Your Drug-Free Guide to Digestive Health - Heather Caruso
39 Digestive disorders and their natural solutions at your fingertips! Included within are disorders such as candida, celiac disease, constipation, Crohn's disease, diarrhea, diverticulitis, food allergies, food cravings, gallstones, halitosis, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, parasites, polyps, ulcerative colitis, ulcers and more!
- Author: Caruso Heather
- 280 pages
- Printed in Canada
Reprinted with the permission of The Society of Homeopaths (from "The Homeopath" magazine Spring 2009):
Reviewed by Hazel Partington:
Heather Caruso states that her aim is to 'help the average person suffering with gastro-intestinal problems with the tools to achieve health'; she offers a range of advice incorporating dietary advice, and recommendations for food supplements, herbs, vitamins and homeopathic remedies. Caruso has been a practising homeopath since the 1990s and seems to have a wealth of expertise on her chosen subject.
The book begins with a short introduction to some of the principles, which are adapted from the Ullmans' Homeopathic Self-care.
Chapters 3 and 4 offer a comprehensive section on the importance of diet and its role in health and disease, and a discussion on food allergies and sensitivities.
The main body of the book is an A-Z listing of 39 digestive disorders ranging from acid reflux to worms and parasites. This section contains a wide range of advice, which seems to be clear and well informed. For each complaint there is a description of symptoms, possible causes and conventional treatment, followed by dietary recommendations, a list of helpful supplements and homeopathic remedies with materia medica notes. Interspersed throughout there are brief 'cameos' giving examples of treatments for various scenarios. Caruso is careful to direct readers towards seeking professional help for severe or complex disorders like autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. Each section on homeopathic remedies begins with a reminder to consult the chapter on homeopathic prescribing. I did have some concerns that while there are clear instructions for individual supplements, I could find no indication whether or not the recommendation was to use all of the supplements mentioned or as I assumed, to select one or more from the list.
Further editing would have been of benefit, as the occasional formatting problem was somewhat distracting with some section titles at the bottom of the preceding pages. Self-published books sometimes lack the benevolent eye of a proof-reader and editor. It is difficult to present material for varying levels of expertise. I think that Caruso has made a good attempt in this book. As a practitioner I will find the therapeutic information very useful in my clinic and can see myself regularly referring to it. I would recommend it to fellow practitioners who deal with many patients with digestive complaints and believe that it could be useful for lay people with some prior knowledge, however I would hesitate to recommend it to beginners. I enjoyed the book and will definitely use it in my practice.
Second Review: Reprinted with the permission of The Homeopathic Links magazine, Volume 22, Autumn 2009:
Reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rozencwujg, MD, PhD, NMD., New Zealand:
After a short introduction and definition of homeopathy and a few pages about diet and food allergies, 39 very common digesÂtive pathologies and symptomatic presenÂtations are reviewed. Starting with a definiÂtion and a simple but clear explanation of the pathology, its general symptoms and signs, the author gives dietary recommenÂdations, supplements and herbal remedies that can help alleviate the suffering, folÂlowed by a list of potentised remedies, each one with a short list of common symptoms. I write "potentised remedies" and not "hoÂmeopathic remedies" because, although definitely used frequently for patients preÂsenting with those problems, the remedies are listed in a this-for-that manner.
This does not mean homeopaths should not be using this book. They will find useful and succinct information about pathologies that are often the patient's presenting comÂplaint. Nutritional recommendations are always welcome in any type of consultaÂtion, and if some herbs and supplements can help alleviate the symptoms while the homeopathic remedy acts, then why not?
Naturopaths and herbalists will find the homeopathic remedies recommendations useful as very often their training in homeÂopathy is limited to first aid; the remedies included in the book are more precise and might give those practitioners the willingÂness to explore and understand homeopaÂthy more deeply.
And patients could do a lot worse than use this book as a self-help guide. I really could not find much to disagree with, even though my personal approach would be different.
A good book, not really aimed at professioÂnal practitioners, but it would still be useful to them.
Reprinted with the permission of The ARH, from 'Homeopathy in Practice', Winter 2010:
Reviewed by Patty Hemingway RMANM:
If you are treating a patient with a serious problem such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, or a life-threatening allergy, this book will reassure you about additional treatments with enzyme or vitamin, mineral and essential fatty acid supplements, which can be given alongside any homeopathic treatment. Indeed with some conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or pancreatitis, it is probably going to be essential to treat with diet as well as gut soothing supplements until tissues are healed and organ function restored. If you regularly treat people with digestive disorders then you have probably already researched these topics, but this book could still be a useful addition to your reference material. In addition to the naturopathic protocols it also contains a keynote guide to the main homeopathic remedies that are needed for over 30 digestive disorders.
The author says she also wrote this book for anyone who is interested in self-prescribing and, indeed, it contains an introduction to using homeopathic remedies, and attempts to explain most of the pathology involved with each condition. However the explanations, although accurate, are sometimes lacking in detail that would make them clearer to a reader who is coming across this informaÂtion for the first time. For example, the term 'glycaemic load' is mentioned in connection with diet, but there is no specific list of foods and their comparative glycaemic rates, so any reader wanting to eat a low glycaemic diet as advised will need to do further research. This is a problem common to any book which tries to cover a topic comprehensively while still being accessible to the lay reader who may be discouraged by too much detail.
So, how comprehensive is it? It covers the usual topics such as constipation, dyspepsia, parasites and so on, but also includes topics we are less used to finding in self-help books such as Barrett's Oesophagus (a condition that can be pre-cancerous), anal fistula, or intesÂtinal polyps. It is intended to offer complemenÂtary naturopathic treatments to anyone being treated with conventional medicine as well as those seeking an alternative.
The book is encouraging about the effectiveÂness of homeopathic remedies, and includes mini cases inviting the reader to 'picture this...',
and in each case the sufferer gets better after only two or three naturopathic prescriptions. In the process Caruso explores the keynotes of some important digestive remedies, and these case studies do indeed present all that is posiÂtive about homeopathic treatment. For example, an elderly widower with chronic heartburn, Barrett's Oesophagus, halitosis and an enlarged prostate, manages to clear up most of his symptoms, including his craving for tea and tobacco, after a dose of Carbolic acid.
While I welcome any positive stories about the power and potential of homeopathy to heal, and I appreciate the value of encouraging our patients to self-prescribe, I have mixed feelings about recommending the book to all but my most experienced clients, who would underÂstand that they need to differentiate between remedies and not simply repeat the miracle remedy that worked for the person in the picture alongside each case study.
There is a chapter devoted to allergies which is fairly comprehensive and clear. The chapter on diet was the one I found least satisfactory, probably because it is very difficult to deal with individualised diets in seven pages, while also
covering everything you need to know about eating healthily. So, the author has chosen a list approach and places foods into three categories: foods which can be eaten freely; foods which should constitute no more than a third of the daily diet; and foods to be avoidÂed. So far so good, and nice and simple.
However, on turning the page I was conÂfronted with a confusion of annotated lists under subheadings spread over another four pages,-and almost every food was marked with a symbol denoting some exception to the rule. I decided to ignore the lists before I lost the will to eat, and to rely instead on my usual
approach with patients which is to encourage them to make a list of all the delicious foods they CAN eat, and then take the list with them when they go shopping. I expect that for a pracÂtitioner or patient who needed some guidance on how to make their own list, this chart could be drawn upon for inspiration.
The longest of the five chapters contains an A-Z of digestive disorders with clear instrucÂtions about what supplements and remedies can help. This is a great short-cut for the prescriber looking to treat an acute case of hiccups or vomiting, as well as more complex cases where it is important to treat the mainÂtaining cause (often diet, toxicity or nutritional deficiency). I was pleased to note that toxicity was dealt with, as this is as important as diet in cases where the gut is compromised.
This book is a useful reference book for any homeopath who wants to guide her clients towards healthy eating and as result better general health, while at the same time it provides us with the keynotes of major digesÂtive remedies that we all need to have at our fingertips. It does not contain information that cannot be found in other reference books but, by listing all remedies and supplements for each disorder, it will save time and effort on the part of the prescriber.