Ask Dr. Weil

Overview

In his #1 New York Times bestsellers Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Dr. Andrew Weil opened our eyes to the body's wondrous ability to heal itself naturally. And after the tremendous response he received from countless readers, he launched the Web site "Ask Dr. Weil" (www.drweil.com), which is the HotWired Network's top-rated program on the Internet. Now, in this comprehensive edition of the complete Ask Dr. Weil book ...
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Overview

In his #1 New York Times bestsellers Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Dr. Andrew Weil opened our eyes to the body's wondrous ability to heal itself naturally. And after the tremendous response he received from countless readers, he launched the Web site "Ask Dr. Weil" (www.drweil.com), which is the HotWired Network's top-rated program on the Internet. Now, in this comprehensive edition of the complete Ask Dr. Weil book series, he offers guidance on the issues that matter to us most, including

Women's Health
--How can I fight PMS naturally?
--What are the best methods of birth control?
--Which herbs help hot flashes?

Your Top Health Concerns
--Am I a chocoholic?
--Is there help for chronic fatigue syndrome?
--Does red wine really help my heart?

Natural Remedies
--What is the best cure for a hangover?
--What can I do to stop snoring?
--What is the best treatment for a bee sting?

Common Illnesses
--How can I fight Lyme disease?
--Is there a natural cure for bad breath?
--Can I fight depression without drugs?

Healthy Living
--What is the best way to quit smoking?
--Does an aspirin a day keep the doctor away?
--Is decaf healthier?

Whether you are eager to learn about the best path to recovery from illness or hoping to enhance your overall well-being, Dr. Weil's expert advice will gently guide you toward the healthier, fuller life you deserve.

"...includes a variety of question & answers on various health topics (women's health, vitamins & minerals, common illnesses, natural remedies) from Dr. Weil's popular web site."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449003121
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Series: O Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 291
  • Sales rank: 596,403
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Weil, M.D. has worked for the National Institute of Mental Health and for fifteen years was a Research Associate in Ethnopharmacology at the Harvard Botanical Museum. He has traveled extensively throughout the world collecting information about the medicinal properties of plants, altered states of consciousness, and healing. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other national publications. He is under constant demand to lecture and appear on radio and television. He is currently Associate Director of the Division of Social Perspectives in Medicine, and Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he practices natural and preventive medicine.

Biography

Since the early ‘70s, Andrew Weil has been bucking conventional wisdom about healthy living.

Weil began his career with a bang -- or maybe just a puff -- in The Natural Mind, a book containing ideas that remain controversial today. Most famously, it endorsed the idea of "stoned thinking" (induced not only by drugs but also by hypnosis, meditation, etc.) and identified a bias in traditional studies about mind-altering drugs. The book was fortified by Weil's own experience studying and taking various psychotropic agents, and while it suggested that non-chemical experiences were healthier, it also bore open criticism of American drug policy. Weil continued his exploration of altered mental states with The Marriage of the Sun and Moon and From Chocolate to Morphine (coauthored with Winifred Rosen).

In his next three titles -- Health and Healing, Natural Health, Natural Medicine, and Spontaneous Healing -- Weil turned to illness and alternative therapies, educating readers on then relatively unknown options such as homeopathy, herbal medicine, cranial therapy and other unconventional approaches. The fact that Weil was a Harvard-trained doctor lent his writings credibility and popularity with an ever-widening readership, even as he earned a somewhat heretical status in the world of mainstream medicine.

Some of Weil's views might rile practitioners of traditional medicine -- he has suggested that certain conventional treatments do more harm than good -- but Weil has never advocated abandonment of the medical establishment. Rather, he promotes integrative medicine: an approach to health that embraces nontraditional healing methods and takes the mind and spirit into account when assessing and treating problems. In response to Dr. Arthur Relman's assault in the New Republic, charging that assertions in Weil's books that lacked scientific backing, Weil responded on his web site, "If I had dismissed the successes I saw with [cranial therapy, for example] as ‘anecdotes,' we would not be in a position to take the next step and gather the data that Dr. Relman wants to see. It is important to note that paradigm shifts, in medicine as in other fields, are not quiet affairs. They occasion much screaming and kicking." (To both of the doctors' credits, they engaged in a public debate at the University of Arizona following Relman's much-discussed critique, minus the screaming and kicking.) Whatever the future holds for certain alternative approaches, it is a testament both to Weil's popularity and the growing interest in his ideas that studies of such practices have begun to win funding and attention.

Eight Weeks to Optimum Health was the most complete synthesis yet of Weil's ideas about holistic health and also helped cement his status as a health guru. Unlike most "diets" that focused mostly on meal plans and magical eating formulas, Weil's program is about a balance of nutrients, herbs, exercise, and mental salves such as turning off the news or keeping fresh flowers around. In particular, Weil became a well known expert on the growing field of herbal supplements.

Recently, Weil teamed with Rosie Daley -- Oprah's former personal chef – to create The Healthy Kitchen. The book operates on a bit of push-and-pull between Daley and Weil, with "Andy" offering substitute ingredients to some of Rosie's recipes. As with Weil's other tomes, The Healthy Kitchen does not operate on draconian edicts, offering options for individuals instead.

Good To Know

Weil is director and founder of the Program in Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona. Also, his Polaris Foundation advances the cause of integrative medicine through public policy, education, and research.

Weil's parents owned a millinery store in Philadelphia, and his mother fostered his interest in botany. "When you grow up in a row house, there's very limited opportunity to grow stuff, but my mother knew some things from her mother, who was the one with the real green thumb," he told My Generation magazine. "And she did introduce me to growing bulbs in the house, and we had a little plot of ground to garden. That stuff fascinated me. And I always dreamed about the day when I could have enough space to do it."

Weil's undergraduate focus was ethnobotany, which focuses on the uses of certain plants by various cultures and ethnicities. His thesis title: "The Use of Nutmeg as a Psychotropic Agent." Under a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs, Weil traveled from 1971-75 throughout Central and South America to investigate cultural psychotropics and healing. Many of his findings from this time are collected in The Marriage of the Sun and Moon.

Weil lives in Arizona "by pure chance," he told HealthWorld Online. His car broke down in the mid-1970s, and it took so long to fix that he ended up staying in Tucson.

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    1. Hometown:
      Tucson, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 8, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Biology, Harvard University, 1964; M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1968
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

A little over two years ago I got on the information superhighway--as it was called then--with the launch of my interactive health program on the World Wide Web, "Ask Dr. Weil." The concept was both deceptively simple and revolutionary. From the outset, I took questions from readers like you and answered them daily on the Web. In the first week the program was "live," we got about 1,000 questions. By the last count we are getting about 60,000 questions a month from viewers like you.

That's the simple part!

At the end of each question, the program staff starts a discussion topic--known a "message board" by my Internet readers--where you, other professionals, and I talk and argue about the issues of the day. Topics ranged from the fairly sedate ("Best remedies for a cold?") to the hotly contested ("Is caffeine an addictive drug?"). What I like most about the message boards--and what I think you do, too--is the opportunity to break down the walls between physician and patient. And the information flow is not just one-way. I learn from you, too. Over the past two years, readers have made me aware of new remedies, therapies, and healthy foods....

More than that, the Web site is a far-reaching yet close-knit community of people like you, who are taking an active role in staying healthy and who believe in my approach to health, wellness, and medicine. For me, this kind of real interactivity--not the bells and whistles kind you usually read about--is what makes "Ask Dr. Weil" so revolutionary....

The book you're holding is a compilation of the Q&As that have appeared on the Web site. All of the questions contained in these pages came directly from readers. I think we've pretty much covered the health world from A to Z (or from abs to zinc). You'll find questions and answers here about natural remedies, common illnesses, women's health, diet and nutrition, mind-body science, and more.

You may have more questions. In that case, I urge you to visit us on-line at www.drweil.com. Once you're there it's easy to ask me a question. Basically you type it into a form, tell us who you are (or be anonymous) and...click. Your question is on its way to me.

Continued good luck and good health to you as you work toward optimum health in your life.

--Andrew Weil, M.D.

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