Therapeutics Letter, issue 25, June - July - August 1998

Herbal Medicines: An Evidence Based Look


  1. Hung OL, Shih RD, Chiang WK, Nelson LS, Hoffman RS, Goldfrank LR. Herbal preparation use among urban emergency department patients. Academic Emergency Medicine. 1997; 4:209-213.
  2. Dorant E, van-den-Brandt PA, Goldbohm RA. A prospective cohort study on Allium vegetable consumption, garlic supplement use, and the risk of lung carcinoma in the Netherlands. Cancer-Res. 1994 Dec 1; 54(23): 6148-53.
  3. Segasothy M, Samad S. Illicit herbal preparation containing phenylbutazone causing analgesic nephropathy. Nephron 1991; 59:166-167.
  4. Chan TY, Chan JC, Tomlinson B, Critchley JA. Chinese herbal medicines revisited: a Hong Kong perspective. Lancet. 1993 Dec 18-25; 342(8886-8887): 1532-4.
  5. D'Arcy PF. Adverse reactions and interactions with herbal medicines. Part 1. Adverse reactions. Adverse Drug Reactions & Toxicological Reviews. 1991; 10:189-208.
  6. D'Arcy PF. Adverse reactions and interactions with herbal medicines. Part 2. Drug interactions. Adverse Drug Reactions & Toxicological Reviews. 1993; 12:147-62.
  7. Pillans PI. Toxicity of herbal products. New Zealand Medical Journal. 1995 Nov 24; 108(1012):469-471.
  8. Florido-Lopez JF. Gonzalez-delgado P. Desanpedro BS. Perez-Miranda C. De Saavedra JMA. Marinpozo JF. Allergy to natural honeys and camomile tea. International Archives of Allergy & Immunology. 1995 Oct; 108(2):170-174.
  9. Rosenblatt M, Mindei, J. Spontaneous hyphema associated with ingestion of Ginkgo biloba extract. N Engl J Med. 1997; 336(15):1108.
  10. McRae S. Elevated serum digoxin levels in a patient taking digoxin and siberian ginseng. Can Med Assoc J. 1996; 155:293-295.
  11. Fidler P. Loprinzi CL. Ofallon JR. Leitch JM. Lee JK. Hayes DL. Novotny P. Clemensschutjer D. Bartel J. Michalak JC. Prospective evaluation of a chamomile mouthwash for prevention of 5-fu-induced oral mucositis. Cancer. 77(3):522-525, 1996 Feb 1.
  12. Chrubasik S. Zimpfer C. Schutt U. Ziegler R. Effectiveness of harpagophytum procumbens in treatment of acute low back pain. Phytomedicine. 3(1):1-10, 1996.
  13. Scaglione F. Lund B. Efficacy in the treatment of the common cold of a preparation containing an echinacea extract. International Journal of Immunotherapy. 11(4):163-166, 1995.
  14. Dorn M. Knick E. Lewith G. Placebo-controlled, double-blind study of Echinaceae pallidae radix in upper respiratory tract infections. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Vol 5(1) (pp 40-42), 1997.
  15. Wright-S; Burton-JL Oral evening-primrose-seed oil improves atopic eczema. Lancet. 1982 Nov 20; 2(8308): 1120-2.
  16. Bamford-JT; Gibson-RW; Renier-CM. Atopic eczema unresponsive to evening primrose oil (linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids). J-Am-Acad-Dermatol. 1985 Dec; 13(6): 959-65.
  17. Schalin-Karrila-M; Mattila-L; Jansen-CT; Uotila-P. Evening primrose oil in the treatment of atopic eczema: effect on clinical status, plasma phospholipid fatty acids and circulating blood prostaglandins. Br-J-Dermatol. 1987 Jul; 117(1): 11-9.
  18. Berth-Jones-J; Graham-Brown-RA. Placebo-controlled trial of essential fatty acid supplementation in atopic dermatitis [published erratum appears in Lancet 1993 Aug 28;342(8870):564] [see comments] Lancet. 1993 Jun 19; 341(8860): 1557-60.
  19. Biagi-PL; Bordoni-A; Hrelia-S; Celadon-M; Ricci-GP; Cannella-V; Patrizi-A; Specchia-F; Masi-M. The effect of gamma-linolenic acid on clinical status, red cell fatty acid composition and membrane microviscosity in infants with atopic dermatitis. Drugs-Exp-Clin-Res. 1994; 20(2): 77-84
  20. Brzeski-M; Madhok-R; Capell-HA. Evening primrose oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and side-effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Br-J-Rheumatol. 1991 Oct; 30(5): 370-2.
  21. Leventhal-LJ; Boyce-EG; Zurier-RB. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with gammalinolenic acid [see comments] Ann-Intern-Med. 1993 Nov 1; 119(9): 867-73.
  22. Zurier RB. Rossetti RG. Jacobson EW. Demarco DM. Liu NY. Temming JE. White BM. Laposata M. Gamma-linolenic acid treatment of rheumatoid arthritis - a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 39(11):1808-1817, 1996 Nov.
  23. Veale-DJ; Torley-HI; Richards-IM; O'Dowd-A; Fitzsimons-C; Belch-JJ; Sturrock-RD. A double-blind placebo controlled trial of Efamol Marine on skin and joint symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Br-J-Rheumatol. 1994 Oct; 33(10): 954-8.
  24. Khoo-SK; Munro-C; Battistutta-D. Evening primrose oil and treatment of premenstrual syndrome [see comments] Med-J-Aust. 1990 Aug 20; 153(4): 189-92.
  25. Budeiri D. Po ALW. Dornan JC. Is evening primrose oil of value in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Controlled Clinical Trials. 17(1):60-68, 1996 Feb.
  26. Chenoy-R; Hussain-S; Tayob-Y; O'Brien-PM; Moss-MY; Morse-PF. Effect of oral gamolenic acid from evening primrose oil on menopausal flushing. BMJ. 1994 Feb 19; 308(6927): 501-3.
  27. Haslett-C; Douglas-JG; Chalmers-SR; Weighhill-A; Munro-JF. A double-blind evaluation of evening primrose oil as an antiobesity agent. Int-J-Obes. 1983; 7(6): 549-53
  28. Greenfield-SM; Green-AT; Teare-JP; Jenkins-AP; Punchard-NA; Ainley-CC; Thompson-RP. A randomized controlled study of evening primrose oil and fish oil in ulcerative colitis. Aliment-Pharmacol-Ther. 1993 Apr; 7(2): 159-66.
  29. Aman-MG; Mitchell-EA; Turbott-SH. The effects of essential fatty acid supplementation by Efamol in hyperactive children. J-Abnorm-Child-Psychol. 1987 Mar; 15(1): 75-90.
  30. Arnold-LE; Kleykamp-D; Votolato-NA; Taylor-WA; Kontras-SB; Tobin-K. Gamma-linolenic acid for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: placebo-controlled comparison to D-amphetamine. Biol-Psychiatry. 1989 Jan 15; 25(2): 222-8.
  31. Belch-JJ; Shaw-B; O'Dowd-A; Saniabadi-A; Leiberman-P; Sturrock-RD; Forbes-CD. Evening primrose oil (Efamol) in the treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon: a double blind study. Thromb-Haemost. 1985 Aug 30; 54(2): 490-4.
  32. Oxholm-P; Manthorpe-R; Prause-JU; Horrobin-D. Patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome treated for two months with evening primrose oil. Scand-J-Rheumatol. 1986; 15(2): 103-8.
  33. Oliwiecki-S; Burton-JL. Evening primrose oil and marine oil in the treatment of psoriasis. Clin-Exp-Dermatol. 1994 Mar; 19(2): 127-9.
  34. Palevitch D. Earon G. Carasso R. Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium) as a prophylactic treatment for migraine - a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Phytotherapy Research. 11(7):508-511, 1997 Nov.
  35. Murphy-JJ; Heptinstall-S; Mitchell-JR. Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of feverfew in migraine prevention. Lancet. 1988 Jul 23; 2(8604): 189-92.
  36. Pattrick-M; Heptinstall-S; Doherty-M. Feverfew in rheumatoid arthritis: a double blind, placebo controlled study. Ann-Rheum-Dis. 1989 Jul; 48(7): 547-9.
  37. Silagy-CA; Neil-HA. A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic on blood pressure. J-Hypertens. 1994 Apr; 12(4): 463-8.
  38. Warshafsky-S; Kamer-RS; Sivak-SL. Effect of garlic on total serum cholesterol. A meta-analysis [see comments] Ann-Intern-Med. 1993 Oct 1; 119(7 Pt 1): 599-605.
  39. Silagy-C; Neil-A. Garlic as a lipid lowering agent--a meta-analysis. J-R-Coll-Physicians-Lond. 1994 Jan-Feb; 28(1): 39-45.
  40. Neil HAW. Silagy CA. Lancaster T. Hodgeman J. Vos K. Moore JW. Jones L. Cahill J. Fowler GH. Garlic powder in the treatment of moderate hyperlipidaemia - a controlled trial and meta-analysis. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London. 30(4):329-334, 1996 Jul-Aug.
  41. Grontved A. Brask T. Kambskard J. Hentzer E. Ginger root against seasickness. Acta Oto-Laryngologica. Vol 105(1-2) (pp 45-49), 1988.
  42. Fischer-Rasmussen W. Kjaer SK. Dahl C. Asping U. Ginger treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Biology. Vol 38(1) (pp 19-24), 1990.
  43. Bone ME. Wilkinson DJ. Young JR. McNeil J. Carlton S. Ginger root - a new antiemetic. The effect of ginger root on postoperative nausea and vomiting after major gynaecological surgery. Anaesthesia. Vol 45(8) (pp 669-671), 1990.
  44. Phillips S. Ruggier R. Hutchinson SE. Forum. Zingiber officinale (Ginger) - An antiemetic for day case surgery. Anaesthesia. Vol 48(8) (pp 715-717), 1993.
  45. Arfeen Z. Owen H. Plummer JL. Ilsley AH. Sorby-Adams RAC. Doecke CJ. A double-blind randomized controlled trial of ginger for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care. Vol 23(4) (pp 449-452), 1995.
  46. Kleijnen J. Knipschild P. Ginkgo biloba for cerebral insufficiency. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 1992 34:352-8.
  47. Kleijnen-J; Knipschild-P Ginkgo biloba. Lancet. 1992 Nov 7; 340(8828): 1136-9.
  48. Lebars PL. Katz MM. Berman N. Itil TM. Freedman AM. Schatzberg AF. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial of an extract of ginkgo biloba for dementia. JAMA. 278(16):1327-1332, 1997 Oct 22.
  49. Rowin J. Lewis SL. Spontaneous bilateral subdural hematomas associated with chronic ginkgo biloba ingestion. Neurology. 46(6):1775-1776, 1996 Jun.
  50. Rosenblatt M. Mindel J. Spontaneous hyphema associated with ingestion of ginkgo biloba extract. New England Journal of Medicine. 336(15):1108, 1997 Apr 10.
  51. Holgers-KM; Axelsson-A; Pringle-I. Ginkgo biloba extract for the treatment of tinnitus. Audiology. 1994 Mar-Apr; 33(2): 85-92.
  52. Engels HJ. Said JM. Wirth JC. Failure of chronic ginseng supplementation to affect work performance and energy metabolism in healthy adult females. Nutrition Research. 16(8):1295-1305, 1996 Aug.
  53. Engels HJ. Wirth JC. No ergogenic effects of ginseng (panax ginseng meyer,c.a.) during graded maximal aerobic exercise. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 97(10):1110-1115, 1997 Oct.
  54. Morris AC. Jacobs I. Mclellan TM. Klugerman A. Wang LCH. Zamecnik J. No ergogenic effect of ginseng ingestion. International Journal of Sport Nutrition. 6(3):263-271, 1996 Sep.
  55. Dowling EA. Redondo DR. Branch JD. Jones S. Mcnabb G. Williams MH. Effect of eleutherococcus senticosus on submaximal and maximal exercise performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 28(4):482-489, 1996 Apr.
  56. Scaglione F. Cattaneo G. Alessandria M. Cogo R. Efficacy and safety of the standardized ginseng extract g 115 for potentiating vaccination against common cold and/or influenza syndrome. Drugs Under Experimental & Clinical Research. 22(2):65-72, 1996.
  57. D'Angelo-L; Grimaldi-R; Caravaggi-M; Marcoli-M; Perucca-E; Lecchini-S; Frigo-GM; Crema-A. A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study on the effect of a standardized ginseng extract on psychomotor performance in healthy volunteers. J-Ethnopharmacol. 1986 Apr-May; 16(1): 15-22.
  58. Linde K. Ramirez G. Mulrow CD. Pauls A. Weidenhammer W. Melchart D. St-John wort for depression - an overview and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. British Medical Journal. 313(7052):253-258, 1996 Aug 3.
  59. Golsch S. Vocks E. Rakoski J. Brockow K. Ring J. Reversible increase of photosensitivity by St.-Johns-wort-extract [German] Hautarzt. 48(4):249-252, 1997 Apr.
  60. Lowe FC. Ku JC. Phytotherapy in treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia - a critical review [Review] Urology. 48(1):12-20, 1996 Jul.
  61. Carraro JC. Raynaud JP. Koch G. Chisholm GD. Disilverio F. Teillac P. Dasilva FC. Cauquil J. Chopin DK. Hamdy FC. Hanus M. Hauri D. Kalinteris A. Marencak J. Perier A. Perrin P. Comparison of phytotherapy (permixon(r)) with finasteride in the treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia - a randomized international study of 1,098 patients. Prostate. 29(4):231-240, 1996 Oct.
  62. Perharic L. Shaw D. Leon C. Desmet PAGM. Murray VSG. Possible association of liver damage with the use of chinese herbal medicine for skin disease. Veterinary & Human Toxicology. 37(6):562-566, 1995 Dec.
  63. Sheehan-MP; Rustin-MH; Atherton-DJ; Buckley-C; Harris-DW; Brostoff-J; Ostlere-L; Dawson-A; Harris-DJ [corrected to Harris-DW] Efficacy of traditional Chinese herbal therapy in adult atopic dermatitis [published erratum appears in Lancet 1992 Jul 18;340(8812):188] [see comments] Lancet. 1992 Jul 4; 340(8810): 13-7.
  64. Court WA. Reynolds LB. Hendel JG. Influence Of Root Age On The Concentration Of Ginsenosides Of American Ginseng (Panax Quinquefolium). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 76(4):853-855, 1996 Oct.
  65. Smith RG. Caswell D. Carriere A. Zielke B. Variation In The Ginsenoside Content Of American Ginseng, Panax Quinquefolius L, Roots. Canadian Journal of Botany-Revue Canadienne de Botanique. 74(10):1616-1620, 1996 Oct.
  66. Tai-YT; But-PP; Young-K; Lau-CP Cardiotoxicity after accidental herb-induced aconite poisoning [see comments] Lancet. 1992 Nov 21; 340(8830): 1254-6.
  67. Espinoza EO. Mann MJ. Bleasdell B. Dekorte S. Cox M. Toxic Metals In Selected Traditional Chinese Medicinals. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 41(3):453-456, 1996 May.
  68. Prpicmajic D. Pizent A. Jurasovic J. Pongracic J. Resteksamarzija N. Lead poisoning associated with the use of ayurvedic metal-mineral tonics. Journal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology. 34(4):417-423, 1996.
  69. Winship-KA Toxicity of comfrey. Adverse-Drug-React-Toxicol-Rev. 1991 Spring; 10(1): 47-59.
  70. Sheikh NM. Philen RM. Love LA. Chaparral-associated Hepatotoxicity. Archives of Internal Medicine. 157(8):913-919, 1997 Apr 28.
  71. Laliberte L. Villeneuve JP. Hepatitis After The Use Of Germander, A Herbal Remedy. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 154(11):1689-1692, 1996 Jun 1.
  72. Anderson IB. Mullen WH. Meeker JE. Khojastehbakht SC. Oishi S. Nelson SD. Blanc PD. Pennyroyal Toxicity - Measurement Of Toxic Metabolite Levels In Two Cases And Review Of The Literature. Annals of Internal Medicine. 124(8):726 ff., 1996 Apr 15.
  73. Depierreux-M; Van-Damme-B; Vanden-Houte-K; Vanherweghem-JL. Pathologic aspects of a newly described nephropathy related to the prolonged use of Chinese herbs. Am-J-Kidney-Dis. 1994 Aug; 24(2): 172-80.
  74. Chan TYK. Critchley JAJH. Usage And Adverse Effects Of Chinese Herbal Medicines. Human & Experimental Toxicology. 15(1):5-12, 1996 Jan.
  75. Scaglione F. Lund B. Efficacy in the treatment of the common cold of a preparation containing an echinacea extract. International Journal of Immunotherapy. 11(4):163-166, 1995.
  76. Dorn M. Knick E. Lewith G. Placebo-controlled, double-blind study of Echinaceae pallidae radix in upper respiratory tract infections. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Vol 5(1) (pp 40-42), 1997.
  77. Janssen PLTMK. Meyboom S. Van Staveren WA. De Vegt F. Katan MB. Consumption of ginger (Zingiber Officinale Roscoe) does not affect ex vivo platelet thromboxane production in humans. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol 50(11) (pp 772-774), 1996.
  78. Roncin JP. Schwartz F. Darbigny P. EGB 761 in control of acute mountain sickness and vascular reactivity to cold exposure. Aviation Space & Environmental Medicine. 67(5):445-452, 1996 May.
  79. Mouren-X; Caillard-P; Schwartz-F. Study of the antiischemic action of EGb 761 in the treatment of peripheral arterial occlusive disease by TcPo2 determination. Angiology. 1994 Jun; 45(6): 413-7.
  80. Sotaniemi EA. Haapakoski E. Rautio A. Ginseng therapy in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients - effects on psychophysical performance, glucose homeostasis, serum lipids, serum aminoterminalpropeptide concentration, and body weight. Diabetes Care. 18(10):1373-1375, 1995 Oct.
  81. Cui-J; Garle-M; Eneroth-P; Bjorkhem-I. What do commercial ginseng preparations contain? [letter] Lancet. 1994 Jul 9; 344(8915): 134.
  82. Chosidow O. Dega H. Peytavin G. Ginseng as cause of stevens-johnson syndrome. Lancet. 348(9022):267, 1996 Jul 27.
  83. Janetzky K. Morreale AP. Probable interaction between warfarin and ginseng. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 54(6):692-693, 1997 Mar 15.
  84. Ginseng. Med-Lett-Drugs-Ther. 1980 Aug 22; 22(17): 72.
  85. Grasso-M; Montesano-A; Buonaguidi-A; Castelli-M; Lania-C; Rigatti-P; Rocco-F; Cesana-BM; Borghi-C. Comparative effects of alfuzosin versus Serenoa repens in the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Arch-Esp-Urol. 1995 Jan-Feb; 48(1): 97-103.
  86. Sheehan MP. Stevens H. Ostlere LS. Atherton DJ. Brostoff J. Rustin MHA. Follow-up of adult patients with atopic eczema treated with Chinese herbal therapy for 1 year. Clinical & Experimental Dermatology. Vol 20(2) (pp 136-140), 1995.
  87. Ferguson JE. Chalmers RJG. Rowlands DJ. Reversible dilated cardiomyopathy following treatment of atopic eczema with chinese herbal medicine. British Journal of Dermatology. 136(4):592-593, 1997 Apr.