this advice free from your pharmacist or, if you want a book on allopathic treatments, I suggest Lang's Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment book CURRENT Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2012, Fifty-First Edition (LANGE CURRENT Series)

Could the new, 2nd edition be as bad, I wonder? I will never know because I will not throw good money after bad.
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