paper, 137 p., $14.95
For the person seeking sensible, responsible information about medicinal herbs, this book by a leading pharmacognosist will provide guidance in a largely uncharted sea of information — good, bad and indifferent. But as with any proposed treatment, the reader must take responsibility for studying every word in these pages, particularly the clear cautions and warnings. The author points out that none of these plant remedies have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration, a point that many consumers will consider a badge of honor but that puts their health at risk if they ignore the caveats. One invaluable admonition is that users should be aware of interactions between herbs and prescription drugs and report the use of herbs to their medical caregivers, a rule more honored in breach than in observance. The reader will come away better informed and more critical, which is the author's greatest hope.
— John F. Swenson, Volunteer, Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden.