Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine

Gale Cengage. 5th ed. ed. 5 vols. 2019. 3,000p. ISBN 9781410394279. $1,100. REF
Focused on the science behind alternative medicine, Henderson (content strategist, public & K–12 libraries, Gale) and Hiam’s (senior content developer, Gale) entries range from therapies (chakra balancing, magnetic therapy, marijuana) and herbs (Bach flower essences, devil’s claw, essential oils) to medical conditions (stroke, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease) and diets (Atkins, South Beach)—though, surprisingly, there is no mention of the Keto diet. More than 900 signed articles provide overview, history, description, precautions, side effects, research, interactions, resources, diagnosis, treatment, causes, symptoms, prevention, and expected results. The work includes about 600 illustrations, and sidebars address key terms, questions to ask one’s doctor, and a few key people (Ida Pauline Rolf, Marion Rosen). The “Organization” section explores mainstream institutions (World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health), alternative health care sites (DONA International), and business sites (Soyfoods Association of North America). While most of the web links are current, a few no longer work. The ebook edition offers both book view and text view interfaces; text view allows readers to close sidebars, while book view is best accessed in full-screen mode to avoid text cutoff at the bottom of page.
VERDICT Though this is not a replacement for more in-depth titles such as Andrew Chevallier’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine and Susan Weis-Bohlen’s Ayurveda Beginner’s Guide, this wide-ranging work will be of interest to the general public, high school and undergraduate students.
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