Reviewer: Michael Gabay, PharmD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy)
Description: This is an alphabetic listing of common herbal products and nutritional supplements in monograph format. The monographs are structurally similar to those in American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information (AHFS DI) and include an overview of the herb or nutritional supplement, uses/indications, dosage ranges, cautions, interactions, regulatory status, and references.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide science-based, referenced information intended to assist clinicians in integrating conventional and alternative medicine into their patients' care. No theoretical information regarding herbal or supplement therapy is included.
Audience: It is intended for use by a variety of healthcare professionals. The information has been collected from over 3,000 sources and reviewed by an advisory board composed of physicians, scientists, and other medical professionals recognized in the field of herbal and supplement therapy.
Features: The book follows a polished, easy to follow monograph structure. The two sections, herbals and supplements, have alphabetical product listings. An alphabetic index at the end of the book makes it easy to locate information. The references are current and relevant. This resource contains non-theoretical information on common herbs and supplements and therefore is not as comprehensive as Jellin et. al's Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter, 1999) and Fetrow et. al's Professional Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Springhouse, 1999).
Assessment: This is another tertiary resource in the herbal/supplement arena. What sets this book apart is the expertise of the editor and advisory board of the American Hospital Formulary Service and the fact that it contains only evidence-based data. Many clinicians may prefer this approach rather than one encompassing theoretical information. However, this book does not contain information on many herbs and supplements that are included in other references of this nature. Hopefully, the scope of included products will be broadened in subsequent editions.