About one third of drugs such as morphine and several chemotherapeutic agents were developed from plants. Herbs are therefore potentially potent products, which may affect body functions and interact with drugs when taken concurrently. In this article, the author discusses several popular herbs and provides a summary of drug-herb interactions in a comprehensive table.

Herbs have been used for medicinal purposes since the beginning of recorded time. Although most people in the United States believe that herbs are harmless plants, about one third of our drugs (including digitalis, morphine, atropine, and several chemotherapeutic agents) were developed from plants. So, indeed, herbs can be potent products. Herbs can affect body functions; therefore, when herbs are taken concurrently with drugs, interactions are possible.

Botanical medications have increased in popularity. In the United States, botanical products are now a $1.5 billion per year industry. It is estimated that 60% to 70% of the...

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