An Introduction to Botanical Medicines: History, Science, Uses, and Dangers

Overview

For those who want to make educated decisions about whether, and when, to use natural products, this text explains the most current scientific evidence of the roles that plants can play in our health: how they can prevent, modify, or treat disease. Since antiquity, humans have used botanicals to treat various conditions affecting their organ systems, and this book is built around explaining which plants may be used for major ailments affecting the various systems. The increasing availability of botanicals on the ...

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Overview

For those who want to make educated decisions about whether, and when, to use natural products, this text explains the most current scientific evidence of the roles that plants can play in our health: how they can prevent, modify, or treat disease. Since antiquity, humans have used botanicals to treat various conditions affecting their organ systems, and this book is built around explaining which plants may be used for major ailments affecting the various systems. The increasing availability of botanicals on the market, intended to be used as dietary supplements for health, has been fueled by the public's demand for a more natural approach to healthcare. Unfortunately, much of the information fed to the public on alternatives is based on anecdotal evidence (case stories), the advice of friends, or media features that often do not stand up to standards for scientific evidence. In this book Al-Achi explains current research and science that exists - or remains lacking - for the various botanicals as healthcare products. He also details the potential misuse and the dangers of some herbal formulas. Photographs of 62 medicinal plants are included.

For those who want to make educated decisions whether, and when, to use natural products, this text explains the most current scientific evidence of the roles that plants can play in our health: how they can prevent, modify, or treat disease. Since antiquity, humans have used botanicals to treat various conditions affecting their organ systems, and this book is built around explaining which plants may be used for major ailments affecting the various systems. The increasing availability of botanicals on the market, intended to be used as dietary supplements for health, has been fueled by the public's demand for a more natural approach to healthcare. Unfortunately, much of the information fed to the public on alternatives is based on anecdotal evidence (case studies), the advice of friends, or media features that often do not stand up to standards for scientific evidence. In this book, Al-Achi explains current research and science that exists - or remains lacking - for the various botanicals as healthcare products. He also details the potential misuse and the dangers of some herbal formulas. Photographs of 62 medicinal plants are included.

Because of its evidentiary approach, this book may serve also as a text for introductory college courses in the field of botanical medicine, or as a supplemental general text for an alternative and complementary medicine course. The history leading to the use of botanicals in healthcare is described, as are botanicals used in the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, endocrine system disorders such as diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, men's and women's specific disorders, infections, chronic pain, psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression, and other health issues.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A highly respected educator in the field of pharmaceuticals, author Antoine Al-Achi analyzes these gifts of nature, explaining the most recent research and scientific evidence on their efficiency in the treatment of major diseases. He points out the misuse and dangers of some herbals, cautioning, too, that the purity of some may be compromised with fatal results. Providing an introduction to the field of botanical medicine, this publication is highly recommended to all interested in dietary supplements as well as patients considering complimentary and alternative medicines to conventional drugs."

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Chicago Botanic Garden

"Al-Achi (pharmacy, Campbell Univ.) has compiled a wealth of evidence-based information on the effects of botanical preparations on in vitro and in vivo models of disease. Included is information on the history and safety of botanical medicine; the use of botanicals against cancer, cardiovascular disease, skin disorders, diabetes, thyroid disorders,

Gastrointestinal disease, psychiatric disorders, infection, and pain, plus an extensive bibliography of peer-reviewed publications."

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Choice

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Melissa M. Ranieri, BS, PharmD (Temple University School of Pharmacy)
Description: This informative book on herbal products used to treat medical ailments is organized by organ system and reviews detailed information about botanical products, including evidence for their use.
Purpose: The purpose is not well defined, but the book seems to be intended for use as an introductory text for college level courses in botanical medicine. Alternatively, it may be used as a supplemental reference for complementary medicine courses. The author succeeds at providing current, evidence-based information on botanical products and their clinical uses.
Audience: The intended audience is students learning about herbal products. However, the book also may be used by healthcare professionals or others with a scientific background wishing to learn about botanical medicine. The author, an authority in the field, is an associate professor of pharmaceutics who teaches botanical medicine to doctor of pharmacy students. In addition to a master's in radiopharmaceutical sciences and a master's in pharmacy, the author has completed a fellowship in pathology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Features: The book includes a section on the history of herbal products, as well as a chapter on the safety of these substances. The author organizes the text based on disease state, which is an effective way to learn about the various applications of herbal products. Each chapter also includes pictures of the botanical plants from which these herbal products are derived. Finally, relevant clinical trials for each herbal product help readers determine the evidentiary support for the use of botanical products. Perhaps one shortcoming of the book is that it is too focused in some areas on the pharmaceutical science of botanicals. It may be beneficial to include more clinical applications or product formulations rather than the detailed science behind the product. Another drawback is that the safety of each herbal product is included only in the last chapter. This prevents the reader from grasping the entire clinical picture of the herbal product at one time.
Assessment: This will be useful for learning about the available herbal products and their application to treat various disease states. It also includes complete references and clinical trials for further review and it succeeds in communicating the available evidence for the clinical use of these products. However, the book is perhaps too detailed in the pharmaceutical background of these products in some cases. It is certainly informative and is written by a knowledgeable expert in the area of botanical medicine.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

ANTOINE AL-ACHI is Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy at Campbell University in North Carolina. He has taught Botanical Medicine to Doctor of Pharmacy students at the university since 2003. He holds a Doctorate in Biomedical Science/Pharmaceutics/Pharmacokinetics from Northeastern University, a Master's in Radiopharmaceutical Sciences from Northeastern, and a Master's in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences. Al-Achi served as Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Fellow in Pathology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword Julie Silver Silver, Julie

1 Botanical Medicine Use 1

2 Botanicals with Anticancer Activity 17

3 Botanicals for Cardiovascular and Circulatory System 37

4 Topical Applications: Botanicals for Skin Disorders 49

5 Botanicals for the Endocrine System 61

6 Gastrointestinal Botanicals 78

7 Botanicals for Men's Health 86

8 Botanicals for Women's Health 92

9 Botanicals for Psychiatric Disorders 112

10 Antimicrobial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Antiparasitic Botanicals 119

11 Natural Remedies for Pain Control 133

12 Herbal Safety 138

References 149

Index 185

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