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products sold in the United States

Sponsorship by trade association organization

Starting assumptions of safety; lack of information appears to be interpreted as safety

Preclinical safety data section may be useful for individual botanicals

of supplements that are covered; describes a wide range of dietary

A useful cross-reference to brand names is included

The continuum of safety classifications considered is helpful, as is the attention paid to formulation, plant part, and species




Natural Standard (Natural Standard, 2003) (Reviewed Black Cohosh)

Physican’s Desk Reference (PDR) for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics, 1998, 2000)

Type of organization responsible for resource

For-profit, not supported by any interest group, professional organization, or pharmaceutical manufacturer

For-profit organization

Substances reviewed

Covers alternative therapies and complementary medicines, including nutrient and nonnutrient dietary supplements

Over 700 botanicals


Online monograph

Book of brief monographs

Focus on safety/risk

Safety and efficacy are considered

Both safety and efficacy are considered

Reliance on primary data

Mostly primary sources, some abstracts, including foreign language articles

Primary sources are cited, including foreign language sources

Use of nonhuman data

Mostly human data, some in vitro data and a limited number of animal studies are considered

Mostly human data; however, some animal and in vitro data are considered

Description of limitations

Limitations are described

Limitations are somewhat described

Description of literature search strategy

Described thoroughly

Search strategy is not described; many monographs appear to be based upon the Commission E translation

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