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The Herbal Drugstore: The Best Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medicines!

by Linda B. White, published by 2001-07-12 (Rodale Books)

Buy now from Amazon.com for $29.95
Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 90941

Editor's Review:

Readers may find the term herbal drugstore an oxymoron. But just as conventional drugstores carry prescription drugs and products for skin care, hair care, and even pet care, hundreds of manufacturers are now distributing herbal remedies and treatments for these same ailments and needs. "And just as a conventional drugstore can be a bewildering place, competing herbal products can leave you confused as to what to buy," according to authors Linda B. White, M.D. (Kids, Herbs, Health: A Parents' Guide to Natural Remedies) and Steven Foster (101 Medicinal Herbs: An Illustrated Guide). "We created this book to be your guide to an ever-growing herbal marketplace."

They deliver even more than they promise. This is one of the most comprehensive and well-written herbal guidebooks available. The opening pages are devoted to important discussions about herb usage, including safety tips (such as never giving herbs to children younger than 2 years old without your doctor's approval), dosage information, and how to make your own herbal remedies. It has a quick-glance chart of familiar ailments, along with a listing of commonly used drugs and herbal alternatives. (For instance, according to the chart, bladder infections are routinely treated with antibiotics, but numerous herbal remedies exist, including bearberry, cranberry, goldenseal, goldenrod, and Oregon grape root.)

The meat of the book, however, is devoted to an alphabetized listing of ailments as well as extensive discussions of herbal remedies, dosages, and ongoing treatments. For example, under "sinus infection," readers will find a list of symptoms, a sympathetic write-up about the causes and different kinds of infections, and a list of numerous herbs and treatments, from echinacea to the Chinese herb astragalus. Entries address minor ailments such as a hangover to serious diseases like diabetes and Parkinson's disease. The book closes with a thorough index and a listing of manufacturers that sell herbs. Without a doubt, this is the book for treating common ailments with herbs. Anyone interested in exploring alternatives to prescription drugs will find safe and sound advice within these informative pages. --Gail HudsonBy one estimate, Americans are spending upward of $3 billion a year on herbs and herb products. More and more people are turning to herbal medicine for solutions to their health concerns because they believe that herbs are gentler, safer, and more affordable than pharmaceuticals.

Yet how can they be sure of what really works and what is right for them? Despite the glut of information on herbs, these remedies have rarely been compared objectively with drugs. That's just what consumers need, so they can rest assured that the decisions they make will help them get well-- not harm them.

The Herbal Drugstore sifts through all the studies, facts, and opinions to provide objective, concise profiles of more than 280 drugs and drug categories, along with their herbal alternatives. For each health problem, you can weigh the functions and side effects of the most common pharmaceutical treatments against the benefits and cautions of the best-known herbal remedies. You also get:

* Accurate dosage instructions for using herbs safely and effectively
* Essential information about potential herb-drug and herb-herb interactions
* A comprehensive chart that lists drugs and their herbal alternatives side by side for easy reference
* In-depth profiles of nearly 60 herbs, with explanations of herb sources, uses, and safety issues
* A shopper's guide for choosing among various herb forms and brands
* Detailed instructions-- for making your own herbal remedies
* A resource directory-- of herbal products, practitioners, and publications

Whether you're a newcomer to herbal medicine or you've been using herbs for years, The Herbal Drugstore arms you with clear, concise, impartial information that puts you in control of your health. Now you can feel confident that when choosing between herbal and pharmaceutical therapies, you have the power of The Herbal Drugstore behind you.

Reader Reviews:

I had a bit of trouble rating this one; I was tempted to give it a three but ultimately was forced to decide on a 2. If Amazon offered a 2 1/2 choice, I would have used it.

Don't get me wrong - I didn't dislike this book. It had it's good points but the negatives couldn't allow me to give it a 3 as an average rating. For the positive side of things, this book is massive, pretty, well organized, and written in a simple to understand manner.

It's from the staff of Herbs for health, which includes many herbalists that are recommendable such as Christopher Hobbs. The main author of this book is Linda B. White, M.D., followed by Steven Foster. While I commend Ms. White for writing herbals and having an M.D. at the same time - we need more physicians taking alternate healing seriously - I felt the book was a bit too cautious and at time allopathic orientated.

Within every condition, there lay herbal recommendations....with prescription drug names and uses. In fact, drug names are listed first :( If this is a book on healing and herbs and natural remedies, why does it have to again share its pedestal? And even worse, be placed second when the book is supposed to be about it in the first place? If this Herbal Drugstore is supposed to be the options to prescriptions and over the counter drugs, then why list them so often in every section with details? At least their side effects are listed, which makes them appear a bit frightening in comparison. For those who really do want to know the name of each prescription drug used to treat asthma, angina, or any other condition, then here you'll find it.

Steven Foster was the co-writer for Tyler's honest herbal, which is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Tyler's honest herbal remains one of the most hated books of the herbal profession, and for good reason. Fosters contribution there may also have been too cautious, although one isn't sure how much he really had to do with it. I am surprised someone who devotes so much time to herbs and even a magazine about them is so overly cautious, but that seems to be the current trend.

I did greatly appreciate some sections such as "How Herbs are Regulated" and common herb/drug interactions. The former is an interesting addition that's not seen enough, and was told honestly. There is a great simple reference guide at the beginning in a table where a condition is named, then commonly used drugs, then the herbal alternatives beside them.

The section on conditions is extensive enough and does offer more recommendations than herbs, as well as the occassional cool remedy/formula. Many of these seem like decent to good blends, particularly blister balm, Endometriosis Tea, and Swimmer's Ear Drops. Typical dosage is given for each herb, including teas or pills or tinctures, which is welcome.

The final half wraps up with very short comments on herbs, basically stating uses without complete sentences as a quick reference to herbs already covered elsewhere in the book. After these are the typical references and resources.

Overall this book is not bad but it's just so plain in terms of natural therapy. It's for the basic, basic lay person who only has a passing interest in herbal therapies. Here they're treated almost like little drugs beside other drugs, as alternatives, and no mention really on other herbal uses, as in holistic healing, etc. Diet is mentioned at times, and this is appreciated, but everything is so cautionary as seems to be found with these kinds of books lately.

Because of this, it can only be granted a low score. Not enough information per condition, with drugs listed FIRST, then herbs, and not much info on the herbs either. Too cautionary and medical minded to be a highly recommended herbal, but alright for the passerby who just wants to take a look.I like the way this book lists herbal remedies side by side with conventional medical treatments. It's useful to see your options laid out like that. I like the organization. It's easy to find what you need. I also like that one of the authors has an M.D. it's encouraging to see that a traditionally trained doctor sees the value of phytomedicinals. The book is organized by health problems. Under each heading, there is a listing of herbal as well as conventional remedies, as well as a paragraph describing how each remedy works. This method of organization makes much more sense than listing herbs alphabetically, especially for someone who's in a hurry to find something. I only just received the book from amazon.com, but I can already foresee that I will use it often. I only wish they had made the book bigger and printed it on nicer paper. Oh well...you can't have everything, I guess.This is a thorough book that includes information about possible interactions between herbal remedies and prescription drugs.I originally picked this book up at the library while taking a class on herbal medicine and was so impressed with it that I bought a copy. It contains clear and concise information on a variety of ailments with not only the herbal remedies but also their drug counterparts. There are "recipes" for herbal mixtures for some of the ailments. This is a book that will be referred to time and time again.Lots of infomation and easy to read. What I liked about the book was that it has a section where it gives you addresses where you can buy herbs and herbal products. I also liked how the book is presented. For each of the herb listed, it givs the source, part used, forms available, uses, and caution. It also lists what herbs to use for what aliments you may have like a cold or acne.
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See also:
Chinese Tonic Herbs

PDR for Herbal Medicines, Third Edition

The Truth About the Drug Companies : How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It

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