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West Indian Med J. 2010 Oct;59(5):503-8.

Drug-herb interaction: database of medicinal plants of the Caribbean, their indications, toxicities and possible interactions with conventional medication.

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  • 1Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados, West Indies.



Healthcare professionals in the Caribbean today know very little about these drug-herb interactions of the popular West Indian medicinal herb practices linked to the immigrants from West Africa and India, and to the indigenous Amerindians. It is the intent of this project to produce a database which comprehensively summarizes indications and possible drug-herb interactions of these plants.


Using the database programme Epi Info 3.5.1, one hundred and eighty-three herbs used in the Caribbean as medicine by locals have been entered into the West Indian Drug Herb Interaction Database version 0.06 (WIDHID 0.06).


A range of one to three common names have been entered with the family and scientific name of each herb, in addition to a range of one to six conditions/illnesses for which a particular plant was to be used as a medicinal herb. One to four bioactive compounds have been made to correlate with the typical herbal preparation methods and toxicity. Thirty of the most common and popular herbs have been researched for their drug herb interactions.


West Indian Drug Herb Interaction Database version 0.06 for the first time allows easy access to Caribbean ethno-medicinal plant cures with their possible drug-herb interactions reference sources, a feature often absent although so important. In addition, WIDHID 0.06 will support pharmaco-epidemiological studies in the field. It will also ensure future public access to ethno-medicinal information through developed web pages or programmes.

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