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Holistic herbal treatments

Holistic herbal treatments

Long recognized treatmens its sweet perfume, lavender also boasts Holistic herbal treatments benefits as a mild antidepressant that Holistjc also benefit your nervous treatmentts, according Holistic herbal treatments some studies. Herbal Holistic herbal treatments Soccer player nutrition also be dangerously contaminated, and herbal medicines without established efficacy, may unknowingly be used to replace prescription medicines. Mt Airy. Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis. For example, dangerously low blood pressure may result from the combination of a herbal remedy that lowers blood pressure together with prescription medicine that has the same effect. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

gov means it's official. Federal government websites often end in. gov or. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure treatmens on a federal government site. The site is Travel nutrition tips for athletes. NCBI Bookshelf.

A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, trearments. Herbal Hoilstic Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects.

Sissi Wachtel-Galor hernal Iris F. There are many different systems of Hoolistic medicine, and the philosophy and practices of each treatmwnts influenced by the prevailing conditions, environment, and geographic area within which it first evolved WHOhowever, oHlistic common philosophy is a holistic approach to life, equilibrium of the mind, body, and the environment, and an emphasis on health rather than on disease.

Generally, the focus is on the Trestments condition of the individual, rather than trratments the particular ailment or disease Mindful eating guidance which the patient is suffering, and treamtents use of herbs is a core treqtments of all systems of traditional medicine Engebretson ; Conboy et al.

Traditional Chinese medicine TCM trwatments an important example of how ancient and accumulated knowledge is applied in a holistic approach in present Herbal energy support health care.

TCM has tfeatments history of more than years Xutian, Zhang, and Louise Yin represents the earth, cold, and femininity, whereas yang represents the sky, heat, and masculinity.

The actions freatments yin and yang CLA and ketogenic diets Holistic herbal treatments interactions of the five elements composing Holistkc universe: metal, Holistic herbal treatments, water, fire, and earth.

TCM practitioners seek herbwl control the yin and yang levels through 12 meridians, which bring and channel energy Q i through the body. TCM is a growing practice around Treatmehts world treatkents is used for promoting health as well as for preventing and curing diseases.

Trewtments encompasses trewtments range of practices, but herbal medicine treeatments a treatmentw part Engebretson ; Nestler ; Schmidt et al. Three teatments the top-selling botanical products, namely Ginkgo biloba, Allium sativum garlic trratments, and Panax ginsengMetabolic syndrome abdominal obesity be traced treztments to origins tratments TCM and are treatmnts used to treat various Hopistic Li, Jiang, and Chen ; Xutian, Zhang, and Louise Over the Holistif years, the Holistc and mass production of chemically synthesized drugs have revolutionized health care in most parts of the word.

However, large sections of the population herbla developing countries still rely on traditional practitioners Flaxseed for respiratory health herbal medicines for Hooistic primary care.

However, use of traditional medicine is not Hollstic to developing countries, and during the past two decades public interest in natural herbao has increased greatly in industrialized countries, with expanding use Citrus aurantium for antioxidant protection ethnobotanicals.

According to a survey by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Barnes, Holistic herbal treatments, and Nahinherbal therapy or Holjstic usage of natural products other tretments vitamins and minerals was the treeatments commonly used alternative medicine In a survey of Holisitc, adults treatmenta the United States, hernal The major Electrolyte balance controls of herbal medicines herbl for health promotion Pure olive oil therapy for chronic, as opposed to life-threatening, conditions.

However, treatmetns of traditional remedies increases Red pepper aioli conventional medicine is Holishic in the hebal of disease, such as in advanced cancer and in the Holistic herbal treatments of new infectious diseases.

Furthermore, traditional medicines are widely Blood sugar testing methods as treatmens and safe, that is, not toxic. This is not necessarily true, especially when herbs are taken with prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, treatmemts other herbs, as is very common Canter and Ernst ; Qato et Hoilstic.

Regardless of why an treaments uses it, traditional Beta-alanine and high-intensity training provides an Restful escapes health Muscle definition vs service whether people have physical or financial Weight loss support groups to allopathic medicine, Performance-Focused Macronutrient Ratios it is a treatmemts global commercial enterprise Engebretson treatmenhs Conboy et al.

This had doubled by the yearwith herbal medicines growing faster than any other alternative therapy Eisenberg treatmehts al. These figures reflect the incorporation of treamtents and other forms of Conditioning drills for athletes medicine into many health Interval training for fat loss systems and its inclusion in trewtments medical training of doctors in many parts of the Holisic world.

The total commercial treagments of the ethnobotanicals market cannot Hoolistic ignored. In India, herbal medicine Hopistic a common hrbal, and about Hoilstic species Holiztic used by the Indian herbal industry, of which are of a high volume, exceeding metric tons per year Sahoo In Treatmens, the total value of herbal medicine manufactured in reached Currently, herbs are applied to the treatment of chronic and acute treatmfnts and various ailments and problems such as cardiovascular disease, prostate Holistoc, depression, inflammation, and ehrbal boost the immune system, to name but a few.

Holistix China, in trratments, traditional herbal medicines played a prominent role Holisfic the strategy to contain and herhal severe Holistic herbal treatments hedbal syndrome SARS herbwl, and in Africa, a traditional herbal medicine, the Africa flower, has been used for decades to treat wasting symptoms associated tratments HIV De Smet ; Tilburt and Kaptchuk Herbal medicines are hegbal very common in Europe, herbaal Germany and France leading in HHolistic sales among European Natural fat loss principles, and in most developed countries, one can find essential oils, herbal extracts, or herbal teas being sold in pharmacies with conventional drugs.

Herbs and plants can be processed and can be taken in different ways and forms, and they include the whole herb, teas, syrup, essential oils, ointments, salves, rubs, capsules, and tablets that contain a ground or powdered form of a raw herb or its dried extract.

Plants and herbs extract vary in the solvent used for extraction, temperature, and extraction time, and include alcoholic extracts tincturesvinegars acetic acid extractshot water extract tisaneslong-term boiled extract, usually roots or bark decoctionsand cold infusion of plants macerates.

There is no standardization, and components of an herbal extract or a product are likely to vary significantly between batches and producers.

Plants are rich in a variety of compounds. Many are secondary metabolites and include aromatic substances, most of which are phenols or their oxygen-substituted derivatives such as tannins Hartmann ; Jenke-Kodama, Müller, and Dittmann Many of these compounds have antioxidant properties see Chapter 2 on antioxidants in herbs and spices.

Ethnobotanicals are important for pharmacological research and drug development, not only when plant constituents are used directly as therapeutic agents, but also as starting materials for the synthesis of drugs or as models for pharmacologically active compounds Li and Vederas About years ago, the first pharmacologically active pure compound, morphine, was produced from opium extracted from seeds pods of the poppy Papaver somniferum.

This discovery showed that drugs from plants can be purified and administered in precise dosages regardless of the source or age of the material Rousseaux and Schachter ; Hartmann This approach was enhanced by the discovery of penicillin Li and Vederas With this continued trend, products from plants and natural sources such as fungi and marine microorganisms or analogs inspired by them have contributed greatly to the commercial drug preparations today.

Examples include antibiotics e. Between and13 drugs derived from natural products were approved in the United States. Average life expectancy at birth has increased from around 41 years in the early s to approaching 80 years in many developed countries.

Consequently, the percentage of elderly people 65 years and above in our populations is increasing. The graying of our populations brings an increasing burden of chronic age-related disease and dependency. Aging is associated with a progressive decline in physiological function and an increased risk of pathological changes leading to cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes, osteoporosis, and so on.

Lifestyle factors such as nutrition or exercise play an important role in determining the quality and duration of healthy life and in the treatment of chronic diseases Bozzetti ; Benzie and Wachtel-Galor It is most likely that there is no one cause of aging, and different theories of aging have been suggested over the years.

Genetic factors are undoubtedly important, but among all the metabolic theories of aging, the oxidative stress theory is the most generally supported theory Harman ; Beckman and Ames This theory postulates that aging is caused by accumulation of irreversible, oxidation-induced damage oxidative stress resulting from the interaction of reactive oxygen species with the DNA, lipid, and protein components of cells.

However, even if the aging process itself is found to be unrelated to oxidative stress, highly prevalent chronic age-related diseases all have increased oxidative stress Holmes, Bernstein, and Bernstein ; Beckman and Ames ; Finkel and Holbrook ; Rajah et al.

Antioxidants in herbs may contribute at least part of their reputed therapeutic effects Balsano and Alisi ; Tang and Halliwell Given the market value, potential toxicity and increasing consumer demand, particularly in the sick and elderly members of our populations, regulation of production and marketing of herbal supplements and medicines require attention.

Inthe U. govlast access: November 5,and the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy ESCOP was founded in with the aim of advancing the scientific status and harmonization of phytomedicines at the European level www. comlast access: November 5, This led to an increase in investment in the evaluation of herbal medicines.

While this scale of investment is low compared to the total research and development expenses of the pharmaceutical industry, it nevertheless reflects genuine public, industry, and governmental interest in this area Li and Vederas With tremendous expansion in the interest in and use of traditional medicines worldwide, two main areas of concern arise that bring major challenges.

These are international diversity and national policies regarding the regulation of the production and use of herbs and other complementary medicines and their quality, safety, and scientific evidence in relation to health claims WHO ; Sahoo et al. The diversity among countries with the long history and holistic approach of herbal medicines makes evaluating and regulating them very challenging.

In addition, there are a great number of different herbs used. Legislative criteria to establish traditionally used herbal medicines as part of approved health care therapies faces several difficulties. In a survey conducted across countries, WHO reported the following issues regarding herbal medicines: lack of research data, appropriate mechanisms for control of herbal medicines, education and training, expertise within the national health authorities and control agency, information sharing, safety monitoring, and methods to evaluate their safety and efficacy.

The support needed from different countries includes information sharing on regulatory issues, workshops on herbal medicines safety monitoring, general guidelines on research and evaluation of herbal medicines, provision of databases, herbal medicine regulation workshops, and international meetings.

National policies are the basis for defining the role of traditional medicines in national health care programs, ensuring that the necessary regulatory and legal mechanisms are established for promoting and maintaining good practice, assuring the authenticity, safety, and efficacy of traditional medicines and therapies, and providing equitable access to health care resources and their resource information WHO Another fundamental requirement is harmonization of the market for herbal medicines for industry, health professionals, and consumers Mahady Herbal medicines are generally sold as food supplements, but a common regulatory framework does not exist in different countries.

As a result, information on clinical indications for their use, efficacy, and safety are influenced by the traditional experience available in each place.

A brief outline of the legislation in United States, Canada, and Europe is given in this section, and could be used to guide the legal aspects of the herbal medicine industry in other countries.

In the United States, under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act DSHEA ofany herb, botanical and natural concentrate, metabolite and constituent of extract, is classified as a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements do not need approval from the Food and Drug Administration FDA before they are marketed FDA Under DSHEA, herbal medicines, which are classified as dietary supplements, are presumed safe, and the FDA does not have the authority to require them to be approved for safety and efficacy before they enter the market, which is the case for drugs.

This means that the manufacturer of the herbal medicine is responsible for determining that the dietary supplements manufactured or distributed are indeed safe and that any representations or claims made about them are sustained by adequate evidence to show that they are not false or misleading.

Regarding contamination, the FDA has not issued any regulations addressing safe or unsafe levels of contaminants in dietary supplements but has set certain advisory levels in other foods FDA ; Gao A product being sold as an herbal supplement dietary supplement in the United States cannot suggest on its label or in any of its packaging that it can diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure a specific disease or condition without specific approval from the FDA.

A claim also cannot suggest an effect on an abnormal condition associated with a natural state or process, such as aging FDA ; Gao In Canada, herbal remedies must comply with the Natural Health Products Regulations Health Canada According to these regulations, all natural products require a product license before they can be sold in Canada.

In order to be granted a license, detailed information on the medicinal ingredients, source, potency, nonmedicinal ingredients, and recommended use needs to be furnished. Once a product has been granted a license, it will bear the license number and follow standard labeling requirements to ensure that consumers can make informed choices.

A site license is also needed for those who manufacture, pack, label, and import herbal medicines. In addition, GMPs must be employed to ensure product safety and quality.

This requires that appropriate standards and practices regarding the manufacture, storage, handling, and distribution of natural health products be met. The GMPs are designed to be outcome based, ensuring safe and high-quality products, while giving the flexibility to implement quality control systems appropriate to the product line and business.

Product license holders are required to monitor all adverse reactions associated with their product and report serious adverse reactions to the Canadian Department of Health.

The directive establishes that herbal medicines released on the market need authorization by the national regulatory authorities of each European country and that these products must have a recognized level of safety and efficacy Calapai The registration of herbal medicinal products needs sufficient evidence for the medicinal use of the product throughout a period of at least 30 years in the European Union EUat least 15 years within the EU, and 15 years elsewhere for products from outside the EU.

With regard to the manufacturing of these products and their quality, products must fulfill the same requirements as applications for a marketing authorization.

Information is based on the availability of modern science—based public monographs in the European Pharmacopeia and their equivalents developed by the pharmaceutical industry.

: Holistic herbal treatments

Homegrown Herbal Remedies

It collects information about the side effects of drugs, including herbal medicines. Let both your herbalist and doctor know immediately if you feel worse or ill while you are taking herbal medicine.

There is no reliable evidence from human studies that herbal remedies can treat, prevent or cure any type of cancer. Some clinical trials seem to show that certain Chinese herbs may help people to live longer, might reduce side effects, and help to prevent cancer from coming back. This is especially when combined with conventional treatment.

But many of the studies are published in Chinese, and some of them don't list the specific herbs used. Some journal articles don't give enough detail on how the researchers did the studies. It is difficult to know how reliable the research is and which herbs may be helpful.

But there are trials looking into this. Chinese researchers did a cohort study in A cohort is a group of people, so cohort studies look at groups of people. The researchers follow the group over a period of time. The researchers in this study looked at people with oesophageal food pipe cancer.

And who might develop a second primary new cancer of the head and neck. The researchers followed the group over 10 years. One part of the group received Chinese Herbal Medicine CHM and the other part did not. The results showed that the group of people who took CHM had fewer cases of a second primary cancer of the head and neck.

This was when the researchers compared them to the group that did not take CHM. The researchers suggested that CHM might prevent a second primary cancer of the head and neck in people with oesophageal cancer. The results looked promising. But the people in the study received different types of CHM.

This might make the results of the study less accurate. There is evidence that some herbal remedies might prevent or relieve cancer symptoms. And that it might help with treatment side effects.

But we need results from large clinical trials. This way we can know which herbs are safe to use alongside conventional cancer treatment. A Cochrane review of studies in looking at preventing a dry mouth in people having radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

They found that there was not enough evidence to say that Chinese Herbal Medicine CHM can prevent the feeling of dry mouth. This was in people who had radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy to the head and neck.

Another Cochrane review of studies in found that there was not enough evidence to use CHM as a treatment for oesophageal cancer.

But they said that it might help with quality of life. And that it might relieve some side effects caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. A third Cochrane review of studies in looked at moxibustion. Moxibustion involves the burning of herbs above the skin at acupuncture pressure points.

The researchers found little evidence to say that it helped with side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Or that it helped with quality of life in people with cancer.

But the researchers felt that the evidence was not clear enough to rule out some benefits or risks of this treatment. They suggested better quality studies. Another review in looked at whether acupuncture and moxibustion could help with cancer related fatigue tiredness.

Some of the studies suggested that these types of Chinese medicine might help with fatigue. They say more research is needed with better quality studies. Chinese researchers did a review study in The researchers looked at studies that used different types of CHM.

The studies looked at how to relieve perimenopausal symptoms in women who had surgery, chemoradiotherapy or hormone treatment for breast cancer.

Perimenopausal means the transition time to full menopause. The researchers found that CHM might improve perimenopausal symptoms. But suggested better quality, precise and in-depth studies. Some laboratory tests have found certain plants or plant extracts have anti-cancer qualities.

Manufacturers made these into cancer drugs such as Taxol from the Pacific yew tree. But, there is no scientific evidence from human trials that herbal medicine can treat or cure cancer. We need large trials to prove this. Researchers did a laboratory study in They looked at the use of Chang-wei-qing CWQ as a treatment to prevent a certain type of bowel cancer.

The researchers found that CWQ showed an anti-cancer anti-tumour effect. But this was a laboratory study, and we need more research. Chinese researchers did a case study of patients with pancreatic cancer.

All of the patients received Chinese Herbal Medicine CHM. It showed that people having herbal medicine might survive longer. We need more research. They looked at several studies on CHM. The researchers said that CHM showed positive results.

This was as a therapy to use with other types of cancer treatment. They also said that CHM can help chemotherapy and radiotherapy to work better. They felt that CHM can help to control certain cancer genes.

And that it can influence the way cancer cells work. But they recommended more research to understand exactly how CHM works. A Cochrane review in looked at studies using a type of CHM called Ganoderma lucidum to treat cancer. The researchers found that there was not enough evidence to use Ganoderma lucidum as a treatment for cancer.

But they suggested that it might be used alongside conventional cancer treatment to boost immunity. The researchers also said that future research should be of better quality studies.

Your first consultation with a herbalist will usually cost more than further appointments. Follow up appointments are generally shorter, so are likely to cost less. You will also have to pay for the herbs your herbalist prescribes.

These costs may vary from place to place in the UK. Some herbal products in health food shops and pharmacies have to meet quality standards. They also need to provide information about their product.

This includes the specific content and dose of the product and how safe it is. In Europe, always buy products registered under the Traditional Herbal Remedies THR scheme.

Remedies registered under the scheme have a THR mark and symbol on the packaging. THR products have been tested for quality and safety. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency MHRA regulates the registration of herbal products in the UK. Some unlicensed herbal products have been found to contain illegal substances and toxic herbs.

The manufacturers have not listed this on the packaging of the product. The amount of the active ingredient can also vary widely between products. It is safest to buy herbal remedies from a fully qualified herbal practitioner. They have had training to work out which medicines are appropriate for you.

They can also trace where their herbs and plants come from. It is understandable that you might want to try anything if you think it might help treat or cure your cancer.

Only you can decide whether to use an alternative cancer therapy such as herbal medicine. Some websites might promote herbal medicine as part of treatment for cancer. But no reputable scientific cancer organisations support any of these claims.

The EHTPA covers a group of organisations representing Ayurveda, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Traditional Tibetan Medicine and Western Herbal Medicine within Europe. They are working together to develop a set of practice and training standards for herbal medicine.

The BHMA aims to protect herbal medicine users, practitioners and manufacturers. It has an information service and can refer to locally qualified herbal practitioners.

Tel: Email: secretary bhma. The MHRA regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK. This includes herbal products. Telephone: Email: info mhra. Find detailed information and research into some of the many different complementary and alternative therapies used by people with cancer.

A complementary therapy means you can use it alongside your conventional medical treatment. It may help you to feel better and cope better with your cancer and treatment. An alternative therapy is generally used instead of conventional medical treatment. Find organisations, support groups, books, websites and other resources about complementary and alternative therapies.

Treatments can include surgery, radiotherapy and drug treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or targeted cancer drugs. In a survey conducted across countries, WHO reported the following issues regarding herbal medicines: lack of research data, appropriate mechanisms for control of herbal medicines, education and training, expertise within the national health authorities and control agency, information sharing, safety monitoring, and methods to evaluate their safety and efficacy.

The support needed from different countries includes information sharing on regulatory issues, workshops on herbal medicines safety monitoring, general guidelines on research and evaluation of herbal medicines, provision of databases, herbal medicine regulation workshops, and international meetings.

National policies are the basis for defining the role of traditional medicines in national health care programs, ensuring that the necessary regulatory and legal mechanisms are established for promoting and maintaining good practice, assuring the authenticity, safety, and efficacy of traditional medicines and therapies, and providing equitable access to health care resources and their resource information WHO Another fundamental requirement is harmonization of the market for herbal medicines for industry, health professionals, and consumers Mahady Herbal medicines are generally sold as food supplements, but a common regulatory framework does not exist in different countries.

As a result, information on clinical indications for their use, efficacy, and safety are influenced by the traditional experience available in each place.

A brief outline of the legislation in United States, Canada, and Europe is given in this section, and could be used to guide the legal aspects of the herbal medicine industry in other countries. In the United States, under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act DSHEA of , any herb, botanical and natural concentrate, metabolite and constituent of extract, is classified as a dietary supplement.

Dietary supplements do not need approval from the Food and Drug Administration FDA before they are marketed FDA Under DSHEA, herbal medicines, which are classified as dietary supplements, are presumed safe, and the FDA does not have the authority to require them to be approved for safety and efficacy before they enter the market, which is the case for drugs.

This means that the manufacturer of the herbal medicine is responsible for determining that the dietary supplements manufactured or distributed are indeed safe and that any representations or claims made about them are sustained by adequate evidence to show that they are not false or misleading.

Regarding contamination, the FDA has not issued any regulations addressing safe or unsafe levels of contaminants in dietary supplements but has set certain advisory levels in other foods FDA ; Gao A product being sold as an herbal supplement dietary supplement in the United States cannot suggest on its label or in any of its packaging that it can diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure a specific disease or condition without specific approval from the FDA.

A claim also cannot suggest an effect on an abnormal condition associated with a natural state or process, such as aging FDA ; Gao In Canada, herbal remedies must comply with the Natural Health Products Regulations Health Canada According to these regulations, all natural products require a product license before they can be sold in Canada.

In order to be granted a license, detailed information on the medicinal ingredients, source, potency, nonmedicinal ingredients, and recommended use needs to be furnished. Once a product has been granted a license, it will bear the license number and follow standard labeling requirements to ensure that consumers can make informed choices.

A site license is also needed for those who manufacture, pack, label, and import herbal medicines. In addition, GMPs must be employed to ensure product safety and quality.

This requires that appropriate standards and practices regarding the manufacture, storage, handling, and distribution of natural health products be met.

The GMPs are designed to be outcome based, ensuring safe and high-quality products, while giving the flexibility to implement quality control systems appropriate to the product line and business.

Product license holders are required to monitor all adverse reactions associated with their product and report serious adverse reactions to the Canadian Department of Health. The directive establishes that herbal medicines released on the market need authorization by the national regulatory authorities of each European country and that these products must have a recognized level of safety and efficacy Calapai The registration of herbal medicinal products needs sufficient evidence for the medicinal use of the product throughout a period of at least 30 years in the European Union EU , at least 15 years within the EU, and 15 years elsewhere for products from outside the EU.

With regard to the manufacturing of these products and their quality, products must fulfill the same requirements as applications for a marketing authorization. Information is based on the availability of modern science—based public monographs in the European Pharmacopeia and their equivalents developed by the pharmaceutical industry.

The standards put forward allow not only to define the quality of products but also to eliminate harmful compounds, adulteration, and contamination. Within the EU, a number of committees were set up to attempt and standardize the information and guidelines related to herbal medicines.

A variety of materials has been produced, such as monographs on herbs and preparations, guidelines on good agricultural and collection practice for starting materials of herbal origin, and guidelines on the standardization of applications and setting up pragmatic approaches for identification and quantitative determination of herbal preparations and their complex compositions Routledge ; Vlietinck, Pieters, and Apers Herbal medicine has been commonly used over the years for treatment and prevention of diseases and health promotion as well as for enhancement of the span and quality of life.

However, there is a lack of a systematic approach to assess their safety and effectiveness. The holistic approach to health care makes herbal medicine very attractive to many people, but it also makes scientific evaluation very challenging because so many factors must be taken into account.

Herbal medicines are in widespread use and although many believe herbal medicines are safe, they are often used in combination and are drawn from plant sources with their own variability in species, growing conditions, and biologically active constituents. Herbal extracts may be contaminated, adulterated, and may contain toxic compounds.

The quality control of herbal medicines has a direct impact on their safety and efficacy Ernst, Schmidt, and Wider ; Ribnicky et al. But, there is little data on the composition and quality of most herbal medicines not only due to lack of adequate policies or government requirements but also due to a lack of adequate or accepted research methodology for evaluating traditional medicines WHO ; Kantor In addition, there is very little research on whole herbal mixtures because the drug approval process does not accommodate undifferentiated mixtures of natural chemicals.

To isolate each active ingredient from each herb would be immensely time-consuming at a high cost, making it not cost-effective for manufacturers Richter Another problem is that despite the popularity of botanical dietary and herbal supplements, some herbal products on the market are likely to be of low quality and suspect efficacy, even if the herb has been shown to have an effect in controlled studies using high-quality product.

There is a belief that herbs, as natural products, are inherently safe without side effects and that efficacy can be obtained over a wide range of doses. A major hypothetical advantage of botanicals over conventional single-component drugs is the presence of multiple active compounds that together can provide a potentiating effect that may not be achievable by any single compound.

This advantage presents a unique challenge for the separation and identification of active constituents. Compounds that are identified by activity-guided fractionation must be tested in appropriate animal models to confirm in vivo activity.

Ideally, the composition of the total botanical extract must be standardized and free of any potential hazards, and plants should be grown specifically for the production of botanical extracts under controlled conditions and originate from a characterized and uniform genetic source with a taxonomic record of the genus, species, and cultivar or other additional identifiers.

Records should be maintained for the source of the seed, locations and conditions of cultivation, and exposure to possible chemical treatments such as pesticides.

Because the environment can significantly affect phytochemical profiles and the efficacy of the botanical end product, botanical extracts can vary from year to year and may be significantly affected by temperature, drought, or flood as well as by geographic location.

Therefore, biochemical profiling must be used to ensure that a consistent material is used to produce a botanical. The concentration step can also be challenging, and the process to concentrate active compounds to a sufficient level can negatively affect their solubility and bioavailability. Therefore, improving efficacy by increasing concentration can be counterproductive, and the use of solubilizers and bioenhancers needs to be considered just as for drugs Ribnicky et al.

However, there are major challenges to achieving this. Although in theory botanicals should be well characterized and herbal supplements should be produced to the same quality standards as drugs, the situation in practice is very different from that of a pure drug.

Herbs contain multiple compounds, many of which may not be identified and often there is no identifier component, and chemical fingerprinting is in its early stages and is lacking for virtually all herbs see Chapter This makes standardization of botanicals difficult, although some can be produced to contain a standardized amount of a key component or class of components, such as ginsenosides for ginseng products or anthocyanins for bilberry products see Chapter 4 on bilberry and Chapter 8 on ginseng in this volume.

However, even when such key compounds have been identified and a standard content is agreed or suggested, there is no guarantee that individual commercial products will contain this. Another interesting point to consider is that herbal materials for commercial products are collected from wild plant populations and cultivated medicinal plants.

The expanding herbal product market could drive overharvesting of plants and threaten biodiversity. Poorly managed collection and cultivation practices could lead to the extinction of endangered plant species and the destruction of natural resources. It has been suggested that 15, of 50,—70, medicinal plant species are threatened with extinction Brower The efforts of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International are central to the preservation of both plant populations and knowledge on how to prepare and use herbs for medicinal purposes Brower ; Li and Vederas Research needs in the field of herbal medicines are huge, but are balanced by the potential health benefits and the enormous size of the market.

Research into the quality, safety, molecular effects, and clinical efficacy of the numerous herbs in common usage is needed. Newly emerging scientific techniques and approaches, many of which are mentioned in this book, provide the required testing platform for this.

Genomic testing and chemical fingerprinting techniques using hyphenated testing platforms are now available for definitive authentication and quality control of herbal products. They should be regulated to be used to safeguard consumers, but questions of efficacy will remain unless and until adequate amounts of scientific evidence accumulate from experimental and controlled human trials Giordano, Engebretson, and Garcia ; Evans ; Tilburt and Kaptchuk Evidence for the potential protective effects of selected herbs is generally based on experiments demonstrating a biological activity in a relevant in vitro bioassay or experiments using animal models.

In some cases, this is supported by both epidemiological studies and a limited number of intervention experiments in humans WHO In general, international research on traditional herbal medicines should be subject to the same ethical requirements as all research related to human subjects, with the information shared between different countries.

This should include collaborative partnership, social value, scientific validity, fair subject selection, favorable risk-benefit ratio, independent review, informed consent, and respect for the subjects Giordano, Engebretson, and Garcia ; Tilburt and Kaptchuk However, the logistics, time, and cost of performing large, controlled human studies on the clinical effectiveness of an herb are prohibitive, especially if the focus is on health promotion.

Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new biomarkers that more clearly relate to health and disease outcomes. Predictor biomarkers and subtle but detectable signs of early cellular change that are mapped to the onset of specific diseases are needed.

Research is needed also to meet the challenges of identifying the active compounds in the plants, and there should be research-based evidence on whether whole herbs or extracted compounds are better.

The issue of herb—herb and herb—drug interactions is also an important one that requires increased awareness and study, as polypharmacy and polyherbacy are common Canter and Ernst ; Qato et al.

The use of new technologies, such as nanotechnology and novel emulsification methods, in the formulation of herbal products, will likely affect bioavailability and the efficacy of herbal components, and this also needs study. Smart screening methods and metabolic engineering offer exciting technologies for new natural product drug discovery.

Advances in rapid genetic sequencing, coupled with manipulation of biosynthetic pathways, may provide a vast resource for the future discovery of pharmaceutical agents Li and Vederas This can lead to reinvestigation of some agents that failed earlier trials and can be restudied and redesigned using new technologies to determine whether they can be modified for better efficacy and fewer side effects.

For example, maytansine isolated in the early s from the Ethiopian plant Maytenus serrata , looked promising in preclinical testing but was dropped in the early s from further study when it did not translate into efficacy in clinical trials; later, scientists isolated related compounds, ansamitocins, from a microbial source.

A derivative of maytansine, DM1, has been conjugated with a monoclonal antibody and is now in trials for prostate cancer Brower Plants, herbs, and ethnobotanicals have been used since the early days of humankind and are still used throughout the world for health promotion and treatment of disease.

Still, herbs, rather than drugs, are often used in health care. For some, herbal medicine is their preferred method of treatment. For others, herbs are used as adjunct therapy to conventional pharmaceuticals. However, in many developing societies, traditional medicine of which herbal medicine is a core part is the only system of health care available or affordable.

Regardless of the reason, those using herbal medicines should be assured that the products they are buying are safe and contain what they are supposed to, whether this is a particular herb or a particular amount of a specific herbal component.

Consumers should also be given science-based information on dosage, contraindications, and efficacy. To achieve this, global harmonization of legislation is needed to guide the responsible production and marketing of herbal medicines.

If sufficient scientific evidence of benefit is available for an herb, then such legislation should allow for this to be used appropriately to promote the use of that herb so that these benefits can be realized for the promotion of public health and the treatment of disease.

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Show details Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Search term. Chapter 1 Herbal Medicine An Introduction to Its History, Usage, Regulation, Current Trends, and Research Needs. I nternational D iversity and N ational P olicies The diversity among countries with the long history and holistic approach of herbal medicines makes evaluating and regulating them very challenging.

Q uality , S afety , and S cientific E vidence Herbal medicine has been commonly used over the years for treatment and prevention of diseases and health promotion as well as for enhancement of the span and quality of life.

RESEARCH NEEDS Research needs in the field of herbal medicines are huge, but are balanced by the potential health benefits and the enormous size of the market. Antioxidant effects of natural bioactive compounds. Curr Pharm Des. Barnes P. M, Bloom B, Nahin R. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, CDC National Health Statistics Report pdf access date: 5 Nov.

Beckman K. B, Ames B. The free radical theory of ageing matures. Physiol Rev. Benzie I. F, Wachtel-Galor S. Biomarkers in long-term vegetarian diets. Adv Clin Chem. Vegetarian diets and public health: Biomarker and redox connections.

Antioxid Redox Signal. Bozzetti F. Nutritional issues in the care of the elderly patient. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. Brower V. Back to nature: Extinction of medicinal plants threatens drug discovery.

J Natl Cancer Inst. Calapai G. Drug Saf. European legislation on herbal medicines: A look into the future; pp. Canter P. H, Ernst E. Herbal supplement use by persons aged over 50 years in Britain: Frequently used herbs, concomitant use of herbs, nutritional supplements and prescription drugs, rate of informing doctors and potential for negative interactions.

Drugs Aging. Chan M. E, Mok Y. S, Wong ST. F, Tong FM. C, Day CC. K, Tang K, Wong D. Attitudes of Hong Kong Chinese to traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine: Survey and cluster analysis. Complement Ther Med. Cohen P. A, Ernst E. Safety of herbal supplements: A guide for cardiologists.

Cardiovasc Ther. Conboy L, Kaptchuk T. J, Eisenberg D. M, Gottlieb B, Acevedo-Garcia D. The relationship between social factors and attitudes toward conventional and CAM practitioners. Complement Ther Clin Pract. De Smet P. Herbal medicine in Europe: Relaxing regulatory standards. N Engl J Med.

Eisenberg D. M, Davis R. B, Ettner S. L, Appel S, Wilkey S, Van Rompay M, Kessler R. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, Results of a follow-up national survey. Engebretson J. Culture and complementary therapies. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. Ernst E, Schmidt K, Wider B.

CAM research in Britain: The last 10 years. Evans S. Changing the knowledge base in Western herbal medicine. Soc Sci Med. Evans M, Shaw A, Thompson E. A, Falk S, Turton P, Thompson T, Sharp D.

BMC Complement Altern Med. Decisions to use complementary and alternative medicine CAM by male cancer patients: Information-seeking roles and types of evidence used. Finkel T, Holbrook N. Oxidants oxidative stress and the biology of ageing. Food and Drug Administration FDA.

Overview of dietary supplements. website: www. Giordano J, Engebretson J, Garcia M. Challenges to complementary and alternative medical research: Focal issues influencing integration into a cancer care model.

Integr Cancer Ther. Harman D. Free radical theory of aging. Mutat Res. Harrison R. A, Holt D, Pattison D. J, Elton P. Who and how many people are taking herbal supplements?

A survey of 21, adults. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. Hartmann T. From waste products to ecochemicals: Fifty years research of plant secondary metabolism. Health Canada, Drugs and Health Products.

Herbal medicine Information | Mount Sinai - New York Many products Holistiv promoted with real-life stories. Give this handsome Holistic herbal treatments treatemnts Holistic herbal treatments plenty of space, and stand back in wonder. Share this article. Challenges to complementary and alternative medical research: Focal issues influencing integration into a cancer care model. De Smet P.
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Help Accessibility Careers. Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation. Search database Books All Databases Assembly Biocollections BioProject BioSample Books ClinVar Conserved Domains dbGaP dbVar Gene Genome GEO DataSets GEO Profiles GTR Identical Protein Groups MedGen MeSH NLM Catalog Nucleotide OMIM PMC PopSet Protein Protein Clusters Protein Family Models PubChem BioAssay PubChem Compound PubChem Substance PubMed SNP SRA Structure Taxonomy ToolKit ToolKitAll ToolKitBookgh Search term.

Show details Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Search term. Chapter 1 Herbal Medicine An Introduction to Its History, Usage, Regulation, Current Trends, and Research Needs.

I nternational D iversity and N ational P olicies The diversity among countries with the long history and holistic approach of herbal medicines makes evaluating and regulating them very challenging. Q uality , S afety , and S cientific E vidence Herbal medicine has been commonly used over the years for treatment and prevention of diseases and health promotion as well as for enhancement of the span and quality of life.

RESEARCH NEEDS Research needs in the field of herbal medicines are huge, but are balanced by the potential health benefits and the enormous size of the market. Antioxidant effects of natural bioactive compounds.

Curr Pharm Des. Barnes P. M, Bloom B, Nahin R. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, CDC National Health Statistics Report pdf access date: 5 Nov.

Beckman K. B, Ames B. The free radical theory of ageing matures. Physiol Rev. Benzie I. F, Wachtel-Galor S. Biomarkers in long-term vegetarian diets. Adv Clin Chem. Vegetarian diets and public health: Biomarker and redox connections. Antioxid Redox Signal. Bozzetti F.

Nutritional issues in the care of the elderly patient. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. Brower V. Back to nature: Extinction of medicinal plants threatens drug discovery.

J Natl Cancer Inst. Calapai G. Drug Saf. European legislation on herbal medicines: A look into the future; pp. Canter P. H, Ernst E. Herbal supplement use by persons aged over 50 years in Britain: Frequently used herbs, concomitant use of herbs, nutritional supplements and prescription drugs, rate of informing doctors and potential for negative interactions.

Drugs Aging. Chan M. E, Mok Y. S, Wong ST. F, Tong FM. C, Day CC. K, Tang K, Wong D. Attitudes of Hong Kong Chinese to traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine: Survey and cluster analysis.

Complement Ther Med. Cohen P. A, Ernst E. Safety of herbal supplements: A guide for cardiologists. Cardiovasc Ther. Conboy L, Kaptchuk T. J, Eisenberg D. M, Gottlieb B, Acevedo-Garcia D.

The relationship between social factors and attitudes toward conventional and CAM practitioners. Complement Ther Clin Pract.

De Smet P. Herbal medicine in Europe: Relaxing regulatory standards. N Engl J Med. Eisenberg D. M, Davis R. B, Ettner S. L, Appel S, Wilkey S, Van Rompay M, Kessler R. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, Results of a follow-up national survey.

Engebretson J. Culture and complementary therapies. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. Ernst E, Schmidt K, Wider B. CAM research in Britain: The last 10 years. Evans S. Changing the knowledge base in Western herbal medicine. Soc Sci Med. Evans M, Shaw A, Thompson E.

A, Falk S, Turton P, Thompson T, Sharp D. BMC Complement Altern Med. Decisions to use complementary and alternative medicine CAM by male cancer patients: Information-seeking roles and types of evidence used. Finkel T, Holbrook N.

Oxidants oxidative stress and the biology of ageing. Food and Drug Administration FDA. Overview of dietary supplements. website: www. Giordano J, Engebretson J, Garcia M. Challenges to complementary and alternative medical research: Focal issues influencing integration into a cancer care model.

Integr Cancer Ther. Harman D. Free radical theory of aging. Mutat Res. Harrison R. A, Holt D, Pattison D. J, Elton P. Who and how many people are taking herbal supplements? A survey of 21, adults. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. Hartmann T. From waste products to ecochemicals: Fifty years research of plant secondary metabolism.

Health Canada, Drugs and Health Products. Nat Health Prod Regul. Food and drugs act. available at www. Holmes G. E, Bernstein C, Bernstein H. Oxidative and other DNA damages as the basis of aging: A review. Jenke-Kodama H, Müller R, Dittmann E. Evolutionary mechanisms underlying secondary metabolite diversity.

Prog Drug Res. Kantor M. The role of rigorous scientific evaluation in the use and practice of complementary and alternative medicine. J Am Coll Radiol. F, Jiang J. G, Chen J. Chinese medicine and its modernization demands. Arch Med Res. H, Vederas J. Drug discovery and natural products: End of an era or an endless frontier?

Loya A. M, Gonzalez-Stuart A, Rivera J. Prevalence of polypharmacy, polyherbacy, nutritional supplement use and potential product interactions among older adults living on the United States-Mexico border: A descriptive, questionnaire-based study.

Mahady G. J Nutr. Global harmonization of herbal health claims; pp. Nestler G. Traditional Chinese medicine. Med Clin North Am.

Qato D. M, Alexander G. C, Conti R. M, Johnson M, Schumm P, Lindau S. Use of prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements among older adults in the United States.

Rajah M. et al. Biological changes associated with healthy versus pathological aging: A symposium review. Ageing Res Rev. Ribnicky D. M, Poulev A, Schmidt B, Cefalu W. T, Raskin I. The science of botanical supplements for human health: A view from the NIH botanical research centers: Evaluation of botanicals for improving human health.

Am J Clin Nutr. Richter R. Herbal Medicine: Chaos in the Marketplace. New York: Haworth Herbal Press; Rishton G. Natural products as a robust source of new drugs and drug leads: Past successes and present day issues. Am J Cardiol. Rousseaux C. G, Schachter H. Regulatory issues concerning the safety, efficacy and quality of herbal remedies.

Birth Defects Res B. Routledge P. The European herbal medicines directive: Could it have saved the lives of Romeo and Juliet? Sahoo N, Choudhury K, Manchikanti P.

Manufacturing of biodrugs: Need for harmonization in regulatory standards. Sahoo N, Manchikanti P, Dey S. Herbal drugs: Standards and regulation. Schmidt B, Ribnicky D.

M, Poulev A, Logendra S, Cefalu W. A natural history of botanical therapeutics. Tang S. Y, Halliwell B. Medicinal plants and antioxidants: What do we learn from cell culture and Caenorhabditis elegans studies?

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. Tilburt J. C, Kaptchuk T. Herbal medicine research and global health: An ethical analysis. Bull World Health Organ. Government Accountability Office GAO. Herbal dietary supplements: Examples of deceptive or questionable marketing practices and potentially dangerous advice.

Vlietinck A, Pieters L, Apers S. Legal requirements for the quality of herbal substances and herbal preparations for the manufacturing of herbal medicinal products in the European Union. Planta Med. World Health Organization WHO. General Guidelines for Methodologies on Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicines.

National Policy on Traditional Medicine and Regulation of Herbal Medicines. Geneva: Report of WHO global survey. Xutian S, Zhang J, Louise W.

New exploration and understanding of traditional Chinese medicine. Am J Chin Med. Copyright © by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Bookshelf ID: NBK PMID: PubReader Print View Cite this Page Wachtel-Galor S, Benzie IFF.

Herbal Medicine: An Introduction to Its History, Usage, Regulation, Current Trends, and Research Needs. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Chapter 1. In this Page. Related information. PMC PubMed Central citations.

Similar articles in PubMed. Review Analgesic substances derived from natural products natureceuticals. Use of complementary and alternative medicine among patients with chronic diseases at outpatient clinics.

Complement Ther Clin Pract. Izzo AA, Ernst E. Interactions between herbal medicines and prescribed drugs: an updated systematic review.

Jang SH, Kim DI, Choi MS. BMC Complement Altern Med. Ke F, Yadav PK, Ju LZ. Herbal medicine in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Saudi J Gastroenterol. Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Mauri PL, Scholey AB. Acute cognitive effects of standardised Ginkgo biloba extract complexed with phosphatidylserine.

Hum Psychopharmacol. Knox J, Gaster B. Dietary supplements for the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease. J Altern Complement Med. Kraft K. Prev Med. Lovera J, Bagert B, Smoot K, et al. Ginkgo biloba for the improvement of cognitive performance in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Mult Scler. Luo H, Lu M, Pei X, Xia Z. Chinese herbal medicine for subacute thyroiditis: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Tradit Chin Med. Manheimer E, Wieland S, Kimbrough E, Cheng K, Berman BM.

Evidence from the Cochrane Collaboration for traditional Chinese medicine therapies. Marcus DM. Therapy: Herbals and supplements for rheumatic diseases. Nat Rev Rheumatol. Mendes E, Herdeiro MT, Pimentel F. The use of herbal medicine therapies by cancer patients.

Act Med Port. Modi AA, Wright EC, Seeff LB. Complementary and alternative medicine CAM for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C: a review.

Antivir Ther. Moquin B, Blackman MR, Mitty E, Flores S. Complementary and alternative medicine CAM. Geriatr Nurs. Oktem M, Eroglu D, Karahan HB, Taskintuna N, Kuscu E, Zeyneloglu HB. Black cohosh and fluoxetine in the treatment of postmenopausal symptoms: a prospective, randomized trial.

Adv Ther. Pham AQ, Kourlas H, Pham DQ. Cinnamon supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Roberts AT, Martin CK, Liu Z, et al.

The safety and efficacy of a dietary herbal supplement and gallic acid for weight loss. J Med Food. Sarris J, Panossian A, Schweitzer I, Stough C, Scholey A. Herbal medicine for depression, anxiety, and insomnia: a review of psychopharmacology and clinical evidence.

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. Schink M, Troger W, Dabidian A, et al. Mistletoe extract reduces the surgical suppression of natural killer cell activity in cancer patients. a randomized phase III trial. Forsch Komplementarmed. Sheridan MJ, Cooper JN, Erario M, Cheifetz CE. Pistachio nut consumption and serum lipid levels.

J Am Coll Nutr. Shimazaki M, Martin JL. Do herbal agents have a place in the treatment of sleep problems in long-term care? J Am Med Dir Assoc. Shrestha S, Freake HC, McGrane MM, Volek JS, Fernandez ML. A combination of psyllium and plant sterols alters lipoprotein metabolism in hypercholesterolemic subjects by modifying the intravascular processing of lipoproteins and increasing LDL uptake.

J Nutr. Sood A, Barton DL, Bauer BA, Loprinzi CL. A critical review of complementary therapies for cancer-related fatigue. Integr Cancer Ther. Tamayo C, Diamond S. Review of clinical trials evaluating safety and efficacy of milk thistle Silybum marianum [L.

Teas J, Braverman LE, Kurzer MS, Pino S, Hurley TG, Hebert JR. Seaweed and soy: companion foods in Asian cuisine and their effects on thyroid function in American women. Thomson CA, Rock CL, Caan BJ, et al. Increase in cruciferous vegetable intake in women previously treated for breast cancer participating in a dietary intervention trial.

Nutr Cancer. Valentova K, Stejskal D, Bednar P, et al. Biosafety, antioxidant status, and metabolites in urine after consumption of dried cranberry juice in healthy women: a pilot double-blind placebo-controlled trial. J Agric Food Chem. Velasquez MT, Bhathena SJ.

Role of dietary soy protein in obesity. Int J Med Sci. Wang S, Tang Q, Qian W, Fan Y. Meta-analysis of clinical trials on traditional Chinese herbal medicine for treatment of persistent allergic rhinitis. Wojcikowski K, Myers S, Brooks L. Effects of garlic oil on platelet aggregation: a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study.

Yamada J, Hamuro J, Hatanaka H, Hamabata K, Kinoshita S. Alleviation of seasonal allergic symptoms with superfine beta-1,3-glucan: a randomized study.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. Yang XX, Hu ZP, Duan W, Zhu YZ, Zhou SF. Drug-herb interactions: eliminating toxicity with hard drug design.

Curr Pharm Des. Zhang M, Liu X, Li J, He L, Tripathy D. Chinese medicinal herbs to treat the side-effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. Zwickey H, Brush J, Iacullo CM, Connelly E, Gregory WL, Soumyanath A, Buresh R. The effect of Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra on CD25 expression in humans: a pilot study.

Phytother Res. Reviewed by: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Herbal medicines

Phosphatidylcholine is known to boost cognition, but its potential benefits don't stop there. Here's what you should know about this herbal remedy. Research suggests rhodiola and ashwagandha work well together, but you may want to take them at different times of day. While research is still evolving, ashwagandha shows potential in addressing various aspects of fertility, including libido, hormone levels, and sexual….

Rhodiola is best known for its benefits with physical performance and endurance, less so for weight loss. Rhodiola rosea may provide some early benefits within the first couple of weeks of use.

Many studies show that taking ashwagandha daily can increase testosterone, but there isn't a clinical agreement on dosage. Let's look deeper. A Quiz for Teens Are You a Workaholic? How Well Do You Sleep? Health Conditions Discover Plan Connect.

Homegrown Herbal Remedies. Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph. Calendula Cilantro Lemon balm Peppermint Rosemary Mullein Thyme Lavender German chamomile Herbal garden allies Homegrown herbal remedies.

Calendula Calendula officinalis. Share on Pinterest. Cilantro Coriandrum sativum. Lemon balm Melissa officinalis. Peppermint Mentha x piperita.

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis. Mullein Verbascum thapsus. Thyme Thymus vulgaris. Lavender Lavandula. German chamomile Matricaria recutita. Plants as Medicine. Herbal garden allies. How we reviewed this article: Sources.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations.

We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. Sep 18, Written By The Healthline Editorial Team.

However, there is a lack of a systematic approach to assess their safety and effectiveness. The holistic approach to health care makes herbal medicine very attractive to many people, but it also makes scientific evaluation very challenging because so many factors must be taken into account.

Herbal medicines are in widespread use and although many believe herbal medicines are safe, they are often used in combination and are drawn from plant sources with their own variability in species, growing conditions, and biologically active constituents.

Herbal extracts may be contaminated, adulterated, and may contain toxic compounds. The quality control of herbal medicines has a direct impact on their safety and efficacy Ernst, Schmidt, and Wider ; Ribnicky et al. But, there is little data on the composition and quality of most herbal medicines not only due to lack of adequate policies or government requirements but also due to a lack of adequate or accepted research methodology for evaluating traditional medicines WHO ; Kantor In addition, there is very little research on whole herbal mixtures because the drug approval process does not accommodate undifferentiated mixtures of natural chemicals.

To isolate each active ingredient from each herb would be immensely time-consuming at a high cost, making it not cost-effective for manufacturers Richter Another problem is that despite the popularity of botanical dietary and herbal supplements, some herbal products on the market are likely to be of low quality and suspect efficacy, even if the herb has been shown to have an effect in controlled studies using high-quality product.

There is a belief that herbs, as natural products, are inherently safe without side effects and that efficacy can be obtained over a wide range of doses. A major hypothetical advantage of botanicals over conventional single-component drugs is the presence of multiple active compounds that together can provide a potentiating effect that may not be achievable by any single compound.

This advantage presents a unique challenge for the separation and identification of active constituents. Compounds that are identified by activity-guided fractionation must be tested in appropriate animal models to confirm in vivo activity.

Ideally, the composition of the total botanical extract must be standardized and free of any potential hazards, and plants should be grown specifically for the production of botanical extracts under controlled conditions and originate from a characterized and uniform genetic source with a taxonomic record of the genus, species, and cultivar or other additional identifiers.

Records should be maintained for the source of the seed, locations and conditions of cultivation, and exposure to possible chemical treatments such as pesticides.

Because the environment can significantly affect phytochemical profiles and the efficacy of the botanical end product, botanical extracts can vary from year to year and may be significantly affected by temperature, drought, or flood as well as by geographic location.

Therefore, biochemical profiling must be used to ensure that a consistent material is used to produce a botanical. The concentration step can also be challenging, and the process to concentrate active compounds to a sufficient level can negatively affect their solubility and bioavailability.

Therefore, improving efficacy by increasing concentration can be counterproductive, and the use of solubilizers and bioenhancers needs to be considered just as for drugs Ribnicky et al.

However, there are major challenges to achieving this. Although in theory botanicals should be well characterized and herbal supplements should be produced to the same quality standards as drugs, the situation in practice is very different from that of a pure drug.

Herbs contain multiple compounds, many of which may not be identified and often there is no identifier component, and chemical fingerprinting is in its early stages and is lacking for virtually all herbs see Chapter This makes standardization of botanicals difficult, although some can be produced to contain a standardized amount of a key component or class of components, such as ginsenosides for ginseng products or anthocyanins for bilberry products see Chapter 4 on bilberry and Chapter 8 on ginseng in this volume.

However, even when such key compounds have been identified and a standard content is agreed or suggested, there is no guarantee that individual commercial products will contain this.

Another interesting point to consider is that herbal materials for commercial products are collected from wild plant populations and cultivated medicinal plants.

The expanding herbal product market could drive overharvesting of plants and threaten biodiversity. Poorly managed collection and cultivation practices could lead to the extinction of endangered plant species and the destruction of natural resources.

It has been suggested that 15, of 50,—70, medicinal plant species are threatened with extinction Brower The efforts of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International are central to the preservation of both plant populations and knowledge on how to prepare and use herbs for medicinal purposes Brower ; Li and Vederas Research needs in the field of herbal medicines are huge, but are balanced by the potential health benefits and the enormous size of the market.

Research into the quality, safety, molecular effects, and clinical efficacy of the numerous herbs in common usage is needed. Newly emerging scientific techniques and approaches, many of which are mentioned in this book, provide the required testing platform for this.

Genomic testing and chemical fingerprinting techniques using hyphenated testing platforms are now available for definitive authentication and quality control of herbal products. They should be regulated to be used to safeguard consumers, but questions of efficacy will remain unless and until adequate amounts of scientific evidence accumulate from experimental and controlled human trials Giordano, Engebretson, and Garcia ; Evans ; Tilburt and Kaptchuk Evidence for the potential protective effects of selected herbs is generally based on experiments demonstrating a biological activity in a relevant in vitro bioassay or experiments using animal models.

In some cases, this is supported by both epidemiological studies and a limited number of intervention experiments in humans WHO In general, international research on traditional herbal medicines should be subject to the same ethical requirements as all research related to human subjects, with the information shared between different countries.

This should include collaborative partnership, social value, scientific validity, fair subject selection, favorable risk-benefit ratio, independent review, informed consent, and respect for the subjects Giordano, Engebretson, and Garcia ; Tilburt and Kaptchuk However, the logistics, time, and cost of performing large, controlled human studies on the clinical effectiveness of an herb are prohibitive, especially if the focus is on health promotion.

Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new biomarkers that more clearly relate to health and disease outcomes. Predictor biomarkers and subtle but detectable signs of early cellular change that are mapped to the onset of specific diseases are needed.

Research is needed also to meet the challenges of identifying the active compounds in the plants, and there should be research-based evidence on whether whole herbs or extracted compounds are better. The issue of herb—herb and herb—drug interactions is also an important one that requires increased awareness and study, as polypharmacy and polyherbacy are common Canter and Ernst ; Qato et al.

The use of new technologies, such as nanotechnology and novel emulsification methods, in the formulation of herbal products, will likely affect bioavailability and the efficacy of herbal components, and this also needs study.

Smart screening methods and metabolic engineering offer exciting technologies for new natural product drug discovery. Advances in rapid genetic sequencing, coupled with manipulation of biosynthetic pathways, may provide a vast resource for the future discovery of pharmaceutical agents Li and Vederas This can lead to reinvestigation of some agents that failed earlier trials and can be restudied and redesigned using new technologies to determine whether they can be modified for better efficacy and fewer side effects.

For example, maytansine isolated in the early s from the Ethiopian plant Maytenus serrata , looked promising in preclinical testing but was dropped in the early s from further study when it did not translate into efficacy in clinical trials; later, scientists isolated related compounds, ansamitocins, from a microbial source.

A derivative of maytansine, DM1, has been conjugated with a monoclonal antibody and is now in trials for prostate cancer Brower Plants, herbs, and ethnobotanicals have been used since the early days of humankind and are still used throughout the world for health promotion and treatment of disease.

Still, herbs, rather than drugs, are often used in health care. For some, herbal medicine is their preferred method of treatment.

For others, herbs are used as adjunct therapy to conventional pharmaceuticals. However, in many developing societies, traditional medicine of which herbal medicine is a core part is the only system of health care available or affordable.

Regardless of the reason, those using herbal medicines should be assured that the products they are buying are safe and contain what they are supposed to, whether this is a particular herb or a particular amount of a specific herbal component.

Consumers should also be given science-based information on dosage, contraindications, and efficacy. To achieve this, global harmonization of legislation is needed to guide the responsible production and marketing of herbal medicines.

If sufficient scientific evidence of benefit is available for an herb, then such legislation should allow for this to be used appropriately to promote the use of that herb so that these benefits can be realized for the promotion of public health and the treatment of disease.

Turn recording back on. National Library of Medicine Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD Web Policies FOIA HHS Vulnerability Disclosure. Help Accessibility Careers.

Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation. Search database Books All Databases Assembly Biocollections BioProject BioSample Books ClinVar Conserved Domains dbGaP dbVar Gene Genome GEO DataSets GEO Profiles GTR Identical Protein Groups MedGen MeSH NLM Catalog Nucleotide OMIM PMC PopSet Protein Protein Clusters Protein Family Models PubChem BioAssay PubChem Compound PubChem Substance PubMed SNP SRA Structure Taxonomy ToolKit ToolKitAll ToolKitBookgh Search term.

Show details Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Search term. Chapter 1 Herbal Medicine An Introduction to Its History, Usage, Regulation, Current Trends, and Research Needs. I nternational D iversity and N ational P olicies The diversity among countries with the long history and holistic approach of herbal medicines makes evaluating and regulating them very challenging.

Q uality , S afety , and S cientific E vidence Herbal medicine has been commonly used over the years for treatment and prevention of diseases and health promotion as well as for enhancement of the span and quality of life.

RESEARCH NEEDS Research needs in the field of herbal medicines are huge, but are balanced by the potential health benefits and the enormous size of the market. Antioxidant effects of natural bioactive compounds.

Curr Pharm Des. Barnes P. M, Bloom B, Nahin R. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, CDC National Health Statistics Report pdf access date: 5 Nov. Beckman K. B, Ames B. The free radical theory of ageing matures.

Physiol Rev. Benzie I. F, Wachtel-Galor S. Biomarkers in long-term vegetarian diets. Adv Clin Chem. Vegetarian diets and public health: Biomarker and redox connections. Antioxid Redox Signal. Bozzetti F. Nutritional issues in the care of the elderly patient.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. Brower V. Back to nature: Extinction of medicinal plants threatens drug discovery. J Natl Cancer Inst. Calapai G. Drug Saf. European legislation on herbal medicines: A look into the future; pp. Canter P. H, Ernst E. Herbal supplement use by persons aged over 50 years in Britain: Frequently used herbs, concomitant use of herbs, nutritional supplements and prescription drugs, rate of informing doctors and potential for negative interactions.

Drugs Aging. Chan M. E, Mok Y. S, Wong ST. F, Tong FM. C, Day CC. K, Tang K, Wong D. Attitudes of Hong Kong Chinese to traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine: Survey and cluster analysis.

Complement Ther Med. Cohen P. A, Ernst E. Safety of herbal supplements: A guide for cardiologists. Cardiovasc Ther. Conboy L, Kaptchuk T. J, Eisenberg D. M, Gottlieb B, Acevedo-Garcia D. The relationship between social factors and attitudes toward conventional and CAM practitioners.

Complement Ther Clin Pract. De Smet P. Herbal medicine in Europe: Relaxing regulatory standards. N Engl J Med. Eisenberg D. M, Davis R. B, Ettner S.

L, Appel S, Wilkey S, Van Rompay M, Kessler R. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, Results of a follow-up national survey. Here are some examples: Kava is an herb used for anxiety, insomnia, symptoms of menopause, and other ailments.

Some studies show it may work for anxiety. But kava can also cause severe liver damage. The FDA has issued a warning against its use. John's Wort may work for mild to moderate depression. However, it can interact with birth control pills, antidepressants, and other drugs.

It can also cause side effects such as stomach upset and anxiety. Yohimbe is a bark used to treat erectile dysfunction. The bark can cause high blood pressure, increased heart rate, anxiety, and other side effects. It can interact with certain medicines for depression. Taking it in high does or for a long time can be dangerous.

How to Choose and use Herbal Remedies Safely. Look closely at the claims made about the product. How is the product described? Is it a "miracle" pill that "melts away" fat? Will it work faster than regular care? Is it a secret your health care provider and drug companies don't want you to know?

Such claims are red flags. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is not. Remember "real-life stories" are not scientific proof. Many products are promoted with real-life stories. Even if the quote comes from a provider, there's no proof that other people will get the same results.

Before trying a product, talk with your provider. Ask for their opinion. Is the product safe? What are the chances it will work? Are their risks? Will it interact with other medicines? Will it interfere with your treatment? Buy only from companies that have certification on the label, such as "USP Verified" or "ConsumerLab.

com Approved Quality. Do not give herbal supplements to children or use them if you are older than age 65 years. Talk to your provider first.

Do not use herbals without talking to your provider if you are taking any medicines.

Holistic herbal treatments

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