Clinical Trials for Herbal Extracts
DOI link for Clinical Trials for Herbal Extracts
Clinical Trials for Herbal Extracts book
The use of herbal medications has soared over the last decade. In 1997, an estimated 12% of the population used over-the-counter herbal products, resulting in billions of dollars in sales for the herbal industry (1). Herbal therapy has become popular for a number of reasons. First, herbs are relatively inexpensive when compared to prescription medications. They may be viewed by consumers as cost-effective alternatives to conventional therapies. Second, they are “natural” substances that are assumed to be safe. They are free from the negative stigma attached to many commonly prescribed medicines. Third, they represent a quick fix for many patients. There is the potential for disease prevention and treatment without the need for practitioner visits, prescriptions, lifestyle changes, or unpleasant procedures. Finally, herbs are easily accessible. As a result of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, deregulation of the herbal industry occurred. Premarket testing of products for safety or efficacy was no longer required. Supplements were suddenly assumed to be safe unless proven otherwise by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This has resulted in a plethora of herbal products flooding neighborhood supermarkets and drugstores.