Book Review: Easy Homeopathy

Author: Edward Shalts, MD, D.Ht
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Publish Date: 2006

To date, my experience with homeopathy has been limited to the use of Arnica for the occasional exercise related injury. Its consistent and considerable efficacy prompted me to learn more about homeopathy and other homeopathic remedies. If you are of a similar mind, Easy Homeopathy by Dr. Edward Shalts is the perfect book to familiarize yourself with this “elegant form of medicine.”

According to Dr. Shalts, who is a medical doctor and practising homeopath, homeopathic remedies can be used to treat a wide range of common ailments, and belong in everyone’s home medicine cabinet. In Easy Homeopathy, Shalts provides all the necessary information to assemble a first aid kit of seven basic homeopathic remedies that can treat hundreds of illnesses and injuries. He does this with practical advice and real-life examples which are organized in a user friendly format that the layperson can easily comprehend.

Shalt begins by providing the reader with an account of the basic principles of homeopathy, interspersed with fascinating historical and anecdotal bits that keep the reading fresh and interesting. The principle of “similars” is one of the cornerstones of homeopathic medicine. In fact, homeopathy was born when Dr. Samuel Hahnemann was experimenting with Cinchona, a herbal medicine used to treat malaria, in the 1700s. Upon repeated doses of the herb, Hahnemann noticed that symptoms identical to the symptoms of malaria appeared in his body. When he stopped the doses, the symptoms gradually disappeared. In 1796, after years of experimentation and research, Hahnemann produced a paper proclaiming the discovery of a law of nature, “like cures like”, or as Shalts explains in modern day terminology, “if there were a substance that in healthy, sensitive individuals caused symptoms similar to what a particular patient had, that substance would cure this patient.”

The meatiest and most helpful portion of Easy Homeopathy comes in part two, ‘The Seven Remedies That Should Be in Every Medicine Cabinet.’ Each remedy is given a handy, easily remembered reference name. Arnica is referred to as the Homeopathic Surgeon, while Belladonna is the Homeopathic Pediatrician. The conditions or symptoms which indicate the required usage of a given remedy are covered in great detail. As Shalts explains for the first of the  homeopathic remedies, “Any condition that begins with the following unique combination of symptoms can be helped with Aconitum: sudden onset, shock, fright, fear, especially fear of death (usually for no reason), restlessness, chill or high fever, and tremendous thirst.”

The inclusion of the origin, description and folklore behind each of the seven remedies makes for engrossing reading. For example, Shalts tells us that “Egyptians worshipped Chamomilla for its healing properties, which were rediscovered by Europeans in the Middle Ages when it was applied to children’s ailments, nausea, nervous complaints, and skin diseases.” We also learn that Ignatia is indigenous to the Philippines, “where natives wore seeds of the plants as amulets for the prevention and cure of various diseases”; and “Malaysians historically used the juice of the fruit to poison their arrows for hunting, and occasionally for murdering their human enemies.”

A particularly beneficial feature of the ‘Seven Remedies’ section of Easy Homeopathy is the symptom / remedy comparison chart. The reader can see at a glance what makes the symptoms better or worse; what emotional state is consistent with the symptoms, and what remedy works best for said conditions. Many readers will also appreciate the author’s homeopathic cheat sheet for acute conditions featured in the last section of the book. This gives the individual quick access to information on a number of conditions from anger and kidney stones to varicose veins and sore throats, along with the most suitable remedy to deal with these conditions.

Dr. Shalts maintains that homeopathic medicine offers us an opportunity to regain control of our health. Given the current state of our health care system, this is becoming crucial to our well being. Easy Homeopathy will leave you better informed about a viable option to allopathic drugs; an option which has been proven to provide the same relief without the heavy price tag on our long term health.

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