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Providers who want to learn more about herbal remedies, should consider starting on-line, says Doug Murray, PharmD, director of pharmacy and clinical services at Kershaw County Medical Center in Camden, SC. The adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy in Columbia says the Internet has several useful sites. These include:
• www.egregore.com: This site, called Medicinal Herbs On-line, lists more than 100 diseases and 125 herbs, including extensive descriptions of each. Both diseases and herbs are alphabetized.
• altmed.od.nih.gov/oam: This is the Web site for the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Murray notes he has referred to this site for useful information. For other resources available from this government office, contact OAM, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bldg 31, Room 5B-38, Bethesda, MD 20892. Telephone: (800) 531-1794, or (301) 402-2466. Fax: (301) 402-4741.
In addition to Web sites, Murray notes several publications regularly publish information on herbal remedies. They include:
• Professional Journal of Botanical Medicine;
• Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine;
• Herbs for Health;
• Nutrition Forum;
• Nutrition Science News;
• The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine;
• Alternative Medicine Alert and Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health.
The scientific "gold standard" for information on herbal supplements is the American Botanical Council translation of the German Commission E Monographs published in 1996, says Murray. "This is a source many pharmacists, myself included, keep on hand and refer to."