Herbs Demystified: A Scientist Explains How the Most Common Herbal Remedies Really Work

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9781569244081: Herbs Demystified: A Scientist Explains How the Most Common Herbal Remedies Really Work

The scores of books on herbs already available generally restate old, often outdated lore about herbs. Now, Herbs Demystified does something entirely different: It is the first book to explain exactly what herbs actually do inside our bodies and how they achieve their effects. Biochemist Holly Phaneuf covers 100 of the most popular herbs-astragalus, black cohosh, chamomile, echinacea, garlic, gingko, ginseng, milk thistle, pine bark extract, saw palmetto, valerian, and many others. Phaneuf's introductory overview lays out the basic chemical principles that underlie the journey herbal molecules make in our bodies. Then, for each of the herbs, she covers its history and folklore; explains what the herb really does-its evidence of action; its good uses and not so good uses, including the forms in which it is typically available and commonly reported dosages; interesting facts and the bottom line. Like no other herb book before, Herbs Demystified allows readers to custom-fit an herb to one's own particular concern, therefore minimizing trial and error.

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From the Publisher:

As researchers and consumers alike become more aware of the power of herbs, more information is readily available--and much of it is conflicting or even potentially dangerous. Yet most resources simply prescribe herbs, without explaining how the herb works. Finally, Herbs Demystified provides scientifically up-to-date explanations for what herbs really do--in a clear, concise, user-friendly way.

A lifelong fascination with herbs led biochemist Dr. Holly Phaneuf to research their properties and the cause-and-effect mechanisms of herbal molecules in the human body. Answering basic as well as complicated questions about herbal remedies, Herbs Demystified is practical, easy-to-read, and extraordinarily comprehensive, covering every relevant topic, including:

* Echinacea's long-debated healing properties
* Lemon balm and sage as treatments for Alzheimer's disease
* Tea tree oil's effectiveness in getting rid of bacteria--and its cost to your cells
* Soy versus black cohosh for the prevention of hot flashes
* Licorice's ability to heal ulcers--and cause overdoses
* Garlic's effectiveness in preventing blood clots
* Wintergreen as nature's aspirin
* Aloe vera’s two forms--and the drastically different effects of each

Exploring more than fifty of the most popular herbs, from aloe to yohimbe, the oft-used ginseng to the less well-known turmeric, Herbs Demystified also contains:

* How scientists think herbs work
* Lists of common ailments and recommended herbs
* Little-known dangers and warning labels
* History and folklore
* Good effects...and not so good
* Commonly reported use and dosage

Herbs included: aloe, arnica, artichoke, astragalus, bilberry, black cohosh, borage, cascara, cat's claw, catnip, chamomile, chaste tree, cinnamon, cranberry, dandelion, echinacea, eleuthero, evening primrose, feverfew, flax, garlic, ginger, gingko, ginseng, gotu kola, grape, guarana, hawthorn, hoodia, horse chestnut, kava, lavender, lemon balm, licorice, marsh mallow, milk thistle, nettle, parsley, peppermint, red clover, red pepper, sage, saw palmetto, senna, soy, St. John's wort, tea, tea tree oil, turmeric, uva ursi, valerian, wild yam, wintergreen, witch hazel, yerba mate, yohimbe

From the Back Cover:

"Holly Phaneuf is a professional biochemist and a teacher, hence her book's great strengths: she has high standards for scientific evidence and for clear explanations, so we can understand and trust her down-to-earth conclusions and advice. Herbs Demystified is a uniquely informative contribution to the popular literature on herbs and health."
--Harold McGee, award-winning author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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