Handbook of Medicinal Herbs

893 Pages · 2006 · 7.72 MB · English

  • Handbook of Medicinal Herbs

    H A N D B O O K O F




    1284_frame_FM Page 2 Thursday, May 23, 2002 10:53 AM H A N D B O O K O F




    James A. Duke


    Mary Jo Bogenschutz-Godwin

    Judi duCellier

    Peggy-Ann K. Duke


    Boca Raton London New York Washington, D.C.

    Peggy-Ann K. Duke has the copyright to all black and white line and color illustrations.

    The author would like to express thanks to Nature’s Herbs for the color slides presented in the book.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Duke, James A., 1929-

    Handbook of medicinal herbs / James A. Duke, with Mary Jo Bogenschutz-Godwin,

    Judi duCellier, Peggy-Ann K. Duke.-- 2nd ed.

    p. cm.

    Previously published: CRC handbook of medicinal herbs.

    Includes bibliographical references and index.

    ISBN 0-8493-1284-1 (alk. paper)

    1. Medicinal plants. 2. Herbs. 3. Herbals. 4. Traditional medicine. 5. Material medica,

    Vegetable. I. Duke, James A., 1929- CRC handbook of medicinal herbs. II. Title.

    [DNLM: 1. Medicine, Herbal. 2. Plants, Medicinal.]

    QK99.A1 D83 2002

    615′.321--dc21 2002017548

    This book contains information obtained from authentic and highly regarded sources. Reprinted material is quoted with

    permission, and sources are indicated. A wide variety of references are listed. Reasonable efforts have been made to publish

    reliable data and information, but the author and the publisher cannot assume responsibility for the validity of all materials

    or for the consequences of their use.

    Neither this book nor any part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,

    including photocopying, microfilming, and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without prior

    permission in writing from the publisher.

    The consent of CRC Press LLC does not extend to copying for general distribution, for promotion, for creating new works,

    or for resale. Specific permission must be obtained in writing from CRC Press LLC for such copying.

    Direct all inquiries to CRC Press LLC, 2000 N.W. Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, Florida 33431.

    Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for

    identification and explanation, without intent to infringe.

    Visit the CRC Press Web site at www.crcpress.com

    © 2002 by CRC Press LLC

    No claim to original U.S. Government works

    International Standard Book Number 0-8493-1284-1

    Library of Congress Card Number 2002017548

    Printed in the United States of America 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

    Printed on acid-free paper


    By the time this second edition is published, the first edition of the Handbook of Medicinal Herbs

    will have been out more than 15 years. The second edition is designed to present most of the old

    information plus new information on the more important of those original 365 herbs. I submitted

    the first edition under the original unpublished title, Herbs of Dubious Salubrity. I intentionally left

    out many of the completely safe culinary herbs, spices, and food plants that are clearly medicinal.

    I also intentionally omitted some strictly dangerous herbs, such as foxglove, that were too unhealthy

    for use in unskilled hands. I did include several obscure hallucinogenic plants of dubious salubrity.

    I did, or should have, dropped some of these because they have little medicinal importance. Some

    poorly documented species, such as Mimosa hostilis and Phoradendron leucarpum, for example,

    were retained with fragmentary entries, so as to at least mention species from the first edition that

    might better have been dropped.

    Now I think I have the most important herbs well covered here. In edition two, which I will

    refer to frequently as my Herbal Desk Reference (HDR), I have tried to concisely corral the data

    on some 1000 herbs in as little space as possible, striving to make a reliable, referenced resource

    to parallel the PDR for Herbal Medicines. I use the three-letter abbreviation, HDR, to indicate the

    second edition of my Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, because I compare and contrast it to other

    important sources, which are also represented by three-letter abbreviations. (See the reference

    abbreviation appendix.)

    With this edition, I have tried to cover most of the widely mentioned medicinal plants, whether

    they are extremely salubrious or extremely toxic. Without counting them, I estimate we include

    more than 1000 of the most important herbs, including the more important herbs from the young

    Native American and the European traditions (including most of those approved by Commission

    E (KOM), and almost all of those included in the PDR for Herbal Medicine (PHR for the first

    edition, and PH2 for the second edition). Unlike Commission E and the Herbal PDR, which seem

    to stress European and American traditions, I include proportionately more herbs from the older

    African, Ayurvedic, and Chinese traditions as well, not wanting to slight any major medicinal plant

    from any major tradition.

    Let me explain the new format for the second edition. First, a common name appears, usually

    but not always in English, followed by a recently accepted scientific name, with the authority for

    the scientific name. Then follows a safety score, X, +, ++, or +++. An X means I don’t recommend

    taking it at all, or realize that it is so dangerous that it should not be taken without expert guidance.

    But for litigious reasons, I give some potent medicinal herbs the X (amateurs beware!). A single

    plus (+) indicates that I do not consider that the herb is, overall, as safe as coffee. I score two

    pluses (++) for those herbs I think of, overall, as being as safe as coffee. I score three pluses (+++)

    for those herbs I believe to be safer than coffee. In the first edition, I related the plus sign to a cup

    of coffee, figuring that 1, 2, or 3 cups per day of an herbal tea from the herb would be as safe as

    1, 2, or 3 cups per day of coffee. I often drink more than 3 cups of coffee a day, especially while

    I worked on this project! Clearly, this is an oversimplification. Too often, some parts of a plant are

    more helpful or more toxic than other parts of the same species, and different ethnic groups or

    cultures may use parts differently. The safety scoring is a continuation of the same scoring system

    I used in the first edition. Some scores have been upgraded a bit, some have been downgraded.

    Often, there are some comments on synonymy and other nomenclature difficulties that arose

    in completing this opus. I inject these following the nomenclature line. Here you may find some

    proven and/or suspected synonyms, or notes of related species that may be included in this species

    concept, especially by nontaxonomically trained authors. I have often used, as final arbiter of

    scientific names and sometimes common names, the nomenclature database at the USDA (www.ars-

    grin.gov; curator, Dr. John. H. Wiersema: sbmljw@ars-grin.gov).

    Unfortunately, the new American Herbal Products Association (AHP) book on nomenclature

    arrived too late for our consideration. Attempts to standardize common names, although admirable,

    are often aggravating to special interests. It was with some misgiving that I arranged this book

    alphabetically by common names, when the first edition was by scientific name. It generated big

    headaches for all of us who think more along the lines of scientific names. Would it be under

    mulberry or black mulberry, chamomile or German chamomile? Some plants have dozens of

    common names. Several have suffered almost as many scientific names, such as, for example,

    feverfew. Hopefully, you will find it easy to use.

    In the Activities and Indications sections, parenthetical numbers are followed by three-letter

    abbreviations (abbreviation of source) or an alphanumeric X-1111111 to identify PubMed citations.

    A parenthetical efficacy score of (1) means that a chemical in the plant or in an extract of the plant

    has shown the activity or proven out experimentally (animal, not clinical) for the indication. This

    could be in vitro animal or assay experiments. A hint: not real human proof! Nothing clinical yet!

    I give it a score of (2) if the aqueous extract, ethanolic extract, or decoction or tea derived from

    the plant has been shown to have the activity, or to support the indication in clinical trials.

    Commission E (KOM) and Tramil Commission (TRA) approvals were automatically given a score

    of (2) also, because they represented consensus opinions of distinguished panels. The rare score

    of (3) for efficacy means that clinical trials exist to show that the plant itself (not just an extract

    or phytochemical derivative) has the indications or activities. The solitary score of (f) in many of

    the citations means it is unsupported folk medicine, or I have not seen the science to back it up.

    The three-letter abbreviations are useful short citations of the references consulted in arriving at

    these numbers. I have by no means cited every source. However, unlike KOM and hopefully better

    than PHR, we indicate at least one source for every indication and activity we report.

    Thus, we have a score for Safety and a score for Efficacy, the latter backed up by the three-

    letter abbreviations or citations, often PubMed citations. In addition to our three letter abbreviations

    for the frequently consulted texts, we occasionally cite articles cited from the PubMed database

    with their unique abstract number, preceded by the letter X. For example, I received a paper showing

    that ginger contained several COX-2 inhibitors. I looked in the PubMed database to find the unique

    abstract citation number, PMID: 11437391, which I shortened for database purpose to X11437391.

    So, all alpha-numeric (X-numerical) combinations will refer you to the source in the PubMed

    database. Whenever I update one of my Herb-a-Day columns, I automatically search PubMed for

    >species name AND 2000 <, which automatically gives me the post 1999 abstracts. In 2001, I

    search for >species AND 2001<. Then I order hard copies of those articles that look promising for

    database purposes.

    Often, many more than 10 sources were involved in my decision-making. In many instances,

    I limited citations to three, typically the ones that were most important at arriving at my scores.

    Not wanting to blow my own horn, my own books were first to be deleted from the list when it

    exceeded three. In preparing this edition I realized that for patent litigation, the earlier citations

    were most valuable, so at the last minute I added several older references, such as DEP, FEL, HHB,

    and MAD. For example, even I was surprised when I read about Remifemin in HHB (1973, p. 12),

    three decades ago, since Remifemin seems so new here in America. But in my mind it is just

    another native American remedy, coming back home to us, slightly upgraded, after having been

    better studied in Europe than it has been in America (other examples include evening primrose,

    passionflower, and saw palmetto). DEP and FEL citations are more than 100 years old, and might

    be useful in challenging frivolous patents.

    One very important abbreviation, WAM, might as well be viewed as MOM, meaning pediatric.

    This comes from the excellent book, Kids, Herbs, Health, by Dr. Linda White, MD, and Sunny

    Mavor. So, if you are looking for an herb that has been suggested by a pediatrician, scroll down

    to WAM. Ditto for PIP, Hans Schilcher’s Phytotherapy in Paediatrics.

    This is an evolving system that changes as new science validates the folklore, often resulting

    in an upgrading of the indication or activity. Occasionally, bad news about the plant will result in

    my lowering its safety rating, from +++ to ++, or ++ to +, or + to X. This does not constitute my

    recommendation of an herb. It merely indicates how I think the herb compares with others, based

    on the literature surveyed. As a botanist, I cannot legally, and do not, prescribe. But I find mechanical

    searches of the Handbook of Medicinal Herbs to be an extremely fast way to find the better herbs

    for a given indication.

    We have used the same abbreviations that are used in my database at the USDA (http://www.ars-

    grin.gov/duke). I much prefer the abbreviations used there because they do not get you into as

    much trouble when you e-mail a query to the taxpaying public. For example, the preferred abbre-

    viation of microgram, at least with some publishers (including CRC), but not me, is µg. Too often,

    if I put that abbreviation (or use an italicized u) in an e-mail, the u or µ disappears and the reader

    receives g instead of ug or µg, giving an often dangerously high reading, a million times too high.

    Ditto for ul or µl (microliter) as opposed to ml (milliliter). And with uM and mM, micromole and

    millimole, respectively.

    In a sense, my scored second edition is a loner’s approach to a Commission E, but I am the sole

    member of the fictitious commission, Commission U.S. for us, here in the good old USA. Note that

    unlike the ratings in, for example, APA, my ratings assess the efficacy of each activity and indication.

    I’ll keep revising the scoring for an online version as new information, positive or negative,

    comes in on the safety or efficacy of the herb, or chemicals it contains. So, like the allopaths, health

    announcers, and reporters, I reserve the right to change my mind as I oscillate from side to side

    of the pendulum on my long, tedious, treacherous, and tumultuous trip, veering like a coiled

    caduceus, deviously toward the truth.

    Users will find it easy to search and find which herbs score highest for efficacy and safety. The

    three-letter abbreviations will lead them to some, but by no means all, of the sources I consulted

    including the one(s) or some of them that led me to the numerical scores for efficacy. The scores

    are my own. Only rarely did all the cited and consulted sources agree; but one of the indicated

    sources provided the evidence that led me to arrive at the assigned score. By no means should

    these scores be attributed to anyone except me.


    A warning: my highest ratings are my best ratings. With the American Pharmaceutical Association

    (APA) and the American Herbal Products Association (AHP), the converse is true: the higher the

    number, the lower the rating. APA’s best, (1), is verified by large clinical, randomized, placebo-

    controlled, double-blind, human trials. That too would have gotten approval, we assume, in Commis-

    sion E. That would get a (2) in my HDR, if the study were of an extract of the plant, but a (3) for

    example if the study were of the natural whole herb, such as garlic or onion. The APA (1) and the

    HDR (3) scores are rare indeed. Their number (1) means “Years of use and extensive, high-quality

    studies indicate that this substance is very effective and safe when used in recommended amounts

    for the indication(s) noted in the ‘Will It Work For You?’ section.” Unfortunately, they often mention

    unapproved, unstudied folklore in this section, even clearly noting that it was unapproved. With APA,

    (2) is a large, clinical human trial, but not necessarily double blind and placebo controlled. That would

    also get a (2) in my HDR, if the study were of an extract of the plant, but a (3) if the study were of

    the whole herb, rather than the extract. And the third one is hard for me to believe, but here is the

    quote, “large, placebo-controlled animal experiment.” That would get a (1) in my HDR. The APA (4)

    is for in vitro studies, which I suppose includes studies, e.g., of isolated phytochemicals. Those score

    (1) in HDR. The APA (5) is for decades or centuries of well-known folk use, but no supporting studies.

    That would get an (f) for folkloric in the HDR. APA (6) is a large collection of case histories, which

    would also get an (f) in HDR. At the bottom of the APA ladder is the personal anecdote, which of

    course, also gets an (f), even though it has not yet evolved into folklore.


    A few specific comments regarding the American Herbal Products Association (AHP). Although I

    like the way they handled some perplexing little details, such as idiosyncratic allergies, trivial

    quantities of toxic substances, etc., I’m a little alarmed by their ‘Class 1’ definition. Why alarmed?

    Because I feel that all drugs, whether they be synthetic, phytochemical, nutritional, or herbal, “can

    be safely consumed when used appropriately.”

    Class 1: Can be safely consumed if used appropriately.

    Class 2: Herbs with the following use restrictions apply; unless otherwise directed by an

    expert qualified in the use of the substance:

    (2a) External use only

    (2b) Not for use in pregnancy

    (2c) Not for use while nursing

    (2d) Other restrictions as noted

    Class 3: Herbs with significant data suggesting labeling: “To be used only under the super-

    vision of an expert qualified in the appropriate use of this substance.” Labeling must

    include proper use information: dosage, contraindications, potential adverse effects and

    drug interactions, and other information pertinent to the safe use of the substance.

    Class 4: Herbs with data insufficient for classification.

    Why don’t I like that ‘Class 1’ definition? My interpretation of ‘Class 1’ definition is that

    all herbs are ‘Class 1’ and can be safely used if used appropriately (appropriate is safe). Similarly,

    I think we could say appropriately for many, if not most, herbs what AHPA says of labeling

    information that should be required for aloe, “Do not use this product if you have abdominal

    pain or diarrhea. Consult a health care provider prior to use if you are pregnant or nursing.

    Discontinue use in the event of diarrhea or watery stools. Do not exceed recommended dose.

    Not for long term use.” (AHP, 1997)

    A subset of American phytomedicine advocates argue that we should emulate the German

    Commission E’s Standard of Excellence. Which one? Two versions came out in 1998, purporting

    to be authentic English presentations of the Commission E conclusions. There were some differ-

    ences; e.g., Blumenthal’s very careful book (identified as KOM in this book) states that hyssop is

    unapproved by Commission E, while Gruenwald, in the second edition of the PDR for Herbal

    Medicine, says hyssop is approved for colds, fevers, and gallbladder and liver complaints. In the

    title line, where I evaluate safety, I scored hyssop with three pluses (+++), meaning that I think it

    is safer than coffee as an herbal medicine. As to efficacy, I had decided to let Commission E

    endorsement rank 2 in my Activities and Indications columns.

    This example of divergence between the published “Commission E” interpretations of

    hyssop (and there are more than ten English interpretations of Commission E now) is just one

    of many that I encountered as I traversed most of these interpretations. It really raises a serious

    question again that I raised for myself back in the early 1980s as I was working on my Medicinal

    Plants of China. Clearly, I was capable of working only with the English translations of Chinese

    books on medicinal plants, embellished by three trips to China. I assumed that by the time I

    had compiled most of the information from five different books, there would be little new

    information as I traversed the sixth. But diminishing returns had not yet set in. There are a few

    major discrepancies in recent translations of romance language, scientific German, as with

    Commission E. How many more can we expect in translations of ancient Chinese, Hindu, and

    Sanscrit writings that are thousands of years old? Small wonder we often encounter differences

    of opinion.

    One can only be thankful that these books have survived because they document millennia

    of empirical wisdom. The best of the herbal medicines have survived and the worst have been

    marginalized. That took thousands of years. You can almost say the same of pharmaceuticals:

    some have survived, while some of the worst have been marginalized or withdrawn. But none

    of the pharmaceuticals have survived more than 200 years with us. But the ~140 herbs

    mentioned in the Bible have been with us 2000 years. A recent study showed that humans

    have been active in the Biblical area for at least 1,700,000 years. So, the genes of some humans

    have experienced many of the phytochemicals from Biblical plants for nearly 2 million years.

    More new synthetics hit the market each year, to your peril, but few new herbs surface in a

    given year. Mankind does not want bad medicine. Man empirically selects the good and rejects

    the bad. I feel strongly that many of the herbs treated in this book are as good as the competing

    synthetic pharmaceuticals, and almost always cost less, in dollars and in side effects. Until

    the better of these herbs have been clinically compared with the pharmaceuticals, neither your

    physician nor mine, nor you nor I, knows for sure which is best. Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals

    will kill more than 100,000 Americans a year, as per JAMA, a propharmaceutical journal, while

    herbs will kill fewer than 100, as per the conservative Washington Post in an antiherb article

    (Gugliotta, March 19, 2000). On May 1, 2002, the Journal of the American Medical Association

    (JAMA) suggested that adverse drug reactions may be the leading cause of death in the United



    SYNONYM: In some cases I list one or more taxonomic synonyms often following the USDA

    Nomenclature database, curated by John Wiersema http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/tax/taxgenform.html.

    ACTIVITIES: Most of the published biological activities that crossed my desk are listed

    alphabetically, with each activity followed by the “f” or numerical score for efficacy, followed by

    the citation for the source.

    INDICATIONS: Most published indications that crossed my desk are listed alphabetically,

    with each indication followed by the “f” or numerical score for efficacy, followed by the

    citation for the source. It was with some trepidation that I converted more specific terms such

    as arthritis to arthrosis, and bronchitis to bronchosis, but I think that was a more economical

    (space-wise) way of presenting the data. Classically, the suffix “itis” means inflammation, and

    “osis” means ailment of. Thus, arthritis is inflammation of the joint, and arthrosis is broader,

    meaning an ailment in the joint. Where some author just said “for joint problems,” that became

    “arthrosis,” but where they were more specific and said inflammation of the joint, it means

    the more specific “arthritis.” Toward the end we aggregated both under “arthrosis.” Many

    people will dislike that I converted all the more specific -itis entries to -osis, rather than

    somewhat redundantly include both.

    DOSAGE: I have attempted in this edition to give the range of published dosage ranges I have

    encountered. With good editorial prodding, I have gone back to my sources to see if they specified

    which plant part. In some cases my sources were not specific as to plant part. And sometimes one

    source specified one part, another source identified another part. A few dosages were taken right

    off the bottles of herbs. If there are dangerous published dosages given under dangerous herbs, I

    have indicated with an “X” that it should not be taken except with a skilled practitioner on hand.

    null of the dosages originate with me (except for an occasional “food farmacy” comment,

    indicating that the herb is eaten as food); they are from the literature, as indicated by the usual set

    of abbreviations. Several do, however, represent dosages said to have been approved by Commission

    E, especially those cited with the abbreviations KOM, PHR, and PH2. I suppose by appearing in

    Please note: To fully download this free PDF,EBook files you need know All free.
    Found by internet command,site not saved pdf file
You May Also Like

Related PPT Template in the same category.