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Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Mar;42(3):157-9.

Are herbal medicines effective?

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Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.


Herbal medicine is again popular and its widespread use demands that we assess its effectiveness objectively. The evidence in this area has grown considerably in recent years, not least due to the endeavors of the Cochrane Collaboration. They show amongst other things that it is possible to evaluate herbal medicines in much the same way as conventional drugs. By far the biggest hindrance to research into herbal medicine is the lack of funds available for this line of scientific investigation. In view of the present popularity of herbal medicine it seems necessary to overcome obstacles to rigorous research and establish which herbal medicines do more good than harm for which conditions.

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