The answer to the question "Is this book worth the money it costs?" greatly depends on what you expect to get from it. If you're looking for a reference guide for the so called "alternative therapies" (I'll use CAM for short henceforth), you probably should look someplace else. If you are a believer in CAM, looking for a scientific proof that CAM works, you might be disappointed. Although the book does list 20 conditions, which can be "helped" with CAM according to scientific studies, a closer look reveals that by "helps" they almost always mean "provides a temporary and mild relief for some superficial symptoms", namely: non-specific pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. In my case, I was looking not for the information, but for another point of view. It's not difficult to find all the information in this book online, either in favor of CAM (mostly coming from practitioners), or against it (QuackWatch, SkepDic, NCAHF, CSICOP etc.), or even something more or less neutral, like NCCAM. After listening to all the sides I thought that Mayo Clinic, as a respectable medical institute, but with unusually liberal approach towards CAM, may provide a unique perspective on the matter. In this respect the book was more or less worth the money I paid for it. Two things soured the experience, however. First of all, the book isn't as comprehensive as I was hoping for. It contains a basic description of 25 popular types of "alternative therapy", as well as 59 common herbs, vitamins and minerals. This is a nice coverage, actually, but with hundreds of therapies and thousands of herbs out there (if not more) it's far too small to be a real compendium. I was hoping for at least twice as much. In particular, there is nothing about such famous (or infamous) things as colon cleansing and Philippine healers. One star off for this. There is a lot of information about healthy living, and just a handful of pages about the dangers of CAM and the quackery, but since I've found nothing there I didn't know already, it didn't affect my rating. Some people might find it useful, though. Another matter is more serious: deception. To my best knowledge (but who knows) they tell only the truth in the book, but definitely not the whole truth, which creates false impressions. For example, they speak of the idea of "putative energy" or "life-force" as a supposed basis of some "therapies", but never mention the fact that such concepts are extremely anti-scientific. People who aren't versed in science may take this silence as a sign that science, at the very least, doesn't deny the existence of such "energies", which is not true. A more disturbing example involves prayer. The book gives it a "green light" and says that a study (emphasis on "a") showed that prayer can change the course of some disease, yet never mentions all the other studies, including at least two performed by Mayo Clinic itself (!), which showed absolutely no benefit of prayer on healing. Whether prayer works or not, I find such glaring omission unacceptable. There are many other examples like this one, and even the choice of words is sometimes misleading ("study couldn't prove" instead of "study disproved", for example). Because I generally like and respect Mayo Clinic, I will take off only one more star for this, but I can't promise to be so nice next time.