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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Joan Stachnik, PharmD, BCPS (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy)
Description: This is a compilation of reviews on the therapeutic use of common herbs.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide healthcare professionals and consumers with accurate and unbiased information on the actions and uses of common herbs, to allow for their safe and effective use. Given the recent increase in the use of herbs and natural products by both clinicians and consumers, authoritative information on these products is greatly needed.
Audience: This book is intended for use by any individual who is interested in the therapeutic use of herbs. It is written in language understandable to both trained healthcare professionals and consumers. The authors are well-recognized authorities in the field of herbal and natural products, and have provided the reader not only with scientific data on herbs, but also with their insight and judgment on the validity of the use of herbs in the treatment of various conditions.
Features: Summaries of published scientific information on the therapeutic use of herbs are provided, along with commentary on the validity of their use. Each monograph includes a description of the plant or source, known active ingredients, and proposed pharmacologic action. In addition, there is a summary chart of all the herbals included in the book, listing the common name, source, plant part used, principal use, and a rating of safety and efficacy. The book also includes a chapter on laws and regulations governing herbals and on the "pros and cons" of herbal use.
Assessment: This fourth edition is a welcome addition to the references available on herbal products. The authors use their expertise to give the reader an unbiased evaluation of commonly used herbals. This reference can be of use to both healthcare professionals and consumers as a common sense guide to herbal products.