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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Author Gail Bradney Review Self Help Book

Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health, the Wise Woman Way (
Ash Tree Publishing, $29.95)
 by Susun S. Weed
ISBN-13: 978-1-888123-13-5 / ISBN-10: 1-888123-13-3
Integrative medicine, women's and men's health
Reviewed by Gail Bradney
No matter how old we get, many of us still feel perplexed, fearful, or even embarrassed when dealing with a health problem that affects our reproductive system or other functions "down there." That's not surprising, says best-selling author and nationally esteemed health expert Susun S. Weed. "For both genders, the pelvis is a potent place that holds enormous energies," she explains. "But it's also a complicated area of the body that, for many of us, remains mysterious."
Weed has made a significant contribution to the health literature in her newest book, called Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health, the Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing, $29.95), which presents integrative, alternative, and conventional treatment options for both men's and women's reproductive health. Weed destigmatizes such common conditions as dry vagina, herpes, enlarged prostate, incontinence, and sexual difficulties in a new reference that will turn any reader into an enthusiastic student of natural medicines.
Organized by body parts and functions, Down There has a section devoted to women, and one to men. Using straightforward descriptions of common health conditions and detailed step-by-step explanations of various treatment options--including great recipes for things like antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and antivirals that you can make in your own kitchen--Weed gives readers access to a full range of effective herbal, homeopathic, and energy medicines to try before resorting to pharmaceutical drugs with heavy-duty side effects and invasive surgery. For every remedy she suggests, she includes not only the "how-to" but also the "why"--with clinical studies and scientific explanations that help readers make an informed decision.
Many men believe that prostate cancer is inevitable if they live long enough. Not so, writes Weed, who dispels many of the common myths associated with PSA tests and enlarged prostates, and offers men with prostate symptoms a variety of remedies they can apply in order to avoid or postpone surgery. Likewise, many women undergo unnecessary hysterectomies as a result of excessive bleeding or fibroids, when there are many proactive steps they can take before simply agreeing to go under the knife.
Fans of Weed will be familiar with her unique and reassuring perspective. She views health and healing through the lens of the Wise Woman Tradition, which she calls "the oldest way of healing." She shows readers how to support the body's natural ability to heal itself, but also how to use modern medicines safely. She believes that in all cases of illness, it's better to try conservative approaches first, exploring safe and natural treatments, before taking strong drugs with harmful side effects, submitting to dangerous tests, and undergoing invasive surgery.
In addition to covering scores of illnesses and ailments, from low libido and STDs to erectile dysfunction and incontinence, Weed devotes the back section of her encyclopedic reference to many original recipes and instructions for making your own tinctures, teas, tonics, poultices, and other healing formulas to turn your kitchen into a personal apothecary. She also includes mail order and internet sources for all the ingredients mentioned in the book.
Weed's big message in this and all of her books is that we have to take charge of our own health and bodies. Rather than taking a pill, why not try healing the underlying condition with herbs and diet? Rather than having an invasive screening test, why not support your body using natural healing options and see if the condition gets better? Weed's Wise Woman approach to health and healing not only gives people simple, safe options and remedies, but also serves as a sensible counterpoint to, in her words, "the medical profession's ever-expanding use of screening tests, followed by invasive tests, and treatments that lead to new symptoms, new scars, and new fears."
~Susun Weed is a four-time bestselling author and esteemed herbal medicine pioneer.
~The reviewer is an author in her own right.  

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