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ing a collection of information on botanical medicines. This publication was the first edition of the PDR for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics, 1998). A second edition of PDR for Herbal Medicines was published in 2000 that provides monographs for approximately 700 medicinal herbs (Medical Economics, 2000). The monographs contain information on efficacy, safety, potential interactions, precautions, adverse reactions, and dosage. For 300 of these monographs, the findings and assessments were taken from the German Commission E report. There are useful cross-referencing indices for information such as names, indications, side effects, and interactions. This collection of monographs does not appear to be the product of direct committee effort or to involve a peer review in a consistent manner given the variety of origins of information included.

Physicians’ Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements

The PDR for Nutritional Supplements contains over 200 monographs of nearly 1,000 nutritional products, including amino acids, fatty acids, metabolites and cofactors, nucleic acids, proteins, glycosupplements, phytosupplements, hormonal products, and probiotics (Medical Economics, 2001). Crude botanicals or herbal medicines are not included in the 2001 book. Each monograph contains trade names, description, actions and pharmacology, indications and usage, research summary contraindications, interactions, warning signs of overdose, dosage and administration, how supplied, and literature cited. Inaccuracies and typographical errors were noted in some of the references. Like the PDR for Herbal Medicines, there are useful cross-referencing indices. This publication appears to be a summary of information rather than a committee-authored or peer-reviewed activity.

The American Pharmaceutical Association’s Practical Guide to Natural Medicines

The American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) is a national professional society of pharmacists that is dedicated to helping pharmacists help consumers. The book, Practical Guide to Natural Medicine, was written for the consumer by a writer for APhA (Peirce, 1999). It is a compilation of information on many substances (mostly botanicals), but includes other substances, such as melatonin. For each substance, the monograph describes what it is, what it is used for, the forms available, and the dosage commonly reported. Sections include, “Will it work for you? What the studies say”; and “Will it harm you? What the studies say” (Peirce, 1999). Given its orientation to the lay reader, the evaluation of the literature does not appear to be as extensive or rigorous as some of the other resources.

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