Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Garden Allies by Frederique Lavoipierre

Book cover
Garden Allies
by Frederique Lavoipierre

ISBN-13: 9781643260082
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Timber Press
Released: Sept. 28, 2021

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects that inhabit our yards and gardens are overwhelmingly on our side—they are not our enemies, but instead our allies. They pollinate our flowers and vegetable crops, and they keep pests in check.

In Garden Allies, Frédérique Lavoipierre shares fascinating portraits of these creatures, describing their life cycles and showing how they keep the garden’s ecology in balance. Also included is helpful information on how to nurture and welcome these valuable creatures into your garden. With beautiful pen-and-ink drawings by Craig Latker, Garden Allies invites you to make friends with the creatures that fill your garden.

My Review:
Garden Allies talks about the different types of insects and animals that you might find in a garden. It's not really a practical, how-to gardening guide since the focus wasn't really on the garden but on the animals that you might find there (and elsewhere). The author talked about various categories of animals and wrote a few pages about each category (like worms, bees, wasps, flies, beetles, etc.). It covered things like nesting habits, what they eat, social behavior, and why gardeners might appreciate having them in the garden. Each section ended with profile-type information: their official names, what they look like, etc. Black and white drawings of the mentioned critters were sometimes included, but I didn't find them particularly helpful in terms of insect identification. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those interested in learning more about garden animals.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Pain Erasers by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Book cover
Pain Erasers
by Michelle Schoffro Cook

ISBN-13: 9781953295514
Kindle: 272 pages
Publisher: BenBella Books
Released: September 21st 2021

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
If you’re struggling with chronic or acute pain, you may find that commonly prescribed medications are often expensive, and often ineffective. They can also lead to unwanted side-effects or serious drug interactions. That’s where Pain Erasers can help. This long-awaited guide to drug-free pain relief offers a wide variety of natural alternatives to help you take control of your pain—and ultimately, your life.

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, a trusted natural medicine expert, will reveal new ways to naturally erase your pain, often permanently! You’ll discover dozens of natural painkillers, from a little-known but highly effective resin from the rainforest, along with such standbys as ginger and turmeric. And to boost the effects of these remedies, you’ll get helpful tips on how to change your diet and lifestyle for optimal health and pain and inflammation management.

Because not every remedy works on every type of pain, Dr. Schoffro Cook guides readers through the best methods for specific conditions, such as back pain, fibromyalgia, joint pain, migraines and headaches, neck pain, plantar fasciitis, temporomandibular joint syndrome, tendonitis, trigeminal neuralgia, whiplash, and more.

My Review:
Pain Erasers talked about some natural remedies for pain. She focused mostly on using essential oils and strongly favored using the doTerra brand. However, she did have an informative section at the end which talked about making changes in your diet to promote anti-inflammatory foods and remove inflammatory foods as well as suggested some useful supplements. She started by telling her story and then doing short profiles on different types of pain. In these profiles, she briefly described the problem and listed the best remedies for that type of pain. For most of the problems, there was a lot of overlap on which were the best remedies (which is probably good news).

She then went into greater depth about each of these remedies. For each profile, she gave the common name as well as the Latin name, a brief history about the herb's use, some scientific information about how it works and how effective it is, information on how to use it as an herb or essential oil, and safety considerations like whether it's safe to ingest and how to safely do that. She also briefly explained other things the herb is good for.

In the safety section, she seemed to start with the exact same warning with only the herb's name changed. I thought it was odd that she was so concerned with dangerous solvent residues in the essential oils. Almost all of her suggested essential oils are steam distilled, so the solvent is water. Also, oregano oil is usually the herb steeped in an oil for some time, the herb strained out, and the oil ingested with food. This is not meant to be deceptive (as she implies) as they don't claim it's an ESSENTIAL oil. Even if an essential oil comes diluted in a carrier oil, they should clearly list that on the bottle.

I've already been using a number of these remedies for my rheumatoid arthritis pain. I generally felt like I knew more about the essential oils than she did. However, this is a good source of information for someone new to the topic of using essential oils and diet for pain relief.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.