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The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Remedies

The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Remedies

This pdf book is well written by experts in their respective fields and for the first time provides information on specific botanical products that relate to their therapeutic value. It should be of great interest to students and practitioners in any of the health sciences, to manufacturers of botanical products, to the lay public, to those in the media who can rely on information in this book to be authoritative, and to libraries.

This ebook includes profiles on thirtytwo individual herbal medicines and ten combination formulas. These profiles include descriptions of most of the major published clinical studies, which have been analyzed by a panel of authoritative reviewers. It is obvious that great care was taken to ensure completeness and accuracy of information, and the reviewers’ comments regarding study quality are especially informative and helpful.

Clinicians searching for detailed and accurate information on herbal clinical trials will find much in this text that is useful. It is a significant achievement in the field of evidence-based analyses of herbal medicine. It should be of most help to clinicians or researchers who want specific details on herbal clinical studies that are not readily available, or who are interested in clinical-trial-quality assessments by authoritative reviewers.

Clinical studies and case reports of herbal medicines have recently begun to appear in major medical journals of the United States. The clinicians responsible for these publications are apparently unaware that no standards of quality exist for herbal products in this and many other countries. Accustomed to working with drugs that must conform to official specifications, these authors often fail to define adequately the botanicals employed, and their failure to do so raises more questions than are answered. The following examples, some of them selected from the special November 11, 1998, alternative medicine issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, will illustrate this problem.

One of the major clinical trials published in that issue was a study conducted in Australia by Bensoussan et al. (1998), involving the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with a multi-ingredient Chinese herbal formula. None of the 20 botanicals employed was identified by its correct Latin binomial (genus, species; followed by author citation) nor was any assurance provided that the identification given only as a Latin drug title was confirmed in any way (botanical or chemical characterization).

Regulatory requirements for the quality of botanical products vary depending on the country and the regulatory category. The same herbal product can be marketed as a drug in Germany and as a dietary supplement in the United States. In Germany, medicinal plant products are produced to quality standards typical for pharmaceutical products. This is especially true for potent herbals in which the active ingredients are defined, contribute substantially to the therapeutic activity, and allow standardization to a biological effect. Specifications for these products include standardization of a constituent, or constituents, within a set range supported by a pharmacopoeial monograph.

Read book online on Google Docs The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Remedies

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