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Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Vol. 4.
The increased interest in complementary and alternative medicine has resulted in the publication of a number of new reference books. Gale describes this package as a “one-stop-shop for alternative medical information.” It has 750 articles organized alphabetically that cover 157 therapies, 238 ailments and disorders, and 306 plants and other natural medicines. These signed entries were written by alternative health practitioners, educators, pharmacists, and medical writers. Each entry includes a resource list of books, articles, and organizations. Many are illustrated with black-and-white images; each volume has a photo gallery of color plates of medicinal plants. Numerous entries also provide glossaries of essential words and biographies of notable practitioners as sidebars.
Following a study of professional and lay resources, the medical advisors and editors selected the subjects for the articles. Therapy entries (Acupuncture, Rolfing) offer descriptions and information about the therapies’ origins, benefits, description, preparations, precautions, adverse effects, research, and popular acceptance. The sections on herbs and homeopathic medicines (Ginseng, Saw palmetto) discuss general use, preparations, precautions, adverse reactions, and interactions. Disease and condition entries include definitions, descriptions, causes and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, allopathic treatment, and projected outcomes. Cross-references facilitate the process of locating pertinent information. The articles are written in plain English, making them simple to read and comprehend.