The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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  • Recent Comments

    A Bent view of herbals

    Dr. Stephen Bent is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

    Here’s his view.

    • Herbs can be sold without demonstrating safety and efficacy.
    • In fact, limited scientific evidence supports the safety and efficacy of most herbal products.
    • They are often perceived as “natural” and therefore safe. Yet, many side effects owing to active ingredients, contaminants, or interactions with drugs have been reported — as summarized here and here.

    The bottom line?
    Of the top 10 herbs, only 5 (ginkgo, garlic, St. John’s wort, soy, and kava) have scientific evidence suggesting efficacy.

    Dr. Bent concludes, “Herbals are not likely to become an important alternative to standard medical therapies unless there are changes to the regulation, standardization, and funding for research of these products.”

    That sounds right to me. Based on current funding, when it comes to herbals, it’s really “CaM,” not “CAM.” Any change will require big pharma type funding.

    7/22/08 20:56 JR

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