This is a substantive, practical, and uptempo book about the body's natural ability to maintain health and combat illness. Dr. Weil teaches at the University of Arizona and is a prominent authority on natural healing, altered states of consciousness, and the medicinal properties of plants.

He begins with case histories of individuals facing death who were spontaneously healed. Then he gets down to brass tacks with concrete suggestions for optimizing one's healing system. Included are chapters on a healing diet, protecting oneself from toxins, using tonics, recommended activity and rest, and capitalizing on the vitalities of mind and spirit. In ancient societies, there were three routes to healing — through herbs, through shamans, and through medicine men. It is high time our society realizes the validity of the natural route to healing which, as demonstrated by Dr. Weil, is holistic, sound, and salutary.