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Gehrmann B, Koch W-G, Tschirch C, Brinkmann H. Medicinal Herbs A Compendium.

Gehrmann B, Koch W-G, Tschirch C, Brinkmann H. Medicinal Herbs A Compendium. New York: Haworth Press, 2005. ISBN 0-7890-2531-0. Soft cover. 228 pages. A5 sized pages.

The first three authors of this book are pharmacists with PhDs in pharmaceutical biology/pharmacognosy. The fourth author is doctor who is involved in naturopathic teaching. All the authors are based in Germany, but were helped in the selection of herbs by the late Professor Varro E Tyler. The book is primarily intended to serve as a desktop reference for pharmacists and other health practitioners.

Around 200 herbs have been included. The German Commission E monographs, and to a lesser extent the European Scientific Cooperation on Phytotherapy monographs, were the primary reference sources used for selecting the herbs.

Herbs are listed by common name(s), but the botanical name(s) are also provided. The succinct entries for each herb generally describe the part used, indications, dosage, suggested treatment durations, general comments, contraindications, adverse events and interactions. Pictograms provide additional information for many of the herbs.

An interesting feature of the entries is that the dosage is usually described as for a tea. However, albeit not often, at times the dosage information seems unnecessarily confusing, for example describing a fluid extract dose in grams, or a tea with reference to isolated constituents of the herb.

The book is not referenced, but has a bibliography. Being a compendium, this book provides only brief information. The authors acknowledge this and suggest additional information be sought from the bibliographical sources.
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Author:Boylan, Matthew
Publication:Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2006
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