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Using Herbs to Ease Anxiety

July 27, 1998|ROCHELLE O'GORMAN FLYNN

"Healing Anxiety With Herbs"

By Dr. Harold H. Bloomfield

Harper Audio

Abridged nonfiction

Two cassettes

3 hours

$18

Read by the author and Sirah Vettese

Herbal remedies such as kava, valerian extract, ginkgo biloba, ginseng and milk thistle are the basis for this informative but somewhat misleading audio. About one-fourth of this production concisely explains an informative and easy-to-understand plan for easing mild to moderate anxiety with herbs. Another quarter of the audio is devoted to a guided meditation, and the remainder deals with self-healing techniques, such as relaxation methods and a return to spirituality.

All well and good, but the title of the audio specifies herbal remedies, which turned out to be the smallest section. Both Bloomfield and Vettese have pleasant voices and an easygoing manner. Sometimes the writing is a little corny, but not enough to distract. The abridgment is very close to the original material, and Harper included a printed list of the herbs, along with dosages, so you won't have to constantly rewind for pertinent information.

"Healing Lessons"

By Dr. Sidney Winawer with Nick Taylor

Audio Renaissance

Abridged nonfiction

Two cassettes

3 hours

$16.95

Read by Winawer

Winawer is chief of gastroenterology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. This memoir is a tribute to his wife, Andrea, who died of stomach cancer, as well as his discovery that there is more to medicine than found in typical Western protocols. It is an intense and heartfelt goodbye to his wife, but also offers alternative, patient-centered treatments that transformed him as a physician. Winawer has a deep voice and a grave manner that works well for this serious subject matter. The abridgment reduces the time spent on their relationship, focusing instead on Andrea's determined quest for a cure and the remarkable length she lasted with her illness. Winawer has a competent sense of timing and writing style that is intense, though unpolished and even clunky in parts.

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