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What standards are applicable to the manufacture of herbal medicines?

Herbal medicine, also referred to as botanical medicine or phytomedicine (phyto is Greek for "plant"), has been used for centuries in almost all cultures. Some herbs can be grown at home, and dried herbs are widely available and inexpensive. However, manufactured herbal preparations and concentrated herbal extracts available at health food stores may be quite expensive. Only a few herbal preparations are standardized; for many herbs, the active compounds have not been identified.

The quality of herbal preparations sold in the United States is inconsistent. In an attempt to address this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued quality control guidelines to manufacturers. However, the guidelines are voluntary, so it is important to purchase herbs from reputable sources. Herbalists in the United States are not certified or licensed to prescribe herbal medicines, but they may belong to the American Herbalists Guild.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD -- FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH" Pregnancy and birth are as ordinary...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.