Are Herbal Medicines Safe and Efficacious?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Lynn Ai Ling Tan
Posted on: September 24, 2003

I am Lynn Tan from Malaysia. I am doing a research on Herbal Medicines. My topic statement is ‘Herbal Medicine: Are the safe and efficacious?’ I would definitely appreciate it if you could provide me with some useful information regarding this.

I firmly believe that herbs are generally safe and efficacious. Compared to drugs, herbs are usually safer to take. Their medicinal effects may not always be as dramatic and quick as drugs, but more often than not they are effective enough to resolve the targetted illness.

Your topic is a very general one that requires much more time and research than we can provide. I suggest that you consult the books written by Dr. James Duke. We have his "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook" in our online catalogue as well as other books. Dr. Duke is unique in rating herbs for safety and efficacy. He will bluntly say when a herb is unsafe or ineffective, but, as you will find when reading his books, he finds herbs to be remarkably efficient medicines.

Two of his books may be ordered online at:

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