Cover image for The complete natural medicine guide to the 50 most common medicinal herbs
The complete natural medicine guide to the 50 most common medicinal herbs
Boon, Heather, 1968-
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Toronto : R. Rose, [2004]

Physical Description:
352 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
Previously published under title: The botanical pharmacy.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RS164 .B66 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



The most current scientific information from the world's leading medical journals.

Although there is growing consumer awareness of alternative and complementary medicine, there is a lack of comprehensive information available on herbal products. While pharmacists, physicians and other health care professionals sometimes offer advice, their patients want more information.

The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs is a comprehensive, fully-illustrated reference to the 50 most commonly prescribed herbs.

A complete description of each herb is featured along with its other common names, possible adverse effects, therapeutic uses for treating illness and disease as well as potential drug interactions.

Some of the herbs included are:

Aloe Vera Evening Primrose Goldenseal Scullcap Burdock Tumeric Tea Tree Oil Meadowsweet

This guide is written by professional pharmacists, one a naturopathic doctor, using the most current research and clinical testing.

The authors' easy-to-understand text, combined with the latest findings and clear directions for safe dosages, makes this practical reference on medicinal herbs a primary resource of data.

Author Notes

Dr. Heather Boon, BScPhm, PhD , is a licensed pharmacist, and an assistant professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. She has held a Medical Research Council of Canada post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario.

Dr. Michael Smith, BPharm, MRPharmS, ND , is a licensed pharmacist, a naturopathic doctor, and Head of Botanical Sciences at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. He is a Senior Adviser at the prestigious Natural Health Products Directorate of Health Canada, which is responsible for investigating and certifying the medical efficacy and safety of herbs.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Boon (Univ. of Toronto) and Smith (Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine) wrote this well-researched book for patients and health care professionals interested in "current and authoritative scientific information to improve understanding of the medical properties of common herbs." The authors, both licensed pharmacists, discuss legislation that impacts the regulation of herbs in both Canada and the US. Following this are chapters discussing each of 50 medicinal herbs, arranged alphabetically. A thumbnail sketch of each herb's common uses, active constituents, adverse effects, cautions and contraindications, drug interactions, and doses is substantiated by published scientific research. The references are presented in order of citation, and are organized by herb name in the back of the book. The authors are to be commended for their thorough investigation of the scientific literature. They present conflicting results clearly and allow readers to make informed decisions about the potential benefits or concerns regarding each herb. This book is an excellent resource for health practitioners, students, and well-informed consumers. The language and scientific content, however, may be a bit academic for the casual reader. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels. A. P. Boyar CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College



Foreword Everyone involved in the delivery of health-care is now aware of the increased interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), especially herbal or botanical medicine. According to several recent North American surveys, a growing number of people are using some form of complementary or alternative medicine, 15-25% of the population in Canada, for example, which is comparable to a much-quoted New England Journal of Medicine report that 34% of American survey respondents had used at least one unconventional therapy in the past year. Significantly, only one-third of these people reported seeing a complementary healthcare provider, indicating a high level of self-medication. Botanical or herbal medicine is becoming big business for pharmacists A "Trends Report" in Pharmacy Post indicated that three out of every four Canadian community pharmacies now sell herbal and/or homeopathic products and that approximately half of those surveyed intended to increase these sections. Another report suggests that the average "medium sized" community pharmacy in Canada sells at least 35 plant-derived products (including natural source vitamins), marketed by at least 8 phyto-pharmaceutical manufacturers. In addition, Pharmacy Practice reported that Canadians spent $175 million on herbal products in 1996, which is an increase from the $150 million spent in 1995. Similar trends prevail in the United States. The popularity of herbal medicine continues to grow day-by-day. Although some see botanical medicine as a new "niche" for pharmacy, the debate about whether botanical medicine belongs in pharmacies or in health food stores is becoming heated among pharmacists and physicians. The opponents of the sale of botanical products in pharmacies emphasize the fact that most pharmacists have little or no training in this field and perpetuate the notion that herbs have not been "scientifically" tested for their medicinal action and safety in human studies. Patients are looking for authoritative information about medicinal herbs -- their effectiveness, their safety, and standard dosages -- that they can rely on for 'self medication' and that they can bring to the attention of their physician or pharmacist for their preventative or therapeutic effects. While questions about echinacea and ginseng could once be ignored as a passing trend, now healthcare professionals are expected to be knowledgeable about many common herbs. This book is written for the patient and the healthcare professional looking for current and authoritative scientific information so as to improve understanding of the medical properties of common herbs and to promote communication between patient and doctor. Initially, this project was planned as a correspondence course with the objective of training pharmacists about botanical medicine. After much deliberation, it was decided that the best approach would be to prepare a series of monographs reviewing the herbal medicines most often seen by pharmacists in clinical practice . A very special team had to be created to make sure this project was a success. As the one of the primary sites of training in CAM in Canada, the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) agreed to manage the day-to-day running of the program. In order, to ensure that the information was correct and balanced, an advisory board of experts was established to review all the material. The majority of the monographs were also submitted to the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP) for its approval. The project was completed in the summer of 1998, which culminated in the publication of the reference book The Botanical Pharmacy in 1999, addressed specifically to pharmacists and botanical medicine professionals. In 2003, the information was up-dated to include research conducted in the interim, revised to increase the accessibility of the information for the common reader, and published as The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs . One of the cornerstones of pharmaceutical and medical care is helping patients and customers to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Likewise, patients owe it to themselves to learn as much as possible about any preventative or therapeutic treatment they may be considering. As patients' options expand to include botanical medicine or medicinal herbs as an acceptable form of healthcare, pharmacists and physicians are being asked to wade through large amounts of (mis)information to help patients make the most informed choices possible. When patients choose to make use of botanical products, it is important for pharmacists and physicians to provide monitoring and report adverse effects as well as herb-drug or herb-herb interactions when necessary. This potential new role requires a pharmacist or physician who has a good working knowledge of botanical medicine and can apply problem-solving skills to "fill in the gaps" of our current knowledge of these products. The authors hope that this book will provide healthcare professionals with a foundation of knowledge from which they can counsel patients about the use of botanical products with confidence. For patients and consumers, while this book will not answer all your questions about medicinal herbs, we hope that it will be a useful resource for understanding the safe use of these herbs and for posing informed questions to your pharmacist or physician. Your good health is what we all want to ensure. Excerpted from The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs by Heather Boon, Michael J. Smith, Michael Smith All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Legislation (Canada and US)
Botanical Dosage Forms
Caveat Emptor
Format of Reviews
Medicinal Herbs for Health Conditions
Black Cohosh
Cat's Claw
Chamomile (German)
Chaste Tree
Devil's Claw
Dong Quai (Angelica)
Evening Primrose
Ginseng (Asian and American/Canadian)
Ginseng (Siberian)
Lemon Balm
Ma Huang (Ephedra)
Milk Thistle
Red Raspberry
Saw Palmetto
Slippery Elm
St. John's Wort
Tea Tree Oil
Uva-Ursi (Bearberry)
Wild Yam