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ABC Launches New Pharmacy Education Course With Monographs on Popular Herbs.
The American Botanical Council has produced a new home study continuing education (CE) herbs and phytomedicines course for pharmacists. The new material consists of a series of brief monographs on 26 of the most popular herbs and phytomedicines sold in the United States. "Popular Herbs in the U.S. Market: Therapeutic Monographs" has been accredited for 0.2 CEUs (two contact hours) of continuing education by The University of Texas College of Pharmacy. The publication includes a table containing some of the primary uses and benefits of the herbs and phytomedicines, as drawn mainly from the bolded text in the Modern Uses section of each monograph. This section is designed as a quick reference convenience for research and educational purposes and does not constitute a complete listing of the therapeutic benefits of each botanical.

The monographs were produced by ABC Executive Director Mark Blumenthal and Chance W. Riggins, a former intern at ABC, now a graduate student of botany at the University of Alaska. The monographs were reviewed by Dennis V. C. Awang, Ph.D., of MediPlant Consulting Services in Ottawa, Canada.

Many of the brief monographs are based on ABC's forthcoming translations of the German Commission E monographs, as well as on other authoritative references. These include the British Herbal Compendium, monographs produced by ESCOP (European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy), and other authoritative publications. Each monograph includes information on the modern uses of the herb, dosages, and pharmacological actions, as well as contraindications, side effects, and interactions with conventional drugs. They also include the safety status of the herb as classified by the Botanical Safety Handbook, published this past summer by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and CRC Press. (These references are available from the ABC catalog.)

Herbs monographed in this course are bilberry, cascara sagrada, cat's claw, cayenne, cranberry, devil's claw, dong quai, echinacea, evening primrose oil, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Asian ginseng, goldenseal, gotu kola, grape seed extract, green tea, hawthorn berry, kava, milk thistle extract, saw palmetto, Siberian (eleuthero) ginseng, St. John's wort, and valerian.

The new CE course was underwritten by an unrestricted grant from the Pharmavite Corporation., manufacturers of nutritional supplements in the mass market under the brand names NatureMade and Nature's Resource. Pharmavite is distributing the courses to approximately 40,000 pharmacists in the U.S. The course will be available October 1, 1997, from ABC's Herbal Education Catalog for $15 (Item #904).

Article copyright American Botanical Council.