Healthy at Home, by Tieraona Low Dog M.D. (Hardcover, 2014)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
I reviewed an advance reader's edition, in softcover, provided by Amazon
Vine. It's missing some of the herbal remedy recipes that will appear in the
final edition. Normally a book at this stage is awaiting copy-proofing by
someone competent in English; this advance copy was already way beyond the
current standard for finished work.
So, what about the content? Let me start off by saying that Dr. Low Dog
is an M.D. and by that training "should be" focusing on medicine with scant
knowledge of health. However, she also has an extensive cultural and
personal background in health. There are three bullet points on the cover;
the third one starts with the word "prevention."
Because of language abuse, many people use the terms "health care" and
"medical care" interchangeably. But they have very different meanings.
Standard medical care practice is generally antagonistic toward health care.
What's the difference? Health care is what you do to protect your health,
prevent illness, and prevent injury. The main strategy is a sensible diet,
something Americans generally oppose with an almost religious fervor. Just
check out the grain-based products on any restaurant menu or in the typical
grocery cart. Or ask yourself why the modern grocery store devotes an entire
aisle to "osteoporosis in a can."
So any time I read a book on "health" and it's authored by an M.D., I am
immediately suspicious. But as I read Dr. Low Dog's book, my suspicions gave
way to awestruck gratitude that someone could produce such a helpful and
authoritative work that could easily be life-changing for the reader.
And not just because she exhibits an accurate understanding of diet
(something extremely rare among physicians). Right away, before I even
opened the book, I could see something was different. Her picture is on the
cover. Instead of the usual doughy face we see these days, we are greeted by
someone who looks healthy. And there is no way you could guess her age from
I also visited her Website, and was further impressed. To find it, just
go to Bing and search on her name.
Now, I've already besmirched M.D.s. Let me besmirch another group, while
I'm at it. On the other end of the spectrum are the people who have some
familiarity with "alternative medicine," herbal remedies, health practices,
etc., but don't keep them in their proper perspective. I don't care how
healthy you are or how much kale you eat, if you break your femur then
herbal medicine isn't your best choice of treatment. You need to see an M.D.
Most of these folks are selling hope, rather than sound medical or health
A few years ago, a tick burrowed into my thumb unbeknownst to me. It
swelled right up. Did I treat this with tea? No. I got an appt to see my
physician the next day. Good thing, too. Another patient waited too long,
and her whole arm swelled up. She had to be hospitalized. Whatever toxin
this tick introduced, it was powerful stuff and the condition advanced
aggressively. Medical care has its limitations, but it may be your primary
strategy for a given condition.
My point here is one that Dr. Low Dog kept bringing up: don't try to use
"soft" remedies when conditions are serious. She gave markers to help the
reader determine when a given condition requires a trip to the doctor.
One such condition she discusses in this book is the urinary tract
infection (UTI). She does provide thorough advice on prevention and herbal
treatment, but makes it clear that one thing you don't skip is getting in to
see the doctor. A UTI can quickly spiral out of control. One consequence is
a kidney infection.
I'm not a physician so am not putting myself in the place of judging her
advice, her markers for when medical care is required, or a host of other
things. But I do have some expertise by which to gage her health advice.
Among other things, I have not been sick since 1971 despite having had low
gamma globulin from birth until only a couple of years ago. The lifelong low
gamma globulin problem disappeared after raising my serum D3 levels with the
guidance of Dr. Rick Cohen, M.D.
I found her health information to be logical, balanced, and completely on
target. I suppose it helps that what she says in this book is based on
science. Not being an herbalist and not coming from a Native American
culture, I'm ignorant about herbal remedies. Well, OK, I'm familiar with a
few of them. Just very far from being expert enough to comment on the
accuracy of what she recommends. Based on her performance in the areas I do
know, and based on her explanations of why these work, I have complete
confidence in her recommendations.
The main text of this book consists of eight chapters spanning 270 pages.
The writing is clear and the subject matter is accessible to the lay person.
The Introduction runs 7 pages, and I found it helpful. The book has three
supplemental sections appended to it:
- Stocking the Pantry. This explains what items to have on hand. It's
fairly extensive. I'm not sure I have a place for all this stuff, but
will have to look more closely.
- Resources. Where to buy these things.
- Herbal Materia Medica. This 25 page section discusses each of the
herbal remedies used in the book.
This book fills a huge void in the health and medicine literature. Not
only do I highly recommend having this book on hand, I recommend visiting
the author's Website. She is a fount of wisdom and useful information that
everyone can benefit from.