Resources for Herbal Remedies, Phytochemicals and Dietary Supplements

By the National Agricultural Library, USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center.

This list refers to evidence-based information about dietary supplements, and is not intended to provide specific medical advice. The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) urges you to consult with a qualified physician, pharmacist and/or registered dietitian concerning the use of any dietary supplements.

Herbal Remedies - Bibliographies/Bibliographic Databases

CAM on PubMed
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Library of Medicine
Web Site: www.nlm.nih.gov
Description: This subset of Pubmed offers access to MEDLINE citations and other life sciences journals.

HerbMed
Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc.
Web site: www.herbmed.org
Description: An online herbal database providing links to categorized summaries of research studies and other resources on specific herbs. Summaries are written by the HerbMed team with article citations/abstracts in PubMed, formulary information at the US Patent Office, and other World Wide Web resources. The database currently contains information on the use of over 150 herbs.

International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) Database
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Agricultural Library, Food and Nutrition Information Center
Web site: http://ods.od.nih.gov
Description: IBIDS is a comprehensive bibliographic database that helps health care providers, researchers, and consumers find credible, scientific literature on dietary supplements. Visitors may search for either consumer-oriented or professional level (peer-reviewed research) documents, or both. Currently, the database contains dietary supplements citations/abstracts from MEDLINE, AGRICOLA, and AGRIS databases dating from 1986 to the present.

MEDLINEplus for Herbal Information
National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine
Website: www.nlm.nih.gov
Description: Contains up-to-date, quality health care information on herbs and herbal medicine from the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

USDAFlavonoid Content of Selected Foods
Web site: www.nal.usda.gov
Description: A table of the flavonoid content of over 200 foods.

Herbal Remedies - Books

American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines

Andrea Pierce
New York: The Stonesong Press, Inc., 1999. 728 p.
ISBN: 0688161510
Description: Home reference for botanicals.

Botanical Safety Handbook
American Herbal Products Association
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997. 511 p.
ISBN: 0849316758
Description: Provides safety data for more than 600 commonly sold herbs and includes information on international regulatory status, standard dosage, and toxicity issues.

Development of Plant-Based Medicines: Conservation, Efficacy, and Safety
Praveen K. Saxena (Editor)
Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001. 280 p.
Web site:www.wkap.nl
ISBN: 0-7923-6871-1
Description: Focuses on new technologies for plant-based medicines.

Dietary Supplements: Review of Health-Related Call Records for Users of Metabolife 356
U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO)
Web site: www.gao.gov/new.items/d03494.pdf
Description: Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Wellness and Human Rights, Committee on Government Reform, regarding health-related call records of consumers to Metabolife International, the manufacturer of Metabolife 356, an ephedra-containing supplement.

Herb Contraindications & Drug Interactions, 3rd Edition
Francis Brinker
Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 2001. 432 p.
ISBN: 1888483113
Description: Designed to help pharmacist and physicians with herb contraindications and drug interactions. This text also provides information for consumers using herbs.

Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals
James E. Robbers and Varro E. Tyler
Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999. 287 p.
ISBN: 0789001594
Description: Guide for using herbs for many health conditions.

Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies, 4th Edition
Steven Foster and Varro E.Tyler.
New York: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1999. 442 p.
ISBN: 0789008750
Description: Reviews uses of herbal medicinals, efficacy, and safety.

Herbal Remedies - Newsletters

HerbalGram
American Botanical Council
Web site: www.herbalgram.org
Description: This quarterly, peer-reviewed publication primary focuses on medicinal herbs and has a scientific and educational emphasis.
Subscription Address:
6200 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78723
Phone: (512) 926-4900

Herbal Remedies - Web Resources

American Heart Association Urges Ban on Ephedra-Based Supplements
American Heart Association, April 2003
Web site: www.americanheart.org
Description: The American Heart Association supports and endorses the Food and Drug Administration's warning on the harmful effects of ephedra.

Are Herbs for You?
MayoClinic.com, April 2001
Web site: www.mayoclinic.com
Description: Tips for those thinking about using herbal supplements.

Black Cohosh for Symptoms of Menopause
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, October 2003
Web site: www.ods.od.nih.gov
Description: This fact sheet provides an overview of research into the use of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms.

Botanical Dietary Supplements: Background Information
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, July 2003
Web site: www.ods.od.nih.gov
Description: An overview of botanicals describing what they are, how they are classified as dietary supplements, how they are sold and prepared, and safety issues.

Cartilage (Bovine and Shark)
Cancer.gov, National Cancer Institute, May 2002
Web site: www.cancer.gov
Description: A Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) summary that provides an overview of research into the use of cartilage as a treatment for cancer.

Chinese Thunder God Vine Gives Relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, October 2002
Web site: www.niams.nih.gov
Description: Summary of findings from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial examining the use of Thunder God Vine root extract for the relief of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Complementary & Alternative Medicine
AETNA InteliHealth
Web site: www.intelihealth.com
Description: This online company provides consumer-friendly health information from Harvard Medical School, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and more than 150 top health care organizations. This section of the web site provides information on herbal supplements and other alternative medicine treatments.

Ephedra Fact Sheet: Metabolife and Metab-O-Lite
Outreach & Extension, University of Missouri - Columbia, January 2003
Web site: www.missourifamilies.org
Description: A review of Metabolife 356 and Metab-O-Lite, including ingredients, description, effects, and risks

Ephedra: Recent Publications and Announcements
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements
Web site: www.ods.od.nih.gov
Description: Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research report on Ephedra, a Department of Health& Human Services fact sheet on ephedra, and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) press release.

Finding Health Benefits in Tea Leaves
Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, June 2000
Web site: www.ext.colostate.edu
Description: Review of the benefits of tea leaves.

Functional Foods
Nutrition Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), April 1999
Web site: www.cspinet.org
Description: Discusses growing trends in adding herbs (such as Ginkgo biloba, kava kava, Echinacea, and St. John's Wort) and other substances to food products.

Functional Foods
Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, The American Dietetic Association, March 2002
Web site: www.andrews.edu
Description: An overview of functional foods, including safety and regulatory issues, and a glossary of related terms.

Garlic: Case Unclosed
Nutrition Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
Supplement Watch, October 2000
Web site: www.cspinet.org
Description: Review of health claims associated with garlic supplements.

Garlic: Effects on Cardiovascular Risks and Disease, Protective Effects Against Cancer, and Clinical Adverse Effects
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Number 20
October 2000
Web site: www.ahrq.gov
Description: This report summarizes clinical studies of garlic in humans, focusing on cardiovascular-related disease, cancer, and clinical adverse effects.

Ginseng
Nutrition Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), May 1999
Web site: www.cspinet.org/
Description: Article covering the claims of ginseng supplements.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin - More Information
Nutrition Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), July/August 2001
Web site: www.cspinet.org/
Description: Lists reviews and links of studies testing the use of glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis.

Harmful Herbs
Ohio Health, April 2001
Web site: www.ohiohealth.com
Description: What to do if you become ill from taking an herbal product as well as other informational resources on herbs.

Hepatitis C and Complementary Alternative Medicine: 2003 Update
National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, September 2003
Web site: http://nccam.nih.gov
Description: Reviews alternative treatments, including herbs, which have been touted to treat the symptoms of Hepatitis C.

Herbal Health Products-What Should You Know
American Academy of Physicians, February 2003
Web site: www.familydoctor.org
Description: Questions and answers about possible side effects of herbal products.

Herbal Supplements: Consider Safety, Too
National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, September 2003
Website: www.nccam.nih.gov
Description: A fact sheet reviewing safety considerations on the use of herbal supplements.

Herbs and Drug Interactions: "Natural" Products Not Always Safe
MayoClinic.com, April 2003
Web site: www.mayoclinic.com
Description: Reviews potential harmful interactions between several popular herbs and prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Herbs and Surgery
MayoClinic.com, July 2002
Web site: www.mayoclinic.com
Description: An advisory regarding certain herbs and their potential to cause harm in those undergoing surgery.

Information About St. John's Wort
National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Mental Health
NIMH Public Inquiries, March 2003
Web site: www.nimh.nih.gov
Description: Provides information for consumers and health professionals on recent studies and public alerts on St. John's Wort.

Alternative Therapies for Managing Menopausal Symptoms
National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) August 2, 2002
Web site: http://nccam.nih.gov
Description: Summarizes the October 2002 NIH scientific conference on menopausal hormone therapy and alternative treatments for menopausal symptoms including phytoestrogens and soy protein/isoflavones.

Milk Thistle: Effects on Liver Disease and Cirrhosis and Clinical Adverse Effects
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, September 2000 Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Number 21
Web site: http://www.ahrq.org
Description: Summarzes clinical studies of milk thistle in human.

Mistletoe Extracts
National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, July 2003
Web site: www.cancer.gov
Description: Expert-reviewed information summary about the use of mistletoe extracts as a treatment for cancer.

NCI Fact Sheet: Garlic and Cancer Prevention
National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, November 2002
Web site: http://cancer.gov
Description: This fact sheet examines the possible role of garlic in preventing cancer.

Palmetto and the Prostate
Nutrition Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 2000
Web site: www.cspinet.org
Description: Provides information about saw palmetto and its use for swollen prostate problems and benign prostatic hypertrophy.

Phytochemicals: Guardians of Our Health
Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, The American Dietetic Association, March 2002
Web site: www.andrews.edu
Description: A review of protective phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and herbal seasonings.

Phytoestrogens for Menopause
Nutrition Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest, January/February 2000
Web site: www.cspinet.org
Description: A review of research results into whether phytoestrogens may be useful for menopausal symptoms.

Phytonutrients Take Center Stage
USDA/Agricultural Research Service Agricultural Research Magazine, December 1999
Web site: www.ars.usda.gov
Description: Background information on methods used by food engineers to increase plant levels of phytonutrients

Position of the American Dietetic Association: Phytochemicals and Functional
Foods, 1999
Web site: www.eatright.org
Description: Outlines the position of the American Dietetic Association supporting research on the use of phytochemicals and functional foods and their related health benefits.

Questions and Answers about Valerian for Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, September 2003
Web site: www.ods.od.nih.gov
Description: Provides an overview of valerian including common preparations, uses, research studies, and adverse effects.

Soy: Health Claims for Soy Protein, Questions About Other Components
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), FDA Consumer, May-June 2000
Web site: www.cfsan.fda.gov
Description: Background regarding health claims allowed on soy products.

The Soy Story
Nutrition Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 1998
Web site: www.cspinet.org
Description: Overview of the state of scientific research into possible benefits of soy.

St. John's Wort and the Treatment of Depression
National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine, August 2002
Web site: http://nccam.nih.gov
Description: Fact sheet, including frequently asked questions, about the use of St. John's Wort for the treatment of depression.

Stevia: A Bittersweet Tale
Nutrition Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest, April 2000
Web site: www.cspinet.org
Description: Reports on problems associated with consuming stevia.

Understanding Dietary Supplements
American Cancer Society, 2003
Web site: www.cancer.org
Description: Describes the difference between herbs, botanicals, and pharmaceuticals and advises a cautionary approach to their use.

U.S. SoyFoods Directory
Steven & Associates, Inc.
Web site: www.soyfoods.com
Description: Sponsored by the soy foods industry, this site reviews research into the health benefits of soy products and provides nutrient information of, and recipes using, soy products.

Use of Botanicals for Management of Menopausal Symptoms
American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologyogists, Practice Bulletin, June 2001
Web site: www.acog.org
Description: Reviews scientific information on alternative therapies for menopausal symptoms, including efficacy and adverse effects.

Using Herbal Supplements Wisely
MayoClinic.com, January 2002
Web site: www.mayoclinic.com
Description: Tips and cautions on the use of herbal supplements.

What You Should Know About Herbal and Dietary Supplement Use and Anesthesia
American Society of Anesthesiologists, 2003
Web site:www.asahq.org
Description: Questions and answers about herbs, dietary supplements, their uses and possible side effects and drug interactions.

Herbal Remedies - Agencies and Organizations

American Botanical Council
P.O. Box 144345
Austin, TX 78714-4345
(512) 926-4900
(512) 926-2345 (Fax)
Web site: www.herbalgram.org
Description: The American Botanical Council is a non-profit research and educational
organization focusing on educating about beneficial herbs and plants and to promote the safe and effective use of medicinal plants.

Herb Research Foundation
1007 Pearl St.
Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80302
(800)748-2617
Outside the USA: (303) 449-2265.
Web site: www.herbs.org/
Description: The Herb Research Foundation is a nonprofit research and educational organization focusing on herbs and medicinal plants.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
720 Rutland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21205
Web site: www.hopkins-cam.org/
Description: Research center focusing on complementary and alternative medicine as it relates to cancer and cancer treatments. Lists current projects using herbs for cancer treatment.

This resource list was compiled by:
Andrea T. Lindsey, MS, Nutrition Information Specialist

Acknowledgment is given to the following FNIC reviewers:
Alicia H. White, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition Information Specialist
Lora B. Wilder, ScD, RD, Nutrition Information Specialist




Food and Nutrition Information Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, National Agricultural Library.




Related:

Medicinal Plants a collection of peer reviewed research.