The remedies and suggestions in this book include some evidence-based natural remedies in addition to the things I have found work well for my patients, evidence-based or not.
Natural Remedies was initially meant to be a simple re-write of my section of the popular book, Help Yourself: the A-Z of natural cures for common complaints, I co-authored with Jan Castorina way back in the last century. However, simple didn’t happen, as I had not accounted for three factors.
First has been the appearance of Doctor Google, who was not born when I wrote the first book, but whose presence is now ubiquitous. Doctor Google has a Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde persona. The positive Doctor Google allows a wealth of access to medical information for the average bear that was previously the closely guarded possession of medical professionals. The negative Doctor Google allows a wealth of access to misguided and possibly dangerous health information that the average untrained bear may not realise is incorrect.
Secondly, evidence-based medicine has arisen as the practice du jour for both mainstream and naturopathic medicine. Basically it means ‘show me the research’, with large randomised control trials being the preferred research tool. Trouble is, these trials are expensive to undertake, and few have been done on herbal remedies, (with a couple of notable exceptions including St John’s Wort which came up very nicely when compared to prescription antidepressants) and it’s extremely difficult to ‘placebo’ lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise, avoiding sugar or practising belly breathing. The cynic would say that the larger trials are mostly funded by wealthy pharmaceutical companies that are looking to patent and sell medicines, as you can’t patent a herb or a vitamin or a breathing technique. But that would be cynical.