Table

69.2 Herbal Formulations

Active Ingredients

Botanical Source

Formulation

Means of Preparation

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)

Atropine

Capsaicin

Colchicine

Digitalis

Morphine

Pilocarpine

Podophyllin

Quinine

Reserpine

Taxol

Vincristine, vinblastine

Willow bark (salicylic acid) Belladonna nightshade Pepper plant Autumn crocus Foxglove Opium poppy Jaborandi tree Mayapple root Cinchona bark Indian snake root Pacific yew tree bark Madagascar periwinkle

Infusion

Tea (tisane)

Decoction

Maceration

Tincture

Fluid extract

Glycerin extract

Juice

Inhalation Oil

Ointment Lozenge

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)

Atropine

Capsaicin

Colchicine

Digitalis

Morphine

Pilocarpine

Podophyllin

Quinine

Reserpine

Taxol

Vincristine, vinblastine

Willow bark (salicylic acid) Belladonna nightshade Pepper plant Autumn crocus Foxglove Opium poppy Jaborandi tree Mayapple root Cinchona bark Indian snake root Pacific yew tree bark Madagascar periwinkle preparations. The difference is that homeopathic remedies are serially diluted and shaken until they may lack any molecule of the original herb ingredient. Therefore, there is no risk of pharmacological toxicity from a homeopathic preparation. Bach's Flower Remedies are a homeopathic variation in which flower essences are created by floating flowers in sunlit water. These essences are usually intended as remedies for emotional and spiritual rather than specific physical complaints.

Aromatherapy uses a variety of fragrant plant oils to treat mood or physical problems either topically (as an adjunct to massage) or through inhalation. Some of these oils are quite potent, and if not used in proper dilution, they may cause skin irritation or contact allergy. Toxic ingestions are also possible.

Herbs from these traditions often are administered in a confusing array of preparations (Table 69.2). In the U. S. market, tablet and capsule formulations are the most popular, while overseas, teas or infusions of herbs are the most widely used. Tinctures consist of an herb steeped in a mix of alcohol and water, and extracts consist of one part herb to one part ethyl alcohol. The alcohol content can be a concern, particularly with children. Some of these products have been withdrawn by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this reason but may still be available outside the United States.

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