Adriane Fugh-Berman M.D.

The 5-Minute Herb and Dietary Supplement Clinical Consult

Rating: 5 Stars from Doody
This book provides healthcare professionals with easy access to a wealth of information on a wide range of commonly used herbs, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, probiotics, enzymes, over-the-counter hormones, and other dietary supplements.

Purpose: The author states that "this is a personal book" and it is intended to be both entertaining and educational. It is intended as a quick reference and covers claims, indications, scientific evidence, possible benefits, adverse effects, contraindications and drug interactions for each herb and supplement. The author's objectives are realistic and greatly needed. To date, there are very few books that integrate information about herbs and dietary supplements in the same book.

The book reviews 175 commonly used herbs and dietary supplements. Each section provides basic information, including a description of the herb and/​or supplement, the parts used, known/​active constituents, food sources, main functions and pharmacokinetics. Evidence incorporates selected clinical trials, animal and in-vitro studies, and other claimed benefits and actions. Potential and known risks are described and include adverse reactions and drug interactions. Information on dosage is provided, as well as a very interesting and entertaining section on common questions and answers relating to each herb and/​or supplement. There is an extensive reference section at the back of the book. Reference tables are provided, and include a wonderful herb chart that provides the English, Latin, Pharmacopoeial, Spanish, French, and German names for each herb. This is extremely useful for finding the English equivalent for herbs that clients from different cultures use. There is also an excellent dietary intake reference for vitamins and elements that includes functions, dose/​age, selected food sources, adverse effects of excessive consumption, and special considerations. As the reference guide that it is meant to be, there are very few shortcomings. Each herb and/​or supplement is given two pages for the summary of all of the information described above. The book provides relevant information and offers easy access to a basic understanding of the herb and/​or supplement.

Assessment: This book is an excellent guide to a majority of the commonly used herbs and dietary supplements. The information is efficiently organized, concise, and, in many instances, entertaining."

- Doody Review Services (Robert E Burke, MPS, BS, Pace University).

"While there are many excellent print and electronic sources on herbs and dietary substances (e.g., Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database; The Review of Natural Products Online), the busy clinician still needs an easy-to-use compendium that provides the essentials. This book, written by one of the first physicians to address alternative medicine (Alternative Medicine: What Works), serves that purpose. Arranged alphabetically by botanical or dietary supplement, the two-page entries include Latin and biological names, descriptions, pharmacokinetics, evidence, risks, drug interactions, and dosages. The most helpful sections are the "10 second take," which sums up the most important information in one sentence, and "common questions and answers." If readers want more in-depth information, they can consult the numerous reliable, up-to-date references given with each entry. As the author explains in her introduction, she did not include studies from alternative medical journals or Chinese medical literature, "as their quality is not yet up to Western methodological studies." Because of the increased interest in herbs, this volume is highly recommended as a ready-reference source for both academic medical and public library consumer health collections.
- Library Journal (Natalie Kupferberg, Biological Sciences/​Pharmacy Lib., Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information).

Selected Works

A comprehensive, scientific, quick-reference guide to herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements.