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Essential Guide to Herbal Safety, The

by: Mills, Simon and Bone, Kerry

St. Louis MO: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone 2005, $67.95, Hardbound
ISBN: 0-443-07171-3

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2007 Issue: 14(1) page(s): 21

Twelve chapters about herbal safety precede the one hundred twenty-five individual herbal descriptions. They should be required reading for those taking herbs and others eating ordinary foods considered herbs. Of special interest are the ones titled: Adverse Herb-drug Interactions and Allergic Reactions to Herbal Medicines. Specific to the interests of this magazine's readers is one called: Safety Concerns Involving Chinese Herbal Medicine. Like the others, though somewhat technical, the chapters are comprehensive. So are the Appendices about herbal safety during pregnancy and lactation.

There are one hundred twenty-five herbal monographs, all impressive and with safety summaries. They also have therapeutic uses, actions, key constituents, common adulterants, typical dosage, contraindications, use in pregnancy and lactation, warnings--if any, adverse reactions and interactions (if any), and safety for children, their toxicology, regulatory status in selected countries (US included), and references for further information. Every one of them is a wonderful resource. The herbs begin with aloe and go through zizyphus. Gingko and ginseng are near the middle of the lot. If not on your bookshelf, encourage your library to purchase a copy; this book has balanced perspectives. Were it not a necessity to return it after reviewing, it would be on ours.

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