When my husband saw me reading The 24-Hour Pharmacist, he just sighed. This is the man who has threatened to block all access to places like WebMD and threw out our copy of the Physician's Desk Reference. He was tired of me self-diagnosing. I admit, as a creative-type, there may be a thin, slight, barely negligible thread of hypochondria in me. Barely discernible, really.
The book proved to be quite a read. Suzy Cohen, R. Ph, has the professional and academic chops to make this book not only a fabulous reference tool, but also an engaging read. I cannot stress enough that this book is more than worth the purchase. It is so chock full of information, that to truly digest its contents, I would have had to read it three or four times. There is such a diverse abundance of information, that it's hard to imagine someone who couldn't benefit from this book. I doubt it's intended as a read it cover-to cover kind of book, although I found myself doing just that whenever the topic of vitamins came up. I have long believed in the healing power of vitamins, and Cohen not only elaborates on this, but backs it up with sound medical reasoning. What is immediately apparent is Cohen's marriage between traditional medicinal practices, and the increasingly mainstream of non-traditional herbal remedies. She also rates various known remedies from "good" to "not so good" and actually tells you where to get them. The resources section of the book alone could save you hours of fruitless internet searching.
The biggest positive in this book, presented over and over again, was the elaboration given on various issues. There wasn't just a section on how to treat insomnia. Cohen explored various causes of insomnia, the different types of insomniacs, and whether or not that was really the problem. Of course, as a reviewer, it was my duty to read through things thoroughly, and so I paid particular attention to Chapter Nine: When He Wants Viagra and You Want a Valium and Chapter Ten: The Condom Broke. I also picked up a lot of interesting trivia, such as the particularly piquant tidbit that in ancient Greece, women used pomegranate halves as diaphragms.
Want the book but don't have time to savor it? The Index should do it for you. Everything from Menopause and Milk thistle to Cervical Dysplasia and Proton Pump Inhibitors.
My only caution (and it is echoed within the book) is to ask your doctor before taking a list of herbs for what ails you. Herbs are drugs, and in that vein, there should be just as much caution exercised before taking a bunch of prescriptions as when you load up at the health food store.
If you don't have the book handy, and have a question or want to do a quick drug search, you can also go to Cohen's site, Dear Pharmacist, for your answers. Plus, spoiler alert, she sings.
And finally, does $50 sound like something you could use? Yeah, I thought so. Head over to Parent Bloggers and post a comment on the 24-Hour Pharmacist campaign launch(you'd do it anyway) for your chance to win a $50 CVS gift card.