Imagine having holistic physicians at your fingertips to answer your medical questions. With Natural Medicine, Optimal Wellness, you do. For each condition, you’ll sit in on a consultation between Dr. Jonathan Wright and a patient seeking advice. By the conclusion of each visit, you’ll have a complete understanding of why Dr. Wright prescribes particular natural treatments. Then, in a separate commentary, Dr. Alan Gaby follows up with an analysis of the scientific evidence behind the treatments discussed, enabling you to make informed decisions about your health.
If you wish to receive the best of care from the best of physicians, Natural Medicine, Optimal Wellness is the natural choice for your personal library of health and wellness books.
Alan R. Gaby, MD, an expert in nutritional therapies, is past-President of the American Holistic Medical Association and Editor of Healthnotes newsletter. He is also the author of Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis.
Jonathan V. Wright, MD, a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan, has taught natural medical treatments to physicians throughout the world. He is also the author of Dr. Wright’s Book of Nutritional Therapy.
1. Fundamentals of Natural Medicine
2. Digestion and Absorption
3. Food Allergy and Intolerance
4. Natural Hormone Therapy
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Congestive Heart Failure
Diabetes (preventing complications)
Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis (chronic obstructive lung disease)
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Hepatitis (acute and chronic)
Infertility (male and female)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Memory Loss and Depression (age-related)
Menorrhagia and Cervical Dysplasia
Pregnancy (preventing and treating toxemia)
Shingles (herpes zoster)
This book explains how natural medicine can be used to prevent and treat illness and promote optimal health. Although the term “natural medicine” has no universally accepted definition, to us it refers to the “medicinal” use of diet, nutritional supplements, natural hormones, herbs, and other naturally occurring substances.
We first became interested in natural medicine in the 1970s, after we realized that the usual drug-and-surgery approach that we were taught in medical school was often dangerous, expensive, and ineffective. Seeking better ways to help our patients, each of us stumbled independently upon a vast, and largely ignored, body of scientific research that pointed to a promising alternative approach. As we tried these natural remedies in our practices, we quickly became convinced that the medical mainstream was overlooking something important. Patients with a wide range of both physical and mental medical conditions who had failed to respond to the best that modern medicine offered, or who suffered intolerable side effects, routinely showed improvements that ranged from gratifying to dramatic. We often heard a patient say, “I’ve been to 7 different doctors, and you’re the first one who’s helped me.”
Hoping to unlock the full potential of natural medicine, we began a collaborative effort about 20 years ago to collect and review all the scientific research we could find in this field. Now, with more than 30,000 scientific papers in our files, and having between us more than 70,000 patient visits, we are firmly convinced that most chronic (and some acute) illnesses can be treated safely, effectively, and relatively inexpensively with natural medicines. In many cases, natural medicine alone can restore a patient to health. However, with some conditions (particularly more severe ones), natural treatments must be used in conjunction with conventional therapy.
In 1983, we began teaching natural medicine to health-care practitioners at an annual seminar. To date, more than 3,000 medical doctors, nurses, chiropractors, naturopaths, and other practitioners have taken our course. Those with whom we spoke at a later date all told us the same thing: Natural medicine really works for their patients.
The conventional medical community has for years either ignored or been openly hostile to natural medicine. In fact, some doctors practicing this type of medicine have been disciplined or had their medical licenses revoked on the grounds that they deviated from the professional “standard of care” (i.e., they dared to be different by choosing safer and more effective treatments). The pervasive bias against natural medicine was the topic of a recent commentary in a well-respected mainstream medical journal. Part of this negative attitude may reflect the influence of the pharmaceutical industry (which spends heavily on both drug advertising and the funding of educational programs) on medical education. The negative bias of some government agencies, particularly the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), against natural medicine has also likely inhibited many doctors from taking a closer look at the natural approach. Another factor might be what psychologists call “cognitive dissonance:” Many doctors have a hard time considering the possibility that a simple and safe alternative exists, after they spent years learning to become experts at administering toxic drugs.
Fortunately, more and more doctors are beginning to look seriously at natural medicine, and the research supporting the effectiveness of this approach is stronger than ever. Of course, big changes usually come slowly, and there is still a great deal of resistance to using natural methods instead of drugs and surgery. We hope that this book will help to speed the transition of our health-care system from one that is too often ineffective and dangerous to one that is more humane and better meets the needs of the people it serves.
The first 4 chapters of this book provide general information about diet, digestion, allergies, and natural hormones. In Part 2, we discuss specific conditions and address how natural medicine—using both diet and nutrient supplements—can help. Overall, this book is designed to provide useful information related to the prevention and treatment of most of the common medical conditions that affect us.