Somewhere in the Middle

I was excited to join the Parent Bloggers Network, and eagerly took on the first assignment they offered me- a book by Suzy Cohen R.Ph., titled “The 24 Hour Pharmacist”. I initially thought it would be a book discussing different types of prescription medications. Instead it turned out to be exactly the opposite- alternatives to prescription drugs for various ailments. Oh boy…What have I gotten myself into??

I am not one to generally look to alternative medicine. There are some things I go along with, even embrace, because I know they work. I am much more likely to start cranberry pills than call a Dr. for a bladder infection, and I always eat a lot of yogurt when I am on antibiotics to help keep nasty stomach and secondary infection issues at bay. But truth be told, that’s about as far as it goes for me. I tend to avoid things I don’t feel are well-proven, and many so-called natural remedies fall under my self-imposed umbrella. With this book I got to look the enemy straight in the eye, so to speak.

What I found surprised me. First off, the book is NOT the dry text I was expecting. Cohen has a strong, personable voice in her writing, and it immediately makes you feel like she is as trustworthy as someone you’ve known for years. The book is packed with information, but in a way that makes sense. The 24 Hour Pharmacist is broken up into different sections of the body, such as ‘Above the Waist’, ‘Below the Waist’, ‘Above the Neck’, and so on, making it easy to flip to the section you want to further investigate. Each of those sections is further divided into the different ailments and concerns.

What I liked most about this book, in addition to the organization, is the way she takes on various issues. She is very thorough, for instance when discussing depression, letting you know not only what supplements there are to combat this, but also what foods may help, as well as what other medications you may be taking that could be exacerbating it. She won me over totally when she made a point of saying she was NOT saying to go off these other meds, but to discuss the symptoms with your doctor. She obviously believes in alternative supplements, while recognizing the value of modern prescription medications as well. That balance is hard to find, and goes a long way towards supporting her credibility in my mind. She goes into a lot of interesting detail as to not only what works, but why it works, again scoring points here.

Surprisingly enough with all this talk of vitamin supplements, Cohen has recommendations of over-the-counter products as well, such as Cetaphil for lice treatment, Neosporin Plus for cuts, Delsym for coughs, and many others. Once again that balance comes in!

In addition to the book, Suzy Cohen also writes a syndicated column titled “Dear Pharmacist” which appears in newspapers across the country. Many of these column pieces can be found on her website, .

When both sides are so vocal, it’s comforting to see there IS a happy medium between alternative medicine and prescription cures.

Head on over to the Parent Bloggers Network and leave a comment on the campaign launch post for this book and you’ll be entered to win a $50 CVS gift card for your prescription and vitamin supplement needs!

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3 thoughts on “Somewhere in the Middle

  1. Like you said, it’s all about balance or moderation. I’m a nurse so I tend to have more faith in modern medicine but I also think there are plenty of alternative medications and supplements that work also. I got pregnant with my third baby by using natural supplements. I’ve tried diet changes and supplements to help my daughter with her Tourette’s, ADHD, anxiety, and OCD but those alone didn’t improve much for her if at all. She has greatly benefited from modern medicine.


  2. Ok, I seriously don’t know how to navigate that site so I am leaving my comment here. I am much like you, I don’t trust anything that isn’t proven, yet as I age (not that I’m old), and I find myself with “issues” that I did not have in my 20s I have been giving alternative another look. Suddenly my back cracks, my neck cracks, I don’t have the energy I used to and my mood is down. I have headaches on one side of my head that I’ve seen several doctors about and all they want to do is prescribe me pain management drugs when I am not at the point that the pain is that bad that I want to be on a regular drug for it (knock on wood). A coworker recently went to a holistic doc and he told her to cut out the diet soda’s, the crystal lights, etc… At first I thought this was just a bunch of new age nonsense, but it makes sense. These things are very unnatural things. Of course your body is going to reject them in some way. It’s not going to keep me from having my one diet soda a day (down from three or four might I say), but it does make sense. I don’t trust the pills though, there are no regulations on how those things are made. I worked for a company who’s clients were FDA approved drugmakers as well as clients who were “natural” drugmakers, and the non-FDA guys scared the crud out of me. Then I sat on a jury for two of the “natural” companies going against eachother and they were sliiiimmmyy. Sorry for the novel, the point I am trying to make is that I might actually pick up that book. Or at least borrow it.


  3. Being a chemist (and someone who needs her prescription meds) I have strong opinions about the use of alternative medicine.

    However, I would be very interested to see a book that balances the two because some alternatives are definitely better- and sometimes you really need the modern medical solution.


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