Nature Cures, a History of Alternative Medicine in America
, was released this fall by Oxford University Press. The book, written by James Whorton
, UW professor of medical history and ethics
, explores the major alternative systems that have emerged over the past two centuries. Many of these therapies remain available today.
Whorton traces the development of homeopathy, water cures, Mesmerism, Christian Science, osteopathy, chiropractic, naturopathy, acupuncture and other systems. His book covers the early formation and growth of each system, and its theories and therapies.
Whorton examines the natural healing philosophy that many alternative practitioners have espoused over the years, and how this philosophy has been variously interpreted by different alternative systems. While pointing out dubious practices and failings, he also covers therapies now recognized as complementary to mainstream medicine.
He teaches UW courses on the history of medicine, the history of public health, the history of health beliefs, and the development of alternative and complementary medicine.