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Use of current literature

Current literature, updated every 3–18 months

Mostly current, some historical information

Starting assumptions/appearance of impartiality


Appears to give favorable consideration toward the approved German Commission E monographs (the basis for about half of the monographs) as “approved by the Commission E,” without critical evaluation

Use of peer review

Introductory information describes an evidencedbased, consensus-based, peer review

No indication of peer review found

Focus on a particular standardized product and discussion of preparation impact on safety

Does not appear to focus on specific preparations

A number of different preparations are described, impact on safety is described for some; for monographs based on conclusions of Commission E, usefulness of conclusions depends on similarities of German products to products consumed in the United States

Description of consumption levels considered

A recommended use amount is described; it is assumed that safety conclusions are based on this amount

Recommended doses are described

Consideration of data from non-oral routes of exposure

No mention is made of how non-oral data were handled in the example reviewed

No mention is made of how non-oral data were handled

Discussion of biological activity or possible mechanism of action


Addressed, but not necessarily with safety in mind

Discussion of specific groups within the general population, if appropriate

Pregnant and lactating women are addressed

Second edition has separate indexes for herbs not for use during pregnancy or lactation or for use only under supervision

Interaction with other interventions

Thorough section on interactions with conventional therapies, drugs, other herbs, and supplements

Interactions discussed and a Drug/Herb Interaction Guide is included

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