by Ingrid Naiman
Seventh Ray Press, Berkeley, 235 pages, includes several appendixes with extensive resource sections, bibliography, and indexes
I have never read a book on cancer or cancer treatments before and I have not experienced this disease at close range through the anguish of close friends or relatives. I can only imagine the suffering, emotional and physical, that these people and their closest relations are going through. Ingrid Naimans book touched me with its empathetic, yet practical and spiritually well balanced approach. It is very well written, so that even difficult material is easy to assimilate. Ingrid Naiman does not avoid challenging questions, yet she offers at all times paths for empowerment, helping sufferers to gain new perspectives and encouraging them to take charge of their lives and their bodies. This in my mind is the best approach any healer can pursue. She draws the correlations between the philosophical and the physical questions of existence and thus treats cancer patients as whole psycho/spiritual/physical beings, not just as victims. Her spiritual approach is very well grounded and does not get caught up in the trappings of fluffy newagism. This book offers practical guidance as well as spiritual/emotional support.
She places her knowledge of cancer salves within a historical context, tracing its traditions and the developments of cancer treatments through the ages. Today cancer salves are all but forgotten. Though various anti-tumor plants are mentioned in various ancient herbals and medical textbooks and modern researchers also investigate vast numbers of plants for their effectiveness against cancerous growth, today the treatment focus is on chemotherapy. Where plant meterials are considered it is usually a matter of extracting the famous active constituent in order to produce a chemical weapon based on that molecular structure. 'Cancer Salves' is a very clear and comprehensive outline of herbal treatment methods, with detailed descriptions of the herbs, the processes encountered, case histories and much, much more.
Cancer salves are not necessarily gentle. They are very powerful and their effects can be painful and traumatic. Yet, they offer an alternative to conventional treament methods, less toxic and invasive and more empowering for the individuals concerned. Instead of surrendering one's will to procedures over which one has no control, cancer salves are a way of dealing with ones affliction by assuming self-responsibility. The treatment may not be for everyone, but for those who seek an alternative to conventional treatments Ingrid Naimans book is a treasure.
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