It is estimated that 25% of all drugs originate from natural sources.  From this information, we can draw two conclusions.  One, herbal medicine possesses tremendous healing powers.  Two, the use of herbal medicine should never be taken lightly.  Even though herbs are classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as ¡§dietary supplements,¡¨ they do possess strong medicinal properties.  When used correctly, they can treat a wide variety of diseases and ailments; but if used incorrectly, they may contribute to unwanted side effects and adverse reactions.

The ultimate responsibility of a healthcare practitioner is to prevent illness and heal individuals who have become ill or injured.  We are blessed today with a wide selection of treatment modalities, including herbs and drugs.  It is our duty as healthcare practitioners to inform the patients of the treatment options available, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action. 

In recent years the use of Chinese herbs has become a more and more popular option. To facilitate professional understanding of the choices between drugs and herbs, we have created this section entitled the Drug-Herb Index.  Our goal in creating this section is to point out the similarities between drug and herbal treatments, so if a patient wishes to discontinue drug treatment, the practitioner has alternative treatment options available.  Knowing herbal alternatives to drugs gives the practitioner treatment options so they can decide with their patients on the best therapy possible. 


There are two sections in the Drug-Herb Index:

1.       Drug-Herb Interactions:

This section includes an excerpt on the fundamental concepts of drug-herb from Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology published by Art of Medicine Press, Inc. It also includes a Drug-Herb Interaction Chart that lists drugs that have higher risks of interactions with herbs. It is important to note that the study of drug-herb interaction is still in its infancy, and the absence of information does not imply lack of interactions. Rather, the practitioners are strongly urged to check other sources for more detailed and updated information.

2.       Drug-Herb Index:

Drugs are listed alphabetically according to Brand Names or Generic Names. The ¡§Clinical Application¡¨ column describes common uses of each drug.  The ¡§Herb Alternative¡¨ column lists the herbal formula having functions similar to the drug.  Detailed information on the herbal formula(s) can be found in Section 5 Exemplar Formulas.



This section provides valuable information for doctors and patients who prefer to use herbs rather than drugs, or to use herbs as supplements to the regular prescription medication.  The indexes compare the similarities between drugs and herbs.  However, it is important to note that the indexes do not imply therapeutic equivalence, and the herbal alternatives as listed are not substitutes for their corresponding drugs.  Informed professional judgment and careful evaluation must be exercised prior to recommending any herbal formulas to patients.