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American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition Hardcover – 18 Apr 2013


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Review

"AHPA’s Botanical Safety Handbook is, without a doubt, an extremely valuable reference book that is highly recommended to product manufacturers, healthcare practitioners, regulatory agencies, industrial and academic researchers, and herbal product consumers."
―Charles J. Knill and John F. Kennedy, Chembiotech Laboratories, in International Journal of Biological Macromolecules

"Whenever there are questions or compositional uncertainties about a material, the toxicologist’s brow becomes populated with beads of perspiration. However, in the case of quantifying toxicity and making a human health risk assessment for a botanical product or component the toxicologists can get help from the American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition (BSH).

The BSH is hefty by any objective measure such as dimensions, weight and content; it will likely be judged by its users as comprehensive. BSH covers over 500 herbs within almost 1,100 pages.

BSH is a valuable resource for a toxicologist to understand the arena in which he or she is practicing their profession … using BSH gives valuable background information located in one place, reducing the literature searching time for obtaining background information on a botanical.

… the BSH is a necessary reference in the personal library of toxicologists that routinely conduct hazard analyses and human health risk assessments of botanicals. Those toxicologists that assess the human health risks of botanicals will find a vast amount of generic background information that will supplement their activities. In addition, toxicologists will discover clear and valuable guidance and directions for making their human health risk assessments of botanicals."
―John A. Budny in the International Journal of Toxicology, 2013 32: 466

"… Although this edition covers approximately the same number of herbs as the first, expanded entries quadruple the number of pages. Records for medicinal herbs include summaries and reference lists, safety and interaction classifications, name variants, and plant partes) used. Inaccurate/unsubstantiated information often appears in publications providing safety evaluations of natural products. To increase the validity of this handbook, attempts were made to identify questionable reports as well as studies lacking sufficient details about formulations used; when included, limitations of such studies are noted. … This reference work will appeal to health care professionals, members of the public, and industry personnel interested in the safety and potential interactions of herbal products. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and above; general readers.
―J. Saxton, Bastyr University, in CHOICE Magazine

"I have long anticipated examining an upgraded second edition. I was pleased to find that the revised content included input from a highly qualified expert advisory council … The vastly expanded content provides safety information on more than 550 species of herbs and includes new herbs, many from the Ayurvedic tradition. … overall this book fills an essential niche by intelligently addressing specific practical issues in the broad context of botanical safety concerns. I certainly will be referring to it regularly."
―Francis Brinker, ND, HerbalGram, Issue 99, 2013

"Now, thanks to the recent publication of the new edition of the American Herbal Products Association’s (AHPA) Botanical Safety Handbook, no health professional needs to make an uninformed decision [on drug interactions with herbs] ever again. … The most exhaustive reference of its kind ever assembled, the AHPA Botanical Safety Handbook distills in one place hundreds of thousands of pages of scientific and medical information on herbs – the most widely employed class of health remedies in the world. Without question, the handbook answers the question, "Is it safe?" … With the AHPA Botanical Safety Handbook on hand, now every doctor, nurse, pharmacist, clinic and hospital can have readily on hand the definitive guide to recurring herbal questions."
―Chris Kilham, Foxnews.com, May 8, 2013

"...a very valuable reference for anyone selling, manufacturing or using medicinal herbs and perhaps will help clear the way for setting better legal and labeling standards of herbs."
―American Herb Association
"A basic reference text which should be on every herbalist's shelf! . . . It is very complete and includes many Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs as well. Congratulations to AHPA on an excellent and much needed text. Thank you!"
―Robyn's Recommended Reading
"An absolutely necessary reference book, this book gives cautions and contraindications for more than 600 plants. Don't expect fun reading-it is strictly a reference book. BUY IT!"
―The Herbal Connection
"The Handbook is a very readable and authoritative reference for herbal products, their usage, toxicity, and contraindications."
―The Microscope

About the Author

Zoë Gardner has studied, researched, and taught production, conservation, quality, safety, and appropriate use of medicinal plants since 1998. After completing her undergraduate degree in environmental studies at the Audubon Expedition Institute, Zoë helped to establish the Medicinal Plant Program at the University of Massachusetts, earning her master’s degree there in plant and soil sciences. More recently, Zoë joined the Research & Development Department at Traditional Medicinals, a leading producer of herbal dietary supplements.

Michael McGuffin has been active in the herbal industry since 1975, having owned and managed both retail and manufacturing businesses in this field. He is the managing editor of Botanical Safety Handbook, 1st edition (1997) and of Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition (2000). He serves on the boards of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and United Plant Savers, on the Advisory Board of the USC School of Pharmacy Regulatory Science Program, and as chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for ISO/TC 249―the International Organization for Standardization’s Technical Committee on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Michael maintains active involvement with regulatory agencies. He served on FDA’s Food Advisory Committee Working Group on Good Manufacturing Practices for Dietary Supplements, FDA’s Food Advisory Committee’s Dietary Supplements Subcommittee, and California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Analysis Food Warning Workgroup.

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled 19 Nov. 2013
By Adam Stark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unlike a lot of botanical safety handbooks, this one isn't written by phytopharmaceutical researchers only, or hands-on practitioners only, medical anthropologists only -- or, heaven forbid, science journalists only -- but by a true international dream team. Almost a decade in the making, this massive tome is simply a monumental, towering unparalleled achievement. Understand, we're not just reprinting the same old stuff here, but going back to primary sources and validating everything. Those looking for a quick a decisive answer -- a simple "green light" or "red light" -- will be frustrated, as the book acknowledges and delves into nuance and uncertainty. But when all is said and done, you walk away knowing where the nuances and uncertainties come from, armed with the tools to make an informed decision.

Take for example, the section on Echinacea. We get to see where we're looking at E. purpurea, E. angustofolia, etc.; aerial parts vs. seeds vs. root; hydroethanolic extract vs. fresh expressed juice vs. crude plant material... And when the question is raised of its suitability in autoimmune disease (controversial to this day, and as of yet, not settled in the scientific literature), we get a survey of a few dozen experienced herbal practitioners to supplement the formal research record.

Warning: this book can be frightening in the hands of those unschooled in medical terminology, and scientific phrasing in regards to uncertainty, as there is no herb that is portrayed as completely, unequivocally safe.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stellar Work 26 Aug. 2013
By Chris Kilham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The American Herbal Products Association Botanical Safety Handbook stands as a towering achievement in the field of botanical medicine. Never before has so much science, traditional use, and all forms of safety and toxicity information been assembled in one reference. In the ever-evolving field of botanical medicine, which involves a broad range of disciplines, this handbook can be of inestimable value to all sectors. Years in the making, drawing upon exhaustive resources from all over the globe, the Botanical Safety Handbook is a must-have reference for any credible medicinal botanical book collection. This guide puts at your fingertips the distillation of libraries worth of knowledge. I can't recommend it highly enough. - Chris Kilham, Medicine Hunter
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for any serious herbalist. 23 Aug. 2013
By Granny Emily - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Safety should come before anything else when dealing with medicinal plants, and this book assures that the practicing herbalist is well armed in that area. Well written and organized.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs Work 6 Jun. 2013
By Botanical Toxicologist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Generally the book lacks focus on evidence of safety and places too much weight on history of use and lack of adverse events. The book should clearly identify areas with lack of evidence rather than hand waving. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, is the phrase that comes to mind. History of use can only be applied if current use is the same. Historically no one takes potent pills in combination with dozens of other herbs. Historical environmental exposure and concomitant use are not considered. The book does not establish traditional safety end points or estimate margins of exposure. Nor is there clear description of the types of botanical under consideration, often aq vs ethanol extract have different toxicities. The book is written for lay persons and without proper background can be misleading. References need to be reduced to only include key endpoints rather then attempting a ingredient review. Unknown does not equal non-known. "The dose makes the poison", safe dose/exposure are not quantified. Need to add a few toxicologist to the next version. A good start.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have book 11 May 2013
By Pie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book to cross reference with any other books on herbs...it goes further to tell you any adverse side effects with herbs used with new medicines...this is not a stand alone book, but definitely a book to have if you are using, selling, or studying herbs....
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