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Herbal Medicine

by: Steven P. Karch

Hauppauge NY: Advanced Research Press 1999, $29.95, Hardbound
ISBN: 1-889462-06-3

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2001 Issue: 8(1) page(s): 22

Here is a volume that looks back to a rare 1800's five-volume set about medicinal plants that was titled Medical Botany and at many things since including Germany’s Commission E regulations about herbal medicines. The author uses his cell biology, neuropathology, and other medical training to provide sixty-seven herbal profiles from aloe to yohimbine. Each is detailed in twelve informational sections: botanical, herbal, and common names, historical perspective, traditional claims, Commission E recommendations, proven effects, concerns, warnings, dosage, plus an overview and references. Each is thorough and worth consulting.

There are short chapters about antioxidents, phytoestrogens, anti-inflammatories; teas and tannins; pyrrozolidine, alkaloids, and sesquiterpene lactones; a glossary; a cross-referenced index; and more. One particularly valuable item, among several, is how to do an free internet MEDLINE search to learn even more.

Many of the thirty top selling herbs in the United States have a long history in Chinese traditional medicine. Also valuable are herbal combinations for thirteen medical conditions and a list of unapproved potentially dangerous ones. The approach is sound, the advice rooted in western medical research. This book is a valuable resource for those interested in herbal depth.

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