The landscape of botanical medicine utilization and safety

Andrew Morris, Michael D. Murray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Comprehending the use and safety of botanical dietary supplements is challenging largely owing to the lack of regulation and the paucity of data on their utilization, effectiveness, and safety. The literature describing the utilization of botanical products tends to be poorly documented and incomplete and evidence in the form of clinical trials is sparse; safety data are largely derived from anecdotal case reports. Medications from botanical sources have been described as far back as 60 millennia and most of the medications used throughout the world were derived from plants until the early 1900s (1). It is estimated that 35,000 to 70,000 plants have been used for medical purposes (2). For example, opium and willow bark have long been used for the treatment of pain (3). It was not uncommon for over-the-counter medications to contain opium without warnings or legal restrictions (4). Willow bark may still be purchased over the counter as an extract to relieve pain and many other prescriptions medications are currently derived from botanical sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHerbal Supplements-Drug Interactions
Subtitle of host publicationScientific and Regulatory Perspectives
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780849355530
ISBN (Print)9780824725389
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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