This book helps you visualize the molecular mechanisms by which herbs accomplish their effects on your body. This book is for nonscientists, but focuses on scientific details which are not available in other herb books for laypeople.
What you will find in each herb chapter In each herb chapter you will find a section covering current theories on the mechanism behind an herbs’ properties, in “How Scientists Think it Works”. You will also find the herb’s history, folklore, and if they are known, its active ingredients. “Good Uses...and Not So Good” informs you of the risks and benefits of taking various forms of an herb, according to current scientific thought. Although I am a PhD. scientist with a background in biochemistry and natural products, I am not an M.D., and because of this I do not prescribe herbs. I do summarize for you what the PDR for Herbal Medicine, the Pharmacist’s and Prescriber’s Letter’s Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and the American Pharmaceutical Foundation report on commonly recommended dosages, under “Commonly Reported Uses for This Herb” in each herb chapter.
If you do have a background in science Although this book is intended for nonscientists, health professionals and scientists will find it a useful tool, too. Rather than endlessly searching and reviewing scientific abstracts until your eyes cross, or buying an expensive text on herbal pharmacology, you can use this book to find quick, easy-to-read summaries of an herb’s pharmacodynamics. If some information piques your interest, and you want to learn more, look for the references of journal articles at the end of each herb chapter. These can help you gather details concerning the designs and outcomes of experiments which provided most of the data for this book.
Introduction (the original, unedited version)
Aloe gel and Aloe latex, Arnica, Artichoke, Astragalus
Bilberry, Black Cohosh, Borage
Cascara, Catnip, Cat’s Claw, Chamomile, Chaste Tree, Cinnamon, Cranberry
Echinacea, Eleuthero, Evening Primrose
Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Gotu Kola, Grape, Guarana
Hawthorn, Hoodia, Horse Chestnut
Lavender, Lemon Balm, Licorice
Marsh Mallow, Milk Thistle
Red Clover, Red Pepper
Sage, Saw Palmetto, Senna, Soy, St. John’s Wort
Tea Tree oil, Tea, Turmeric
Wild Yam, Wintergreen, Witch Hazel
Yerba Mate’, Yohimbe
Introducing the Players: Cells, Molecules, and other Very Small Things
Nonfatal Attractions: Receptors and Enzymes
Oxygen and Oxidizing agents
Warning Labels for Certain Herbs