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July 29, 2010

Book Review: The Natural Health Bible for Women (Marilyn Glenville).

Your body. Your well-being. Your education.

I snatched up the opportunity to review “The Natural Health Bible for Women: The Complete Guide for Women of All Ages” because, well, I wanted to keep it. And I’m so glad I did. It is everything that a layperson-accessible health book should be: It’s a good size (not huge, not tiny), beautiful and balanced between science and spirit. My science-y side (read: skepticism, needing to know why) is sated by the explanations of how we work and of how what we do and use works on us; my side that believes that drugs are not a cure-all (not to mention not accessible to everyone) is giddy about the simple, natural remedies given page after page.

Really, I want to read this book cover to cover. But I don’t have to. It’s constructed in such a way that I can pick and choose, reading a whole chapter on lifestyle or just indulging in a short essay on water (what to drink and why, and what water does for us—I want to drink water all day now, feeling myself getting smarter and more productive and purged of toxins). The pictures suck me in, and the simple, spacious format—and the generous font-size–keep me from feeling intimidated or overwhelmed. The motivating photos of women jumping around agilely at sunset and of bursting-ripe tomatoes are balanced with detailed drawings of anatomy.

I love it when learning is this easy.

“The Natural Health Bible for Women” is not a super-detailed, in-depth, graduate-level description of the human body. But is is a super-accessible, well-written, easy-to-understand tome with lots of advice on how to be healthier. Eat celery to quit smoking. Do the Tailor pose to increase flexibility of and blood flow to your cervix. Eat yogurt and garlic for a yeast infection. And, not to be disclosed here, Glenville gives her Top Ten Ways to Keep Your Vagina Healthy.

So here’s my bottom line. If you want to learn about your body, if you’re ready to look at your lifestyle and make some choices towards a healthier you and if you’re interested in exploring ways to improve your health from home, check this out. But, of course, expect an overview. You will probably left with some good questions, because Glenville can’t cover everything in detail in a volume this size. Yes, I have questions left unanswered. But I probably wouldn’t have those questions in the first place—as in, I wouldn’t have read enough to think them up—if  if this book was any denser than it is.  I have several books on women’s health, and so far, this is my fave. Thumbs up, Dr. Glenville.

Beth Bartel lives in Boulder, interns at elephant journal and KGNU, and likes swinging on big swings.

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