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About The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs

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About the Book

By Blumenthal, et al., 2003
Hardcover, 512pp
ISBN for the Americas: 1-58890-157-2
ISBN for the Rest of the World: 3-13-132391-4
Out of Print; online access only

How does the healthcare professional effectively respond to patient inquiries on the use of herbal supplements? What clinical research has been conducted? How is safety evaluated? This science-based educational course answers these and other questions for healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies, health management companies, policy makers, the dietary supplement industry and consumers.

Utilize a Reference Approved by Health Professionals
The entire work has been peer reviewed by experts, including healthcare professionals in allied health fields as well as those selected by the accrediting agencies. For accreditation details, see A Look Inside.

Benefit from Complete Herb Profiles. Each herb profile includes:

  • a comprehensive fully referenced clinical monograph
  • a table of clinical studies 
  • a Clinical Overview for quick reference 
  • a Patient Information sheet for duplication

Access Comprehensive Clinical Monographs that Include:

  • Overviews
  • Description
  • Uses
  • Dosage
  • Duration of Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacological Actions
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Contraindications
  • Adverse Effects
  • Drug Interactions
  • Safety Rating
  • Regulatory Status
  • Branded Products
  • Clinical Review
  • References
  • Clinical Studies
  • Table


Understand the Research and Safety of Herb Combinations. Many products on the market are based on combinations of herbs. This chapter presents monographs on numerous herbal combination products that have undergone human clinical studies.

Identify Products Backed by Clinical Research. One of the most useful and innovative features of the comprehensive clinical monograph is a table which reviews many of the clinical studies conducted on the herb, study design, and brands used in the studies. Practitioners have been requesting this information. Separate tables in the book summarize all of the brands mentioned in the book and include brand name in the United States, foreign product brand names, company names and company contact information.

Popular selling herb profiles included in the book


  • American ginseng
  • Asian ginseng
  • Bilberry
  • Black cohosh
  • Cat’s claw
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Chaste tree
  • Cranberry
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Eleuthero
  • Ephedra
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Feverfew
  • Flax
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ginkgo
  • Goldenseal
Comprehensive Clinical Monographs Answer Complex Questions. Each monograph includes a safety rating, herb-drug interactions, and the clinical studies table. These monographs are an invaluable reference that provides in-depth information to the practitioner and sufficient detail to answer many of the most complex patient questions. Guide - SJW mono 1p
Evaluate the Safety of Herbs. Each clinical overview and comprehensive monograph contains an accurate and thorough summary of any known drug interactions, adverse effects, or contraindications associated with use of the herb.
Guide - St. Johns Wort Clinical overview 1p Use the Clinical Overviews as a Quick Reference. The two-page clinical overviews will give the practitioner a comprehensive picture of the herb at a glance. Based on the full monographs, the overviews provide a streamlined way to use the information in the clinical setting.
Patients Take Home Accurate Information. The one-page Patient Information Sheets can be duplicated by the practitioner and may be given to patients. They contain the basic information that the patients need to safely and effectively integrate herbs into their overall health management picture. Guide - SJW PIS
Guide - SJW table Review the Latest Clinical Research. The Clinical Studies Tables are a unique feature of the comprehensive monographs that provide a review of the most important, published human clinical studies. The tables summarize the study conclusions and the brands used. Practitioners will be able to check what the studies conclude about many of the products their patients are using or they may choose to make recommendations based on this information.



Mark Blumenthal and ABC have done it again! This book will help any health care provider be better equipped to connect with plant science and the herb industry. Nurses will find it a helpful, companion reference book to nursing texts on botanical therapies.

Martha Libster, Ph.D. (c), R.N.

At last, a well referenced informative and clinically useful guide for practitioners who prescribe botanical medicines. Thorough in nature, this compendium is a rich source of scientific information on herbs.

Roberta Anne Lee, MD
Medical Director and Co-Director of the Integrative Medicine Fellowship
Center for Health and Healing
Beth Israel Medical Center, New York

This book, expertly written, reviewed, and edited by a distinguished group of contributors, has much to recommend it. For 29 popular single botanicals a monograph chapter includes a clinical overview summary, patient information sheet, and concise yet thorough coverage of clinically pertinent information. Also included for each are charts detailing clinical research and results. As an unusual addition, 12 proprietary multi-herb products and 1 monopreparation are briefly reviewed. The book is straightforward in its acknowledgement of issues that are controversial to some.

Appropriately, the expressed intent of identifying botanical use guidelines, as distinguished from restrictive indications for conventional drugs, is explained as providing reliable assessments so practitioners can best make their own informed judgment. For example, describing dosage ranges for the whole powdered herb, traditional extracts, and recent phytomedicinal extracts acknowledges that the uses scientifically established through research on specific commercial extracts largely follow traditional applications of the herb. While objectively describing the evidence base, Blumenthal et al defer to the practitioner to discern what form and uses are most appropriate for each individual patient.

Francis Brinker, N.D.
Author, Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions

Herbal medicine is undergoing a renaissance of interest in science and society. THE ABC CLINICAL GUIDE TO HERBS is an urgently needed benchmark of the scholarship that exists in this field. This is that rare book that is a must for laypersons, clinicians, and researchers alike. This volume deserves to stand alongside GRAY'S ANATOMY as one of the defining texts of medicine.

Larry Dossey, MD

The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs is a welcome addition to the resources for clinicians, researchers and academicians. Consumers are using herbal products for self-treatment of medical disorders, symptom management, and health promotion. There is a pressing need for clinicians to have knowledge of these herbs. Clinicians may be asked about the safety and action of specific herbs or herbal products. Patients often do not tell their provider about their use of herbs, thereby putting themselves at risk for adverse reactions due to inappropriate use. Problems can occur with improper doses and interactions among herbs, with other over the counter medications, prescription medications, and medical conditions and procedures. This book provides information that is clinically relevant in a succinct and scientific manner. Providers from several professions are able to obtain continuing education units as well, making this a unique and convenient learning activity.

Following the publication of the Commission E Monographs, the team at American Botanical Council has put together a timely and useful guide. An introductory section, which provides needed information on herbal use, safety and regulatory issues meets a critical need, as there are many misconceptions among health care professionals. This book contains current monographs, clinical overviews and patient information briefs on some of the most commonly used herbs and herbal products. The monographs provide detailed reviews of the current literature on each herb. The material is presented in a scientific and informative manner. The brief overview of each herb condenses pertinent information in a usable format for busy clinicians. The patient information sheet can easily be copied and given to patients.

The pertinence of profiling the most used herbs as well as common herbal products, along with the pragmatic format makes this book an excellent resource for health care providers. I would recommend this book to nurses, physicians and other health care providers who are in clinical practice or engaged in educating health professionals.

Joan Engebretson DrPH, RN HNC
Associate Professor
UTHSC-Houston School of Nursing

The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs is a monumental work. It has been a long time in coming and is a most welcome addition to the compendiums of herbal medicine. What differentiates this work from the others is it’s succinct, comprehensive and authoritative style. Mountains of original research publications from both German and English were evaluated by many experts in the field, both individually and collectively, distilled, tabulated, and presented in a way that is easy to access and pleasing to the eye. A must for every bookshelf.

Jerry Cott, Ph.D.
Research Pharmacologist

Moving beyond the historical and theoretical, the ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs provides health care professionals with what they want: factual, current scientifically based information on the top selling herbs in the United States. Pharmacological activity, herb-drug interactions, adverse effects, preparations, dosage and detailed tables of clinical trials are accurately and responsibly presented in this monumental contribution to the field of herbal medicine. This book stands alone in its class.

Tieraona Low Dog, MD
United States Pharmacopoeia
Dietary Supplements/Botanicals Expert Panel

Clinical Asst. Professor
Dept of Family and Community Medicine
University of New Mexico