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Term Paper
Wendy Brown
English 1A
Instructor: Peter Berkow
December 1998

courtesy AltaVista Translation Services

There is an urgent need to fund medical research and development that is not driven by monetary gains.

This research should ultimately be regulated by an independent agency other than the FDA.

 by Wendy Brown


1]   The FDA denies us guardianship over our own health when they overide yours and
       your doctor's informed choices.
2]   Current medicines have severe side effects and are too costly.
3]   There is an urgent need to fund Research and Development that is not driven by monetary gains.
         A]Research should ultimately be regulated by an independent agency other than the FDA.
         B] Physicians growing concern about the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
         C] A conflict of interest between many cancer centers and commercial drug companies.
4]   The FDA are encroaching on our 1st amendment rights when burning books.
        4.a] A conflict of interest between the FDA and Commercial companies.
        4.b] FDA has a history of overly-aggressive strong-arm tactics.
5]   Traditional (Alternative) Medicine works with less side effects and lower costs..
6]   Greed vs Health
7]   Leading European phytopharmaceuticals
8]   Herbs as foods or medicines?
9]   Summary
Work cite quoted links
Medline | search for "phytopharmaceuticals" 20 hits

The following article will use many abbreviation, FDA, AMA,  etc. For clarity please see this link.

Current pharmaceuticals have severe side effects and are far too costly.  The cost of Food and Drug Administration, FDA, approval for a new drug is $500 million and takes 8-12 years.   Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are found in 1 out of 15 hospital patients.  American Journal of Health. [5]

An article published in the Lancet,  by D. Bonn, stated  "adverse drug reactions remain a major cause of death.".[4]

Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are now "between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death," George Poste of  SmithKline Beecham   [3]

" . . . had fatal ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death."
Lazarou J, Pomeranz.  BH, Corey PN. JAMA 1998 Apr 15 279:15 1200-5 [2]

Adverse Drug Reactions...............60,000 to 140,000 deaths annually
http://hhnews.com/comparis.htm#Source Information:
MMWR   Morbidity  & Mortality Weekly Report

Cancer is statistically rising. Two out of five Americans will have cancer by the year 2000. Over the past five years, $10 Billion has been spent on cancer research. [1]  The same treatments are still being used, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery which do little to increase life expectancy. When statistics of cure rates are quoted they do not take into consideration the cancer that is found in a patient only one day after the five year, all-clear theory.

In 1990, chemotherapy costs were  $3.53 billion. By 1994, that figure had more than doubled to $7.51 billion. This spiraling increase in chemo use is accompanied by an equal increase in cancer deaths. http://www.cancermed.com/chemo.htm

It would seem a conflict of interest when the Chairman, Vice-Chariman and other board members, of a Cancer Center are also the Directors and Presidents of large drug companies.

"Why the growth in chemotherapy in the face of such failure? A look at the financial interrelationships between a large cancer center such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and the companies that make billions selling chemo drugs is revealing. James Robinson III, Chairman of the MSKCC Board of Overseers and Managers, is a director of Bristol-Myers Squibb, the world's largest producer of chemotherapy drugs. Richard Gelb, Vice-Chairman of the MSKCC board is Bristol-Myers Chairman of the Board. Richard Furlaud, another MSKCC board member, recently retired as Bristol Myers' president. Paul Marks MD, MSKCC's President and CEO, is a director of Pfizer."  Author unknown, but this quote can be found on the following URL:   http://www.cancermed.com/chemo.htm
Californian doctors can not legally prescribe any other form of treatment for cancer other than chemotherapy, radiation or surgery even though reputable organizations have shown that other methods are just as, or more, effective but with far less debilitating side effects.  In California, and most other states, a patient and their physician can not use their informed opinion in choosing alternative treatments.  We are denied guardianship of our own health by the FDA.

We should be diverting some of the money that is spent on chemotherapy into research and development of Alternative (traditional) medicine.  Alternative medicine is general that which has not been accepted by the the FDA, AMA, American Medical Association,  NCI, National Cancer Institute and other organizations that have a long history of an antagonistic approach towards Traditional (Alternative) Medicine.  Chiropractors, acupuncture, midwifery,  and even penicillin were once considered alternative medicine.

1]  The FDA denies us our guardianship over our own health.

The FDA can override yours and your doctor's 'informed' choices. In the Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearings on February 12, 1998, Chairman Dan Burton said,  "We know from modern science that what works for some, does not work for others.  The FDA process for patient access to un-aproved treatments is a good example of the nature of the federal government to micro manage the lives of individual Americans, often unnecessarily." [7]

Government Reform and Oversight Committee Hearings, held on the 4th and 12th of February, discussed Patient access to Alternative treatment, beyond the FDA.  Twenty speakers address the subject of the, far too often, unnecessary FDA interference into reputable studies and alternative medical practice.  The speakers range from esteemed members of our community, State Representatives, doctors, lawyers and cancer specialist.  The hearings are a remarkable insight into the alternative therapies that are curing cancer with far less side effects than chemotherapy. The hearings also cover the FDAs gestapo tactics, and their extreme control over the citizens right to choose.

2]  Current medicines and altered substances have severe side effects and are too costly.
In 1971 Richard Nixon  promised to find us a cure for cancer in five years.  However, since 1971 the deaths from cancer have continued to steadily increase year by year. By  "1990, $3.53 billion was spent on chemotherapy. By 1994 that figure had more than doubled to $7.51 billion. The relentless increase in chemotherapy use was accompanied by a relentless increase in cancer deaths." [6]

"Scientific American featured a recent cover story entitled: "The War on Cancer -- It's Being Lost." In it, eminent epidemiologist John C. Bailar III, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University cited the relentless increase in cancer deaths in the face of growing use of toxic chemotherapy. He concluded that scientists must look in new directions if they are ever to make progress against this unremitting killer." [6]
In an article published by Scientific America, professor John Cairns of Harvard University said,   "Aside  from certain rare cancers, it is not possible to detect any sudden changes in the  death rates for any of the major cancers that could be credited to chemotherapy." [6]
Adverse Drug Reactions...............60,000 to 140,000 deaths annually
Automobile Accidents.................   23,856 deaths
Food Contamination....................  9,000 deaths
All Plants (house, etc).................        1 death
Commercial Herbal Products......         0 deaths
http://hhnews.com/comparis.htm#Source Information:
Adverse Reactions:   A price to be paid for magic bullets.

"Selectivity - is never absolute", said Professor Rene' Dubos of the Rockefeller Institute, at a symposium on drugs in 1963.  "Even a highly selective drug is . . . likely to react with some structure other than the one for which it has been designed. . . . Absolute lack of toxicity is an impossibility because absolute selectivity is a chemical impossibility" [16]

Thalidomide:  Caused deformities in child birth. Limbless babies.

Practol or Eraldin.  Caused damage to the eyes: blindness, dried up tear ducts, peritonitis so severe that the tissue in abdomen fused together.  ICI (Internation Chemical Industries) finally withdrew the drug and paid large sums of compensation. The committee of drug experts, who met after the Eraldin incident in 1976, made a public statement pointing out that even more extensive laboratory testing could not have prevented this misfortune. "Medicines can never be entirely safe", they said, "despite extensive testing and monitoring, unforeseen and unpredictable adverse reactions will continue to occur". [17]  In December issue of 1977, the Lancet told of victims who had stopped taking Eraldin for months, and were now beginning to suffer from increasing shortness of breath, due to a thickening and stiffening of the lung and chest-cavitiy lining.

Fen-Phen refers to the combination of the drugs Fenfluramine and Phentermine.
This weight loss combination of drugs have recently been in the news.  It has been found that the valves of the heart were being affected.  Information about the side effects of this combination of drugs is still in the early stages, but so far, it is looking quite serious, and could have affected millions of people. During August of 1998, more than 200 lawsuits had been filed.

"On September 12, 1997 the FDA notified doctors and drug makers to withdraw Fenfluramine and Phentermine.Studies of patients taking the Fen-Phen combination have shown that the combination of the drugs may be linked to valvular heart disease and primary pulmonary hypertension, a potentially fatal progressive disease with no known cure at the present time.  In the case of valve disease associated with fenfluramine and Phentermine, leakiness is the problem. Valvular damage may ultimately produce severe heart and /or lung disease.  Primary Pulmonary Hypertension is a serious progressive disease for which there is currently no known cure. Symptoms may not present themselves for 2 to 5 years. Any person who has taken the Fen-Phen combination can develop high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery which affects the lungs. Women seem to be more at risk for the developing this disease."  http://www.fen-phen-associates.com/
Aspartame, an artificial sweetener:
". . . there are many people who cannot make enough serotonin from their food, and they are more susceptible to insomnia, depression, and/or PMS. If these genetically deficient people are also swallowing (Apartame) ASP, they will more readily have headaches, insomnia, depression, hostility, anxiety, and a host of other negative symptoms. No wonder sales of the new drug, Prozac, have skyrocketed. ASP is known to disturb thyroid function. " [18]
Reporting of side effects:  Many surveys have shown that Doctors do not report the side effects that their patients suffer and complain about. Perhaps doctors don't report these side effects because they could be sued for malpractice if they provide evidence that they have been prescribing these defective drugs.

"A survey in Woman's Own, May 1978 showed that three quarters of the sixty percent of women who reported side effects,  were told to continue taking the drug. Improved reporting of adverse drug reactions. Kimelblatt BJ, Young SH, Heywood PM, Mandala AR, Gendelman S, Mehl B
Am J Hosp Pharm 1988 May 45:5 1086-9

A Medline search for ADRs resulted in  236 hits.  The following is a copy of one hit.
" . . . relying on physicians to report ADRs had met with little success (only six reports in seven years) . . ." Author Address: Department of Pharmacy, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY 10029.

3]  There's an urgent need to fund Reasearch and Development that is not driven by monetary gains.

A] Research should ultimately be regulated by an independent agency other than the FDA.
Some form of alternative medicine is used by forty-two percent of Americans. Millions of Americans are using treatments that are not researched or certified.  Essential nutrients or natural substances are not patentable in the U.S. because the FDA does not have an approval process for phytopharmaceuticals (herbs or natural medicinal products) In the Government  Reform and Oversight Committee hearings on February  12, 1998, Oregon  Representative Peter DeFazio said, " Natural medicinal products should be offered a separate approval track similar to the one used in Germany, where manufacturers submit their product for approval and undergo a different set of scientific reviews for safety and efficacy. "[8]

The Commission E, in Germany, is a government agency that is responsible for the approval process of the natural, medicinal products in their country. The Government  Reform and Oversight Committee hearings on February  12, 1998,  is an amazing source of information focusing on the growing concerns about the FDA intervention into the citizens right to choose.  Esteemed speakers (doctors, lawyers, & State Representatives) talk about their ongoing struggle with the FDA. Some of these speakers have had first hand experience with alternative medicine, specifically with "incurable" cancer which has then been put in to remission or cured with alternative therapy by Dr. Burzynski in his clinic in Mexico.

B] Physicians growing concern about the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

The facts show that chemotherapy does not 'cure' cancer.  It may 'extend' or 'decrease' life. On 1/9/87, the Los Angeles Times published an article quoting Dr. Martin F. Shapiro who said "some oncologists inform their patients (with a the lack of evidence) that treatments work ..others may well be misled by scientific papers that express unwarranted optimism about chemotherapy. Still others respond to an economic incentive. Physicians can earn much more money running active chemotherapy practices than they can providing solace and relief to dying patients and their families." [6]

The debilitating affects of chemotherapy, and it's lack of success rate, seems to be well known by most physicians, as shown in a study conducted at the McGill Cancer Center. A questionnaire was given to 118 doctors that treated lung cancer.  "More than 3/4 of them recruited patients and carried out trials, with toxic drugs, for lung cancer."  They were asked: If they had cancer, which of the six current trials would they use. The results showed that 64, out of 79 respondents, would not use cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug. Their reason was "The ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptable degree of toxicity. '' [6]

Alan C. Nixon, PhD, Past President of the American Chemical Society, wrote:  "As a chemist trained to interpret data, it is incomprehensible to me that physicians can ignore the clear evidence that chemotherapy does much, much more harm than good." [6]

The British medical journal, Lancet, published an article that noted the discrepancy in the difference between  the "public perception and reality." concerning the failure of conventional methods attempting to prevent the rise in breast cancer deaths. [6]  The facts show that breast cancer is increasing.

C] Conflict of interest between cancer centers and the companies who make billions selling chemo drugs.
James Robinson, Chairman of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Richard Gelb, the Vice-Chairman and  Richard Furlaud CEO, were all concurrently directors or presidents of large pharmaceutical companies that make billions from selling cancer drugs. [6]

4] The FDA are encroaching on our first amendment rights to free speach and are burning books.

The Constitution of the United States Bill of Rights, 15 December 1791:
Amendment I:     Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...
Amendment IV:   The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...
Amendment V:    No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...

The FDA is abusing it's power. The stated purpose of the FDA is to protect consumers against unsafe products.  The FDA does not, and shouldn't, have the authority to sensor our First Amendment right to free speach.

The FDA ordered the destruction of three books that talk about the natural herbal sweetener, Stevia, better known as "honey leaf".  Under the law, a vitamin can be marketed as a dietary supplement. Stevia and all herbs must be classified as dietary supplements, but not as a food additive.

The herb, Stevia, is a harmless natural sweetener 200 to 300 times more intense than sugar. Unlike the synthetic product, aspartame; Stevia has been proven through numerous scientific trials, and couple hundred years of use, to be harmless and actually beneficial to the health.

The FDA considers Stevia a safe liquid or powdered supplement, but will not allow it to be considered as a food or a drink. In other words, the FDA will not let a company sell Stevia as a natural sweetener; but that is what it is.  Stevia is well known, and used in other countries such as Brazil and Paraguay, where it grows.

Officer James Lahar, of the Dallas, Texas, district office of the FDA, wrote a letter to the president of the Stevita Company in Arlington; who sells, the herb, Stevia. The following is a quote taken from the letter written by the FDA.  In this letter, James Lahar address the subject of destroying  books and all links to web-site information concerning the natural herbal sweetener, stevia.

"The agency appreciates Stevita Co's expressed intention to comply with the law. However, a current inventory must be taken by an investigator of this office, who will also be available TO WITNESS DESTRUCTION OF THE COOKBOOKS, LITERATURE AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS   . . . .and will sever all links to web-site information "
A Letter addressed to Stevita company. Written by FDA, Compliance Officer, James R. Lahar.

The FDA has also attempted to ban, and burn, Rodale's Organic Farming and Gardening magazine as "advertising literature" not covered by the First Amendment. Many vitamin companies were advertising in it; and Rodale claimed (to the annoyance of the chemical fertilizer and drug companies) that the vitamin and nutrient values of plants were increased by the use of natural-organic farming methods, thereby improving human health. The FDA lost that case, but Rodale was forced to spend a fortune in legal fees to defend his right of free speech. http://id.mind.net/community/orgonelab/fda.htm

Ironically; there are legal documents, and free literature, available in public libraries on coca, from which cocaine is derived, cannabis, marijuana plant, or the opium poppy with data in these books on the processing these "dangerous" substances.

4.A] Conflict of interests between the FDA and private industries:
The FDA Director quit his office and went to work for the NutraSweet PR firm, Burson and Marsteller, for a thousand dollars a day.  NutraSweet stands to loose millions of dollars if the FDA approved Stevia as a food additive rather than just supplement. "Eighty-five percent of all complaints registered with the FDA concerns aspartame's  (ASP, Nutrasweet /Equal) adverse reactions." by Dr. Lendon Smith

The historical beginnings of the FDA, in 1938, were part of a trend towards government regulatory agencies assuming responsibility for the scientific improvement of industry. "Unfortunately, the largest corporations created a revolving door policy toward government regulatory officials: on leaving the government, these officials frequently were offered lucrative jobs in the very same private industries they had regulated, in some cases receiving money and bribes while still in office."  Walker, Martin J.; Dirty Medicine; Slingshot Publications, c1993.  Chapters 1 and 2.

4.b] FDA has a history of overly-aggressive strong-arm tactics.

In 1991, the now present Director of the FDA, Dr. Michael A. Friedman, sent an internal memo to Dr. Bruce A. Chabner, Director, Division of Cancer Treatment. At the time of writing the memo, Dr. Michael was an NCI (National Cancer Institue) official. The memo was stamped "unconventional Therapy File." The memo was referring to the Antineoplastons discovered by Dr. Burzynski. There is a long history of antagonism between Dr. Burynski's Clinic and the FDA.  The NCI director's memo states that in his opinion "the responses of Dr.Burzynski's brain tumor patients to treatment with Antineoplastons are real." [9]  The NCI director knew Dr. Burynski's results were "real" or working, yet the NCI and the FDA continued to hinder, rather than help, R&D into Dr. Burzynski's methods.

The history of aggresssion, beginning in 1976, between Dr. Burzynski and the FDA, can be found on the following web site.  http://catalog.com/bri/summary.htm     This report is a clear documentaion of Dr. Burzynski's success rate with cancer and the overly aggresive nature of the FDA.
Four Examples:

" July 17, 1985 - FDA agents raid clinic and seize 200,000 pages of documents,
including all patient medical records. In order to continue treating patients, Dr. B installs copier at his expense at FDA office and must make appt. in advance to copy them as
"Oct. 24, 1985 - Judge McDonald tells FDA to stop releasing misleading and
inappropriate information about Dr.Burzynski. As a result of FDA's letters to insurance
companies, income has fallen off sharply, the production of medicine is and interrupted, patients suffer severely.
"1990 - FDA initiates a second long Grand Jury investigation. Again, thousands of
documents are subpoenaed and many employees are subpoenaed to testify, including
Dr.Burzynski. Again, no indictment is returned.
"September 1996 - Dr. B submits the brain scans of 29 of his clinical trial patients to
review by a neuroradiologist at the famed  arrows Neurological Institute in Phoenix.
The report finds 13 complete responses, 8 partial or initial responses, and 8 patients
who did not respond. All patients were considered terminal when they began treatment
with antineoplastons."
American Council on Science and Health wrote the following, after a report was aired on WNBC-TV, about Dr. Burzynski's antineoplaston cancer treatment.
ACSH Exposes Misleading WNBC-TV 'Cancer' Program  "The Truth About Cancer,"; a program which aired on WNBC-TV in New York City for nearly 40 minutes on the evenings of January 15 and 16, was sharply criticized by ACSH as "one of the most irresponsible health broadcast features" ever aired on television. The report promoted the work of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who has treated more than 2,500 patients with unapproved drug substances found in urine. The show failed to mention that Burzynski's practice of antineoplaston therapy was judged by the American Cancer Society to be of "highest concern" among questionable therapies in terms of its lack of effectiveness and potential harm.
It's remarkable that Dr. Burzynski has treated 2,500 patients, but what is more remarkable, is the
amount of people who testify to Dr. Burzynski's success rate. There were several people who spoke at the government reform hearings, in February,  about Dr. Burzynski's success rate with their cancer and the cancer of the members of their family.  These cancer victims had all given up hope, as they had previously been told by their doctor, that there was nothing further that could be done to help them.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligence [May 7, 1992], dozens of state and federal law enforcement officers broke down the doors of a simple Vitamin manufacturing company with their guns drawn, wearing flak vests and yelling at the staff.  FDA officials pointed guns in the employee's faces and told them to "get their hands up where they could see them."  When an employee tried to make a call, the FDA yanked telephone lines out of walls.

The following three paragraphs are copied from an article that can be found on the following web page:  http://id.mind.net/community/orgonelab/fda.htm  The article, on the web site, gives many instances of  the FDA abusing our constitutional rights, and freedoms, as they  " . . . arrest practitioners, seize their files, mailing lists and other property,  . . . and burn their books,"

Anti-Constitutional Activities and Abuse of Police Power by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other Federal Agencies by James DeMeo, Ph.D.In 1995, Newt Gingrich and other Republicans said  "they would take on the FDA and restrain its powers"

Background to FDA Police-State Activities  "As early as the 1950s, the FDA was engaged in aggressively spying on health-care providers who employed medications and approaches which were not considered "acceptable" by mainstream orthodox medicine. Notably, it was and has been the American Medical Association (AMA) which has dominated ideas within the medical community, as well as nearly all legislation related to health care. If the AMA dislikes a particular health care approach, they work to banish such methods within hospitals, and to suspend the medical licenses of any doctor who employs them. They have often been able to rely upon state licensing boards and legislatures, and even the US Congress, to pass laws outlawing natural healing methods and the non-MD practitioner (such as midwives, herbalists or acupuncturists). Failing here, the AMA and friends in the drug industry have relied upon their allies in the FDA to aggressively assault the advocates of natural treatment methods." James DeMeo, Ph.D.

"Probably the most significant and blatant example of FDA aggression and anti-Constitutional activity is the case of Dr. Wilhelm Reich. The Reich Legal Case clearly marked the willingness of the US courts to condone the censoring of speech, the burning of books, the unreasonable seizure of property, and the willful ignoring of written documents presented to judges." James DeMeo, Ph.D.

The AMA-FDA-Pharmaceutical Cartel
"Increasingly, health care decisions in the USA are being mandated by small cadres of "specialists" who decide whether this or that medication will be made legal and available to the American public. Too many of the top physician-bureaucrats working in the FDA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Cancer Society (ACS), etc. are themselves often drug-company millionaires, with personal stock holdings or investments in the companies whom they regulate. Drug companies provide large sums to political campaigns so as to definitively influence legislation, and to various medical institutes, to "research" their products. Their full-page color advertisements for new drugs in medical journals essentially pay for those publications. Pharmaceutical companies are one of the highest profit margin industries in the U.S. who do not have to account for the often extreme prices they charge - higher than anywhere else in the world. Drug company money plays a powerful role in shaping health policy, the approval process for new patent drugs, and publishing (or censoring) research findings about the effectiveness or side-effects of those drugs." James DeMeo, Ph.D.  http://id.mind.net/community/orgonelab/fda.htm

5]  Traditional (Alternative) Medicine works with less side effects and lower costs.

There is huge potential for the development of nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals from herbal materials. For example, the UK herbal materia medica contains around 300 species whereas the Chinese herbal materia medica contains around 7000 species.

Licorice, the root extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra I., is used as a medicine for various diseases. Anti-inflammatory as well as anti-allergic activities have been attributed to one of its main constituents, glycyrrhizin.

Reishi (Shitake) Mushrooms consist of Ganoderma lucidum.  Shitake mushrooms have been used for over 2000 years by Japanese and Chinese.  The plants main active phytochemicals (phyto = plant)  are: polysaccharides and triterpenoids.  Researchers in China, and Japan, have demonstrated that the extract:

Inhibits platelet aggregation
Lowers blood pressure (6 month clinical trial : 47% of hypertensive patients lowered their blood pressure by 10 -19 mmHg, 10% by 20-29%)
LDL (cholesterol) levels dropped by 68% of 90 patients following 4 months of ingesting Reishi
Historically the plant has been reported to relieve pain and inflammation in the joints.
The extract has been shown to have powerful anti inflammatory effects in vitro and in vivo.
(Journal of Chinese Medicine, 669 -674 1992).
Vitex agnus castus. Common names: Chaste Berry Tree, Monks Pepper.  Investigations have shown that Vitex contains a progesterone like compound. The herb acts on the pituitary gland, increasing the release of a stimulating hormone (resulting in the balance of the production between estrogen and progesterone) which reduces, 'hot flashes', a menopausal symptom.

A modern British herbalist, Mrs. Ann Warren-Davis, writes:

"Every cell in the human body contains a series of balancing mechanisms of stimulation or relaxation, controlled by complicated feedback balances.  These intricate balances require a constant supply of nutrients, lack of any one of which over a limited time can be compensated for via some secondary pathway, but over a long period will create a chronic condition which is sometimes irreversible, but which can usually be corrected even in the most seemingly hopeless conditions with the use of the correct balance of nutrients. "Nutrients that come ready packaged in plants, which contain many biodynamic constituents in a form easily and rapidly absorbed by the human body . . . proteins, sugars, carbohydrates, minerals and trace elements, antibiotic agents, vitamins, fatty acids, mucilage, tannins and many other substances such as hormone and prostaglandin precursors." [11]
Mrs. Warren-Davis has been treating patients suffering from multiple sclerosis with oil extracted from the evening primrose (Oenothera biennis).  It contains a high proportion of linoleic acid, plus another vital fatty acid, the gamma linolenic factor which is essential for sufferers from multiple sclerosis who for some reason, not fully understood, become unable to form a vital prostaglandin known as PGE2.  This oil, combined, with the use of special diet, helps to rehabilitate some of the sufferers over a long period of time.   The oil may also help prevent blood-clots. But it is unlikely that you will find a doctor prescribing this natural oil; instead they will wait until pharmaceutical companies have developed an altered synthesized version, which they are now in the process of, in order to make a patentenable, profitable product.  Of course, they must make a profit, or they couldn't exist.

In the Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearings, on February 12, 1998, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) said:

"Valerian root is commonly used all over the world as a sleep aid. It is also used to treatreat fatigue, jet lag, nervousness and is an approved therapy in France, Germany
and the U.K. Several double-blind clinical studies have proven the benefits of Valerian
root in improving sleep quality."
In the Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearings, on February 12, 1998, Guerkink-Born, Tammy. MD said:
"  . . . cholesterol levels may be reduced when taking both fish oil and garlic. "
". . . extract of saw palmetto (serena repens) is far safer and more effective in reducing pain and swelling in the prostate than both allopathic treatments approved by the FDA."
". . . 28 clinical trials in 1996 conducted by Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich which confirmed that in 1,757 patients St. Johns Wort was as effective as commercial

"In a recent Grand Rapids Press article a study was cited in which the administration of significant doses of Folic Acid and Vitamin E were tested in thousands of nurses. The death rate from heart attacks dropped more than 50%. What traditional therapy can offer a 50% reduction in deaths due to heart disease?"  Guerkink-Born, Tammy. MD http://www.snowcrest.net/reddingmed/Medicine/hearings/fda298/2_12tg.htm

Natural products, phytopharmaceuticals, are safe.

Adverse Pharmaceutical Drug Reactions...............60,000 to 140,000 deaths annually
Automobile Accidents.................   23,856 deaths
Food Contamination....................  9,000 deaths
All Plants (house, etc).................        1 death
Commercial Herbal Products......         0 deaths
http://hhnews.com/comparis.htm#Source Information:

"80% of the world's population rely on indigenous or traditional medicines for their health and well-being.
Recent research highlights the effectiveness of many traditional medicines and therapeutic approaches. A growing number of countries have invested in scientifically evaluating and strengthening the role of traditional medicine in primary health care."

The television program, 20/20, televised a story concerned about the worrisome relationship between Doctors and Insurance companies.  It was reported that Doctors have received as much as a yearly $100,000 bonus, from insurance companies,  by NOT prescribing expensive test for their patients.

The BMA (British Medical Association) receives a handsome revenue from the British Medical Journal.
In 1880 the AMA (American Medical Association) launched it's own Journal in imitation.

"But although a fortune was dangled temptingly before its eyes by the huge and growing patent medicine industry, anxious to promote its products to the medical profession as well as the public, the Journal for years virtuously refused to accept advertising for secret or patent remedies. In 1899, however, the AMA needed a new General Secretary and Journal editor, and the post went to a forty-seven-year-old George Simmons, an English-born ex-homeopath who in 1892 became a convert to allopathy (modern medicine) and - like many converts - an implacable foe of the creed on which he had turned his back." [13]
Simmons didn't want the the AMA to suffer financially from its refusal to accept advertising for secret or patent remedies. He was aware of the impressive revenue the BMA received from the British Medical Journal. In 1905 he wrote an editorial declaring warmly  "there are plenty of honestly made and ethically exploited proprietary prescriptions that are therapeutically valuable and that are worthy of the patronage of the best physician" [13]
The Journal, henceforth, accepted advertisements of patent medicines, "as long as their active ingredients were revealed to the AMA's newly formed Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry, which would vet them."  The AMA still frowned on "quack medicines" but agreeably published these claims if they were only addressed to the medical profession and it's professional journals.  "Thus, as Coulter concluded, "the AMA allied with, and was conquered by, the patent medicine industry" [13]

Coulter's goal to increase revenue was a success.  The Journal's revenue rose from $33,760 in 1899 to $150,000 in 1909, then soared to over nine million dollars in the following half century, which then supplied more than half of the AMA's revenue.   The AMA grew in power, and eventually "eliminated all effective forms of alternative medicine, and promoted a monoply on  heavily drug-orientated medicine." [13]

The BMA stubbornly rejected the views of The National Association of Medical Herbalists.
For three decades, Syphilis was the biggest single headache of the military commanders as it attacked a large number of the forces. Mercury was the most widely acceptable treatment, which was occasionally as deadly as the disease itself.  In 1910, Paul Ehrlich, a Prussian biochemist,  discovered "606", Dioxydiaminoarsenobenzol, dihydrochloride, a strong arsenic compound.  Ehrlich found that it killed the spirochetes that caused syphilis. But "606" turned out not to be the medical cure that was first thought.  "Over the next three decades, modifications to the compound and its mode of application - together with completely different therapies, such as heat treatment - were tried one after another." * [14]

* "In 1917 a Viennese psychiatrist found that some patients in the advanced stages of syphilis got better after being subjected to a high fever.  He tried out different types of fever, and settled on a benign form of malaria as the most effective, after which the malarial treatment was widely used. It was then reasoned that perhaps the high temperature alone was responsible for the good results, and straight heat therapy was introduced.  Some of the worse symptoms of late syphilis - resistant to all standard treatment - disappeared after a course of hot baths, thus providing - centuries later - a rationale for the prolonged sweat-treatment with guaiac." [15]
In England, during the the early 1900's, the wartime spread of syphilis continued to grow.  It was illegal for any but regular practitioners to treat cases; not that is was supposed that modern medicine had found the cure. "The National Association of Medical Herbalists protested to the government.
"While we view with alarm the increasing number of cases of this loathsome disease, we unhesitatingly declare that the present [allopathic] practice of medicine is quite inadequate, and unable to eliminate the disease.  During the last fifty years, thousand of cases in all it's stages have been treated successfully by members of this Association, and in hundreds of cases after the Registered Practitioners had failed to cure." [15]

The side effects of arsenic treatment were horrendous, causing kidney disease, jaundice, anaphylactic shock - occasionally leading to death, optic atrophy, and the horrific sight of dermatitis was so bad that in the most severe case, the patient lost all his skin while becoming bloated.

In 1920 the Association wrote again to the government.  They spoke of their alarm at the continued increase of Venereal Disease, and the inability of the medical profession to cure the disease with the use of "606" or preparations containing arsenic or mercury.  The Association did not have the scientific expertise, or skilled members in pathology and biochemistry, nor the financial backing to build laboratories and conduct experiments.  Their suggestions were contemptuously brushed aside by the medical establishment who relied upon wonder drugs and magic bullets.  The medical profession was not interested in the power of plants.

6A ] Greed vs Health: More Side Effects:
Aspartame is a chemical sweetener found in most low-calorie diet products. As has already been mentioned, there are serious side effects attributed to the consumption of aspartame.

The Nutrasweet people have a commercial on TV bragging that they now have 200,000 people consuming the ASP in over 4,000 different products.
 Dr.Lendon Smith's "The Facts", October 1991
"Eighty-five percent of all complaints registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerns aspartame's  (ASP, NutraSweet /Equal) adverse reactions."
"It is now reported that FIVE DEATHS and at least 70 different symptoms have resulted from its use. The list includes neurological, dermatological, cardiac, respiratory, low blood sugar, Alzheimer's, Chronic Fatigue syndrome, amalgam filling disease and methanol poisoning. The Searle Pharmaceutical Company has actually covered up or failed to report adverse reactions. " by Dr. Lendon Smith
Tobacco is another story that fits under the heading Greed vs Health.  Covering that subject would be too lengthy and beyond the scope of this essay.

7] Leading European Phytopharmaceuticals

Sales (Million US$)
Evening primrose
Main therapeutic categories for Herbal Products
Therapeutic area
J. Grunwald, Herbalgram p60, 1994

Specific example: Sales of St. Johns Wort, Hypericum perforatum

Tablets sold
2.5 million
140 million
* Only 36 reported side effects in 5 years.
Increase in sales due to increase in research findings

8]Herbs as foods or medicines?

In the United States, herbs are considered food supplements, like vitamins.  They can not be marketed and labeled "for medicinal purposes."  Europe has their own set of regulatory guide lines.  On September 7th, l998, at the Copthorne Tara Hotel, London, Dr. John A. Wilkinson, Middlesex University, UK, spoke to the International Business Communications Fifth Annual Conference, about the subject of "Functional Foods" .

To bring a product on the market, as a dietary supplement, does not require submission of safety data; as foods, as they are defined and deemed to be inherently safe. However, manufacturers must have data on hand that substantiates the relative safety of their product, should such information be requested from the Agency (FDA). Additionally, such products must adhere to good manufacturing practices as applied to foods  In order to make a structure and function claim for a dietary supplement, companies must have substantiation files on hand, and send a notification letter to FDA within 30 days of making the claim. Health claims on foods are regulated slightly differently under the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act, and are limited to those claims previously approved by FDA.

"For example, if the herbal material has been previously licensed as a medicine, is on the Medical Control Agency's (MCA) general sales list and has a long history of use, the regulatory requirements are often fairly straightforward to meet if a similar product is to be developed as a nutraceutical. The Medical Control Agency will often accept data gleaned from the scientific literature rather than ask a company to start the research themselves again."

"If no claims are to be made on the product, then the herb may be considered as a food supplement rather than a medicine. Here the quality control issues again are similar but are also different! The lack of regulatory legislation puts the onus on the manufacturer/supplier to ensure that the product is not injurious to health, according to the Food Safety Act 1990. If the herbal material is well known then it maybe relatively straight forward to produce adequate safety data. If however, the company decides to introduce a herb from the Himalayas, which although has some supporting herbal folklore, is a species that is not found elsewhere in the world, then a very different scenario unfolds. The plant would be undefined and would need a full analytical and safety profile determining all the major constituents. If for example the plant contained a new class of alkaloids these would also need to be examined for safety, although it maybe possible to treat the plant extract as a whole, that is as a new chemical entity for assessment as a potential new medicine. At the end of the day, the quality control, safety and efficacy of herbal materials is very complex and each case needs to evaluated independently."   A speach made by Dr. John A.Wilkinson, Middlesex University, UK, at the Copthorne Tara Hotel, London.

Herbal material has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.  Their safety and effectiveness stands on their history of use.  I prefer to think of herbs as a valuable vegetable, that has high quantities of minerals and vitamins with additional properties that have yet to be analyzed. Like vegetables, herbs vary greatly in their content of vitamins and minerals.

Our bodies can survive without certain vitamins, fatty acids, proteins or minerals, etc for a limited time but the continued depravation would eventually cause serious damage to our system.  At that point; our bodies my need to be overcompensated with a higher than normal quantity of the missing nutrient thus helping our body return to it's natural balance. This is one area where herbs are of remarkable value.

When considering an herb as medicinal, we must consider that the herb is not as strong, nor as
fast-acting, as the pharmaceutical drugs.  A generally acceptable guide line is:  For every year your body has suffered a particular imbalance, or condition, it would take an herb an equal amount of months to alleviate, or cure, the condition.  Whether to use pharmaceuticals or herbs would depend upon our medical complaint; and in all cases, a medical professional should be consulted.

A Naturopathic Doctor is trained in both aspects of medicine and able to help you decide which method is necessary.  Perhaps it will be decided that a strong pharmaceutical drug is urgently needed but the long term goal would be to cure the problem not mask it with a "pain killer" and therefor both pharmaceutical drug and phytopharmaceutical may be used.

9]  Summary

It's time that the AMA, FDA, and ACS accepts public opinion.  We want the right to choose what form of medical treatment our bodies receive.  Research world wide has shown that the public majority have used various forms of alternative medicine because they are finding these health care alternatives to be more in tuned with their own values, beliefs, and philosophical orientations toward health and life.  The current surge of interest in herbal medicine began in the 1960s and has been gathering momentum ever since.  Herbalist world wide are catering to over crowded consulting rooms.

The public has a right to choose their own form of medicine with the security of knowing that the product is not harmful.  When faced with severe pain, that needs a strong, instant relief, most of us would be grateful for a bottle of codeine. The clinical use of strong altered pharmaceuticals is usually necessary when treating acute, and severe diseases, predominantly treated in the hospital. These diseases may require immediate measures with strong acting pharmaceuticals.

The FDA has performed a much needed service when regulating pharmaceutical companies.  The pharmaceutical companies test their own products, but it is the FDA that gives the final approval before the drug or product is released.

The Government Reform and Oversight Committee Hearings,  (concerned with FDA practices)
held in February 1998, are another example of government officials abusing their power.  These hearings, plus the Rodney King, WACO, and Government Reform hearings into IRS practices, are all examples of the actions of over-zealous government officials. Herbs, phytopharmaceuticals and other areas of alternative medicine must be regulated, but we must choose wisely who regulates the urgent research and development of these areas of  medicine.

The Commission E, in Germany, has been successfully regulating their alternative medicine, including (herbs) phytopharmaceuticals (phyto = plant).  A similar organization is needed in the United States; one that doesn't have a long history of antagonism towards alternative therapies and one that is not so closely connected to the FDA, AMA, NCI, or the ACA.  There are a number of obvious reasons why herbal medicine is damned by association in medical eyes; because it belongs to medicine's dark and discreditable past, when herbal road travelers were pedaling a bottle of cure-all. These peddlers were aptly referred to as Quacks. These Quacks have tainted the credibility of the modern reputable herbalists, whom have years of medical schooling behind them, and yet they are still continuing to struggle with the AMA, NCI, ACA, and FDA prejudices.  AMA, NCI, ACA, and the FDA frown upon lay people trying to doctor themselves; and they consider self medication practiced by peasants, and primitive people the world over, as Quackery.

The Western doctor's eight to ten-year medical training covers only four weeks of nutritional training.  It's no wonder that they find it genuinely hard to believe that an infusion of chamomile tea could lull an anxious patient to sleep just as effectively as a little white pill.  He is almost certainly unaware of how many times in a day that he himself writes a prescription for a plant-based drug.  He might be amazed to realize that over one-quarter of prescribed drugs sold in the U.S. pharmacies contain constituents derived directly from real green plants. [10]. The cardiac drug digitalis comes from the plant Foxglove, commonly known as Deadly Nightshade.  Important painkillers come from the opium poppy, and  most local anesthetics from cocaine made from the coca tree, and the anti-malarials quinine made from Peruvian bark.

The doctors and medical institutes object to the unscientific use of herbs. The Western doctor is taught and even brainwashed into accepting only that which can be backed up by fact, graphs and double blind studies. Mainstream medical professionals believe that pharmaceuticals companies, and their products, will find a cure for all diseases, only after years of clinical trials have taken place; and only after all the constituents are understood, and their method of action is clear.  Anything short of that is considered Quackery.  The Western mind is too preoccupied with facts and figures information that all to oft flies in the face of herbal wisdom passed down through the centuries.   There are two varieties of Ginseng, American and Russian. Trials which have been carried out in Russia, with hundreds of human volunteers, have shown that Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) has turned out to have such a wide range of beneficial activities that a new name as been coined for it: it has been classified as an "adaptogen", since it improves the subjects performance or powers of endurance to such a degree that is has been used by Russian cosmonauts and athletes.  No medical drug has its range of beneficial effects with no harmful side effects.  Yet FDA has refused it GRAS status, and it can only be imported illegally.  When used in a mouse-stamina test, it was noticed that the mice swam nearly half as far again as the control mice. [12]

Unaltered herbal, or natural products, can not be patented.  Without profit, the pharmaceutical companies will not test or market a product that can't be patented.    Plants can be potent and sometimes poisonous.  The active chemicals in these plants had to be altered and highly purified in order to be patented.  These highly altered chemicals are producing too many side effects resulting in 60,000 to 140,000 deaths annually.

In the 60,000-yr-old grave of a Neanderthal man, in Iraq, grains of flower pollens were found. The family and friends of the dead man had surrounded his body with the flowers.  The eight species of the remaining seeds were analyzed and identified. Seven of the eight species are still being used in herbal medicine today.

Unaltered natural medicines have been shown to be effective.  History has shown us that herbs have been used for thousands of years with little or no side effects.   They are far more cost effective, and less harmful, than the strong altered chemicals produced by the giant pharmaceutical companies whose main interest is money.  The natural medicines must be regulated.  The public has to be confident that they are buying unadulterated herbs such as St. John's Wort and that the product has been grown, harvested and manufactured to produce a consistently appropriate strength of the active ingredient, Hypercum.  The relatively more frequent use of phytopharmaceuticals is mainly concerned with mild health disturbances, diseases and chronic sufferings.

The pharmaceutical drugs are not designed to restore general health or restore the bodies own natural healing powers; they are designed to block the bodies natural defense and mask the real underlying bodily malfunction.  For instance: A cold produces a runny nose... the nose is running to rid our body of the toxins, certain cold medicines dry up your nose, they will not cure the cold, but by drying up your nose, they will hinder your bodies efforts to get rid of it's own toxins.

Allopurinol prevents the body from producing excessive uric acid, which builds up in the joints, and causes the painful condition of gout.  Tagamet reduces the production of gastric acid.  Both of these drugs are not a cure; they do not cure the underlying reason why the body is making excessive quantities of acid in the first place.

This is the fundamental difference between a MD and an ND.  A Naturpathic doctor's goal is to use the diet, natural plants, to gently stimulate the body's own self-healing mechanisms.  Medicinal properties in plants are safely assimilated by the body, since plants are it's natural food. The plants
provide the whole food, not just a vitamin.

It is well known that Vit.B6 needs to be taken with Vit.B12 for either of them to be absorbed effectively by the body. The same applies to calcium; it must be taken with potassium.  And without doubt, it is far better to use fresh vegetables rather than a one-a-day for our daily source of vitamins and minerals.  This is the basic theory surrounding herbs, they should be taken as a whole, as we are still learning about the hidden values in the plant kingdom.  Plants are our close biological kin.  The chlorophyll has a chemical structure almost identical to the hemoglobin in the human blood.
Chlorophyll has a molecule of magnesium in its structural pattern, and hemoglobin carries a molecule of iron.

Frederick Fletcher Hyde sums it up: " . . . the whole biogenetically elaborated complex in the plant tissue . . . may include active principles . . . together with complex proteins, enzymes, trace elements . . . inorganic salts and ions, chlorophyll and Vitamin C, terpenoids, polycelluloses and pharmacologically potent alkaloids, glycosides and phenols in minute amounts.  Such a complex which has been produced in the context of a living cell is found by clinical observation to be more readily assimiliable and to elicit far fewer undesirable side-effects that the isolated principle." [18]

We may not know exactly why or how the phytochemicals in plants work; but one thing is certain, they have less harmful side effects than the drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies.  The drug compounds, that come from plants, have been altered, purified and turned into little tablets with fancy chemical names much more impressive than the common name of a plant.

We also know there are:

The number of visits to alternative medicine practitioners in US in 1990s almost doubled.
An article published in Reuters Health, Nov. 11, 1998:  wrote that Dr. Eisenberg,  the director of the Center for Alternative Medicine Research and Education at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, Massachusetts,  "presented results of a "2,000-person telephone survey"  which explored "the efficacy of alternative therapies." These results were published in the the November 11th, 1998 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.  JAMA editor-in-cheif, Dr. George Lundberg said:
"The current journal issue reflects the growing acceptance, and interest in proving efficacy of so-called alternative practices. There is no alternative medicine; there is only medicine," Dr. Lundberg said, " . . . many alternative medicine practices were gaining ...by merit, by earning and deserving acceptance scientifically."
"Conservatively, Americans spent $27 billion out-of-pocket on alternative therapies in 1997, $21 billion of that for about 629 million office visits. That is about twice as many visits as to conventional physicians' offices, Dr. Eisenberg said.  He discovered that the biggest users of alternative medicine currently do so for preventive reasons. They are primarily affluent, college-educated baby boomers between 35 and 50 years old, said Dr. Eisenberg. One in two in this age group seek out the therapies, mostly to ward off disease. As they age and become infirm, this group is likely to use alternative practices more and demand more payment for the services, he noted." [1] Medline Search
In the Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearings, on February 12, 1998, Guerkink-Born, Tammy. MD said:
"I am the Vice-President of the Michigan Osteopathic Board of Licensing and
Regulation. I have also been recently appointed as a voting delegate to the Federation
of State Medical Boards. My main objective today, however, is to give you a perspective that you may not yet have heard. A perspective that may explain to you
why true patient access does not exist currently. Two years ago I attended a National
Federation of State Medical Boards conference in Chicago, Illinois. The focus of the
very first presentation was how to stop the practice of alternative and complementary
medicine. As one Assistant Attorney General of California said at that meeting -"It is
difficult for us to get patients to complain about these doctors, so we will have to find ways to get them ourselves.'' He asked for a show of hands for how many states had
prosecuted alternative medicine doctors and many of the state representatives raised
their hands. Then he asked for a special conference to compare how other states had been successful in prosecuting alternative physicians simply because they were alternative not because they practiced bad medicine. Doctors may have been prosecuted for recommending nutritional or dietary therapies, not necessarily
controversial treatments. In fact out of the four years that I have been on the board in
Michigan, the number of alternative doctors that have been prosecuted for incompetence is extremely low. Many physicians practicing complementary therapies
combine them with traditional therapies to allow patients their choice of the best in each tradition. Many states have adopted policies that have forced patients to seek medical care in other countries or other states that may have more progressive policies. Many
good doctors with advanced degrees are unwilling to provide complementary therapies because of FDA and local medical society pressures.
The public is demanding their constitutional right to health and the freedom to choose our preferred method of medical treatment;  in some cases with the informed recommendations of our Doctor.

An agency, similar to the Commission E, in Germany, should be established to regulate the growth, harvest methods and manufacturing process of plants (herbs);  which will ensure that the quality and quantity of the active ingredients are consistent.  Within the near future, I believe we are going to see amazing healing discoveries accepted and a greater selection of phytopharmaceuticals (phyto=plant) marketed from our plant kingdom.

Wendy and Nicola Brown

Medline | search for "phytopharmaceuticals" 20 hits

1]    Americans are embracing alternative medical practices
2]    Active-oxygen scavenging activity of plant extracts.
3]    Possibilities and limits of therapy with European native drugs in modern clinical medicine.
4]    An evaluation of 55 commercial plant extracts in the Ames mutagenicity test.
5]    Is the biopharmaceutical quality of extracts adequate for clinical pharmacology?
6]    Inhibition of human complement by beta-glycyrrhetinic acid.
7]    Drug therapy of benign prostatic hyperplasia
8]    Taxol production in nodule cultures of Taxus.
9]    Plant extracts in relation to their prospective use as therapeutic
10]  Comparison of the skeletal muscle relaxant properties of Portulaca oleracea extracts.
11]  Antimicrobial activity of 20 plants used in folkloric medicine in the Palestinian area.
12]  Developmental regulation of a plant encoded inhibitor of eukaryotic initiation
13]  Ethnobotany and drug discovery: the experience of the US National
14]  Inhibitory effect of plant extracts on . . .
15]  Comparative studies on tree pollen allergens.
16]   . . . traditional Chinese medicine techniques both increased fetal activity
17]   UK, has signed three research agreements with institutions in the US to develop vaccines,
        in plants, designed to protect against hepatitis B and breast cancer.
18]  FDA concludes that soy protein reduces risk of coronary heart disease.
19]  Human Genome Project ahead of schedule, under budget
20]  AHA advisory: more fruits, vegetables to reduce elevated homocysteine levels

Sample result:

"Ethnobotany and drug discovery: the experience of the US National Cancer Institute. Cragg GM,Boyd MR,Cardellina JH 2nd,Newman DJ,Snader KM,McCloud TG Ciba Found Symp1994, 185::178-90; discussion 190-6 Between 1960 and 1981 the National Cancer Institute (NCI) screened 114,000 extracts of 35,000 plants, mainly collected in temperate regions. Of the three clinically active anticancer drugs so far discovered in that program, none was isolated from a plant collected on an ethnobotanical basis, though various Taxus species, which are the source of taxol, are reported to have been used medicinally. Since 1986, the NCI has focused its collections in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide; collections cover a broad taxonomic range, though priority is given to medicinal plants when relevant information is available. As of August 1993, 21,881 extracts derived from over 10,500 samples had been tested in a screen for activity against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); 2320 of these extracts were of medicinal plant origin. Approximately 18% of both the total number of extracts and the medicinal plant-derived extracts showed significant anti-HIV activity; in each instance about 90% of the active extracts were aqueous. The activity of the aqueous extracts has been
attributed mainly to the presence of polysaccharides or tannins. Four plant-derived compounds are in preclinical development at the NCI; only one of the four sources plants, obtained from a noncontract source, was collected on an ethnobotanical basis. At this stage the results indicate that the current NCI collection policy offers the best chances for the discovery and development of agents for the treatment of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and cancer. Author Address, Developmental Therapeutics Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892."

Good Links

USDA Nutritional Database

Contacts for further Herbal Information: :
Roy Upton, Herbalist
Executive Director, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
Member, Standards Committee, American Herbal Products Association
Vice-president, American Herbalists Guild 3051 Brown's lane Soquel, CA
95073 Tel: 408-461-6317 FAX: 408-438-7410 email: herbal@got.net

Dave Newman
Natural Products Branch
National Cancer Institute, USA

Wendy & Nicola Brown