Herbal remedies, or botanicals, are supplement preparations made from various plant components. Herbals typically contain numerous chemical compounds. One study found that 34% of the U.S. population used herbal remedies at least once, and 14% took at least one herbal remedy consistently from June 2002 to June 2003 (Rogers, 2005). Chinese herbs, Ayurvedic herbs, and Latin American herbs are frequently used, but the great number of available herbs from around the world is not the only issue to discuss with patients. A given remedy's potency and efficacy are influenced by where an herb was grown, the particular species used in the formulation, how the plant products were processed, which plant parts were used, and which compounds were used for chemical standardization. Table 52-3 lists common forms of herbal preparations. Table 52-4 lists some of the most common individual herbs, with indications, efficacy, and potential adverse effects and drug interactions.
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