In Germany, doctors must complete medical school and specialty training before they can become trained and certified in naturopathic medicine. Andreas Michalsen, MD, is professor of clinical complementary medicine in Berlin at the largest university hospital in Europe. He is board-certified in internal medicine, emergency medicine, nutritional medicine, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. He has published over 200 articles in leading scientific journals and has collaborated with physicians at Stanford, Harvard, the Mayo Clinic and with Dr. Valter Longo at the University of Southern California.

The Nature Cure is a practical guide to the best of natural medicine he has practiced and which is established in science. The book is a treasure, and endorsed by physicians such as Andrew Weil, Terry Wahls and Wayne Jonas. I am grateful to local cardiologist Khoi Le for recommending this book.

The book begins with the basic principles of naturopathy and how it contrasts and complements Western medicine. He calls for collaboration between naturopathic and traditional medical physicians, something that should be encouraged here in the Coachella Valley. 

In the chapter of therapies of antiquity, he makes the case for using leeches for conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee (amazing results), and for cupping and bloodletting. We should consider these therapies here. A chapter on the healing powers of water and fasting follow with excellent advice.

Dr. Michalsen says that the key to health is using food as medicine and I could not agree more. His nutrition advice is very healthy and I have only one disagreement. He endorses eating whole grains. He supports Dean Ornish and discusses how unhealthy carbohydrates pushed the surge in obesity.

He follows with the importance of exercise and promotes a “playful” approach to walking then goes into mind-body medicine recommending yoga, meditation and mindfulness. He also reviews “global medicines” such as Ayurveda, acupuncture and healing plants.

Dr. Michalsen then describes how he reverses eight common chronic diseases: hypertension, coronary artery disease, other arteriosclerosis, arthrosis (arthritis), depression and anxiety syndromes, back and neck pain, diabetes, rheumatism, and gastrointestinal diseases. What a great resource this is!

Dr. Michalsen closes the book by giving his strategies for a healthy life and reasons why natural medicine is the future of medicine. Natural medicine restores health and does not have the exorbitant costs of standard medical practice today. The Nature Cure has a prominent space on my bookshelf and will be used often.

Dr. Scherger is an Eisenhower Health Primary Care 365 physician, a core faculty member of the Eisenhower Family Medicine Residency Program, and a team physician for Reliance Hospice. The Nature Cure is available at as is Dr. Scherger’s third edition book Lean and Fit: A Doctor’s Journey to Healthy Nutrition and Greater Wellness.

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