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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia West, PharmD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy)
Description: This is a compendium of more than 300 herbal agents. Each herbal agent is thoroughly described with information on the actions, reported uses, dosing, adverse reaction, drug interactions, and contraindications and precautions. The appendixes provide valuable information in table format along with an herbal information sheet that can be reproduced for patient counseling.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive and scientifically valid reference for complementary and alternative medicines. Alternative medicines are being used by more than 60 million people in the United States. Healthcare professionals need reliable and scientific information regarding these therapies. Therefore, providing a reference that combines scientific knowledge with expert evaluation is important. The authors, contributors, and consultants appear to be qualified based on their affiliations and professional degrees.
Audience: This book is designed for use by all healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, physicians, and nurses. It would be a useful reference for anyone involved in evaluating drug therapy.
Features: It features an overview chapter with a review of the history of complementary and alternative medicines, regulations, risks, and uses of these medicines. This alphabetical compendium is a description of the actions, uses, dosing, adverse effects, drug interactions, contraindications and precautions, and special considerations of more than 300 herbal medicines, along with an analysis by the authors . "Alert" symbols are utilized to draw the reader's attention to warnings about the use of the agent. The appendixes include information on the safety of herbal agents or plants, agents to avoid during pregnancy, monitoring guidelines, interactions, and study data in table format.
Assessment: This book adds to the limited number of reliable references currently available to healthcare professionals whose patients take alternative medicines, and is therefore a valuable resource for herbal information.