Mommy Diagnostics: Book Review

Last week I shared one of my goals for this year: to assemble a natural remedy closet (or apothecary, as Little Natural Cottage calls it!) An integral part of building this collection is gathering resources to help us wisely administer our natural remedies.

Mommy Diagnostics, by Shonda Parker, is a practical field guide for moms, written from a Christian perspective.The book is divided into three main parts: a lengthy, informative introduction to health and wellness; detailed recommendations for treating minor illnesses at home; and resources for further study.

First, what I didn’t like about the book. It was not well edited (at least my 1998 edition!) There were typos in every chapter and sometimes I had to read a sentence three times to understand what Shonda meant. Perhaps I shouldn’t be harsh since I’m sure most of my blog posts contain grammatical errors, BUT if you’re going to publish a book, edit it. Then edit it again. Then pay someone to edit it for you.

Aside from that fairly significant flaw, I loved Mommy Diagnostics.

Mommy Diagnostics recognizes the importance of modern medicine while maintaining that nutrition and herbs should be our first line of defense. Shonda’s “Ladder Approach to Health™” argues that when we get sick we should start with the least aggressive form of intervention, nutrition and lifestyle, and work up to the most aggressive, surgery. [Unless, of course, the illness is acute and requires urgent care.] Each progressive ring of the intervention ladder poses higher risks of falling.

Throughout her book, Shonda stresses the importance of keeping thorough medical records for our families. Keeping careful track of the symptoms of a sickness will help us diagnose the problem quickly and correctly. When we know exactly what we are dealing with, choosing a course of action is much simpler.

Shonda covers dozens of fairly common illnesses we are likely to face. After a thorough explanation of the common symptoms for each illness, Shonda includes numerous treatment options. It is obvious she has researched the herbs thoroughly and she encourages us to do the same.

For example, if your child comes down with an ear infection, pull down your go-to books and check what herbs or remedies they recommend. Check several sources to make sure that any possible side effects are covered. If any of the herbs pose even a possibility of bad side effects, research them further before using.

My favorite part was near the end of the book, in a section titled “Raw Food Diets and Veganism.” Health food fads have a way of creeping into the Church. (After all, Adam and Eve abstained from meat and lived to nearly 1000.) There is obviously nothing wrong with eating vegetables. But with veganism or any other diet, we must go back to the Bible. There we see that Jesus ate meat and His disciples ate meat. As she puts it, “We are not in the Garden. We will not be recreating the Garden just because we eat what was eaten there.”

Though we should be wise in what we feed our families, sin came into the world and brought sickness and death. We cannot make our children immortal through perfect nutrition.

Overall, I came away from Mommy Diagnostics encouraged and better equipped to handle minor illnesses. I think it makes a great addition to My Apothecary. However, at the moment, the only used copies I could find online were fairly expensive. Herbal Drugstore is another great reference book that has much cheaper copies available on Amazon.

Speaking of cheap, I was so excited to find one of the books Shonda recommends, Food: Your Miracle Medicine, at the thrift store this weekend!

Linked up at Natural Living and Healthy 2Day Wednesdays

 (Full disclosureThe links to products in this post are my referral links.)


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  1. says

    I don’t know about keeping children well (since I don’t have any) but I do know about editing. 😛 No matter how many times you edit something, I can almost promise you that there will be a few mistakes. But hopefully not as many as you found in this book! 🙂

    • anna says

      Lol! Josh pointed out to me this morning a rather glaring mistake in my post. I said “Adam and EVEN.” Oops! Guess that’s good pay back for complaining about a lack of editing, right?

  2. says

    This was a great review!! I really appreciated how she emphasized the balance between using medical doctors and treating naturally and also how she talks about being knowledgeable about anatomy in order to more efficiently diagnose and treat your family. The only thing I didn’t like was many of her suggestions had items you had to special order, though she did offer many solutions for each condition. This is a book that will remain an important tool in my home health care. I really like your blog and will subscribe. I really like sharing alternative health care with other mothers, because often the treatments are vague so it always helps to hear what others are trying and having success with. Please stop by and check out my blog, I would love to have any input you may have or alternative suggestions!!

    • anna says

      Thanks for stopping by (and for subscribing!) What a need testimony of essential oils on your blog!

      I just kinda skimmed the brand name references in Mommy Diagnostics too. There were enough other recommendations that I found it really helpful.

  3. says

    Love this book! I like her perspective and have found it very helpful. I found it on clearance at the website I ordered my birth kit for Levi. I had already purchased several very disappointing herbal/natural kid’s health books, and was reluctant to waste any more money – but I decided to order it since it was so inexpensive. So glad I did! 🙂

    • anna says

      Thanks so much for stopping by Natalie! 🙂 That’s wonderful you were able to find a copy cheaply! I love having it on hand to turn to when my kids (or me) get sick!

  4. says

    Anna, I have and love Shonda’s books… Mommy Dianostics is one of my favorites!

    You’re right about the typos… I find numerous errors in her books too. 😛

    Aside from the slightly poor editing, Shonda Parker’s books are great! I highly recommend them to every natural mama!!

  5. says

    Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and terrific design.


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