Excerpt: 'Mayo Clinic's Book of Home Remedies'

Photo: Excerpt: Mayo Clinics Book of Home Remedies: Cure the Common Cold With Chicken Soup Instead of Medicine

The Mayo Clinic is the largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. It recently was named one of the top hospitals of 2010 by US News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic doctors from every specialty work together to care for patients, united by one philosophy: "The needs of the patient come first."

Now, the Mayo Clinic has released a book designed to keep you out of the hospital.

"The Mayo Clinic's Book of Home Remedies" shows you how to treat illness and injury on your own until you are able to see your doctor. This book can help you nip an illness in the bud, keep your condition from getting worse and avoid costly medical bills. It also tells you when it's time to put down the chicken soup, and get to the office of a medical professional.

Read an excerpt of the book below, and head to the "GMA" Library for more good reads.


The idea for Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies came from many discussions with Mayo Clinic physicians, nurses, health educators and other health care providers about the questions and concerns they hear most frequently from visitors to Mayo. In other words, what are the main reasons why people go to a doctor?

Our goal was to develop a simple resource that could guide your health decisions, Offer easy remedies to treat many of your problems and possibly reduce the need for a visit to a clinic or emergency room. The result is a book filled with reliable, practical information on more than 120 of the most common medical conditions and issues related to good health.

Today, greater responsibility has been placed on each of us to stay healthy and prevent illness. This has been triggered, in no small part, by the rising costs of health care and by growing concern over public health issues as diverse as obesity, diabetes, influenza and food safety.

Of course, things happen that you may have little control over - even after taking precautions, you may still catch colds, sprain ankles, have allergic reactions or develop high blood pressure. But Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies can show you how to minimize your risks of disease and injury and - in the event that something should happen - take necessary steps that help treat the condition until it's resolved or until you're able to see your doctor. It can help you detect illness before it becomes a serious and costly problem. Of course, this book is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, and lets you know when you need to see a medical professional.

How this book is organized

Considering the broad spectrum of health issues included in Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies, we feel that the easiest way for you to access the information is by arranging topics alphabetically. Each topic is introduced in a summary that may include signs and symptoms, causes, and possible outcomes.

Accompanying each topic is a "Home Remedies" segment that describes simple actions you can take to help prevent, treat or manage the condition, whether it's straightforward advice on diet and exercise, or a change in behavior, or a supplement to help relieve signs and symptoms.

The "Medical Help" segment with each topic identifies serious signs and symptoms and advises you on when to contact a doctor or other health care provider and what kind of treatment you might expect.

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