What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menolibrikul; E-book Reviews; Part Four

I need to have these reviews done within June - so please forgive another back to back with yesterday's post. I really swithered over this one, though. In some ways, this is as much about me as it is about the ebook under review. Why?

For fifteen years prior to departing Australia for India, I was in practice as a homoeopathic physician and counsellor, having spent six years qualifying. I also qualified as a nutritionist and remedial therapist (sports medicine, massage etc.) Having medical training then specialising in ancillary therapeutics came about due to my own health needs. I had been suffering under orthodox treatments (or the lack of sufficient ability therein to properly help). For Rheumatoid Arthritis (diagnosed at 18years), all that could be offered were megadoses of drugs that had very negative effects on my overall system. For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome... well, that's been written before. My point here is that despite my own scepticism, I was directed along the path of natural treatments. 

There is no question my life has followed the route less travelled. It is not the most comfortable place to be, practising in a medical form that is often criticised and sometimes most venomously. The same can be said for the spiritual path. One has to bear with this, however. Mostly it arises out of ignorance because you can be sure that, quite often, the loudest critics are those who have never actually delved into and experienced for themselves. So sure are they that there cannot exist any alternative to the route they have chosen.

Enough of that. What sparked such an introduction today? I need to make clear, I suppose, that I have a logical and highly analytical approach to things, albeit there is also a strongly intuitive part to my nature. Despite the constant barrage of vitriol often directed toward homoeopathy, it has done nothing but serve me well, and I stand by my trust and practice in this field of medicine. This also establishes that I am qualified fully to critique the "A2Z of Common Diseases & Their Homoeopathic Treatment" by Surbhi Prapanna. It also demonstrates why I have had a bit of a dilemma, given that I am pro-homoeopathy...

Yes, I have been a bit torn in approaching the review. This is partly because the way this item has been presented raises a question: is it a textbook or intended purely for home use by a layperson? While each of these may well have been fine as blog posts for the A-Z during April, I found myself debating whether there was a need for yet another book of this type. (So many available...) Regardless of whether serious text or practical home treatment advice, there are already so many such volumes, that it would have to have been outstanding and truly original to extract decent praise. It is neither of these things. 

Why then am I bothering here? I could just leave it alone and the author would not be faced with this criticism. I certainly am not one who would want to cause insult or harm - but the book has been put out there and, what is more, reviews already done are heaping five stars upon it. 

Let me start with the positives, then. What those other readers were praising, I have to imagine, and certainly what I cannot and will not fault, is the choice of remedies written up for each of the ailments under discussion. Homoeopathically, I would say it was sound. There is also plenty of mention that in any situation that extends, medical advice must definitely be sought. If the author practices as she prescribes here, then I feel she may be rather a good homoeopath. 

My concerns about the book, however, were quickly raised when I saw the layout and the amount of medical information that was attempted. Somehow it seemed too much and too technical for a home prescriber. Mostly correct (I am not going to go into medical battle here - but there are some quite startling statements that are misrepresentative [see left for example**]), it really was quite dense - and yet was also not of a standard that one would expect of a full textbook. This is why I had trouble formulating in my head where this item really falls. Then again, in this age of people researching online and everyone becoming their own 'expert', why should I worry, for there was nothing here that could not be found anyway in some other source.

Which is where the real question arises... what does this book offer that is not already available? There is no original take on any of the medicines or personal research.

Then there is the production. The thing that has impressed me greatly with other books from this "carnival" is the command of English the authors have had. I fear this author falls sub-par. Please do not take this to mean it cannot be read. It is just that it could do with thorough editing and proofreading. The use of language is very much of the type I grew used to in India, and am fond of listening to - however, this is not a book that should be anything short of perfect in this regard; whether or not it is for home or professional use. At the end of the A-Z, there is a section that seeks to clarify and reiterate about what can and cannot be achieved at home plus some very 'down back' examples of personal matters which seemed wholly out of place, or at least out of a different book... Somehow this book really does fall between two camps and needs to be clarified if it is to be taken any further.

There was a post on Thursday on Blogchatter's own blog which was encouraging all participants in the carnival to think on about how they might proceed to the next level with their books - that is to say, produce them for publication on platforms such as the rather obvious Amazon and suchlike. It was a brief but sensible post that pointed out that authors ought to take on the less glowing comments (such as just provided) and use them to grind the diamond hiding in their lump of coal. 

I could have chosen not to post this review but if the author really wishes to add to the large library of books on this subject, she needs to know there is much room for improvement. As it is, and given that there are some who clearly feel they will benefit from it judging by the reviews mentioned, it has served a purpose. 

Professionally, I do find myself struggling with encouraging self-diagnosis and home medication - even with "powerless potency".

**Okay, someone's bound to ask: post-partum depression is endemic to the mother due to hormonal derangement, and does not have external causative factors. It may be that due to being under the influence of PPD, the mother copes less well with a baby crying from such as colic. Shaken-baby Syndrome is not 'caused' by colic. It results from a variety of causes affecting the parent/s, whose coping mechanisms result in their being harsh with their child - it is an expression of anger and frustration on their part. Colic may or may not have caused the baby to cry, but does not in itself 'cause' SbS. PPD and SbS are not 'complications of colic', therefore - although a baby crying with colic may find itself the target of frustration arising from PPD, or other mental disturbances in either parent, leading to SbS.

Okay all you funsters - YAM's regular FFF is up again next week (another quick month, eh?)
Pick one of your pictures and write its story - real or otherwise!


  1. Hi YAM
    Just got home today so I'm behind and will need to catch up with the days I missed. I found this part extremely interesting. Over the years I have heard of of known of many young mothers with PPD.
    Hugs and will catch up tomorrow

  2. Reviews are meant to be taken as a guide for improvement. Your review does just that. It would be the writer's loss if your review is not taken seriously. Unfortunately social media has given rise to acceptance of praise at any 'cost' or 'price', leading to a downfall of quality writing.

  3. This is a very constructive approach to book-review. We live in a time when people are unwilling to call a spade a spade. You dare to look truth in its face and that's great.

    1. Hari OM
      I appreciate yours and others comments regarding this - it did take me a while to hit the publish button! Yxx

  4. I think an issue you touch on is the extent to which books / podcasts / videos can (or should be able to) provide advice which in another context could require professional training and suitable disclaimers and insurance. This applies to mainstream medicine as much as alternative treatments, though in the case of the latter it can be especially problematic if the advice leads to a delay or refusal to see seek the type of treatment that the establishment would regard as the 'right course'We also potentially get into issue of parents choosing to pursue alternative treatments for their children.
    I am sceptical of most alternative treatments, but that doesn't mean I think they should be gagged - indeed I think the opposite - but that is not my point. What interests me is where the limits of free speech and open publication should lie and how we draw those lines.
    As always food for thought and hence an attempt at an engaging reply.

    1. Hari OM
      So true, Mark; we have a plethora of television programs now on matters of health and of course the endless availability on other media. I absolutely believe in 'being informed' but I also am acutely aware that things can go so badly wrong. It is a most unfortunate fact that these days everyone and their uncle will read a few things and make decisions which really are best discussed with one who has read (and experienced) a good deal more on the subject. This is a big problem as I had mentioned in an earlier post, where folk don't necessarily reach reliable sources for their info. Of course, sometimes even reliable sources can get it wrong... Yxx

  5. This is a balanced review of the book that can help the author modify and improve the content.

  6. great that you always tries to look inside and behind of things...

  7. I have had in the past two different MD's that lean towards homeopathic and loved both of them. they went with natural first and drugs last. i would be leary of using this book to treat myself or others

  8. Our young gp will approach from a whole body approach most often. namste, janice xx

  9. I think you are wise to point out the flaws. It is important.
    Thanks for the info on your sisters. We found some info on the CDC site regarding 2nd dose symptoms. They are reliable. We'll rule out all else, first. xx

  10. You never notice how much editors do, until you read a book that has clearly not seen any editing involved. The first St Mary's book I read was self-published and at one point I thought the book had finished. Turned out there were several more chapters coming up. Fortunately somebody did see the potential and she has written a great series so far. Edited!


  11. Hi Yam - I'm late ... but health issues are so personal - though PPD I've heard of being really awful ... I met someone on my way back from Canada - whose wife was going through it - and had been sectioned ... one picks up bits and pieces of information ... I'm empathetic with those who suffer, or are related to those who suffer ... we need to absorb the information ... so we can relate, when necessary ... as at the airport. All the best with your continuing questioning about life and health issues - Hilary


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