Herbal Medicine

Western Herbal Medicine

What is a Medical Herbalist?

Furthering Your Knowledge

Herb Reference ~ English to Latin Name

Herb Reference ~ Latin to English Name

Herbal Medicine Terminology A-B

Herbal Medicine Terminology C-N

Herbal Medicine Terminology 0-Z

Herbs of the Month


Putting Your Knowledge to Use

Selected Health Topics



The first instinct should be to see if an operation can be avoided, not to seek reasons for performing it.
— British Medical Journal, 1895

Herbal Medicine


In 1996, 34 of the 125 American Medical schools – including Harvard, Yale and John Hopkins – now offer courses in alternative medicine. — Life Magazine, September, 1996

More than 16 500 people die in the United States each year from non-steroidal anti inflammatory (NSAID) related gastrointestinal bleeding. — Singh G.; "Recent considerations in nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drug gastropathy"; Am J Med 1998; 105 (1B):31S-8S.

Approximately 3% to 28% of hospitalizations in the United States are caused by adverse drug reactions (ADR’s) and 30% of hospitalized patients have such reactions. — Lazarou, Jason, et al., "Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients"; JAMA, April 15, 1998; Vol. 279. No 15.

Keeping things in perspective…

On his website, Dr. Jim Duke’s, Ph D. has created an excellent comparison and perspective on the concerns about and safety of herbal medicine. When comparing botanicals to other high risk procedures, the concerns about safety have been largely blown out of proportion:

Table of Fatalities
(Rounded no. of fatalities / no. people involved with procedure or medicine or herb)
Bypass Operations: 1 in 20
Iatrogenic hospital infections: 1 in 80
Medical Mishaps: 1 in 250
Cigarettes: 1 in 500
Alcohol: 1 in 500
Angiograms: 1 in 1,000
Improper Use of Medication: 1 in 2,000
Car Accident: 1 in 5,000
Surgery in Hospital: 1 in 10,000
Murders: 1 in 10,000
NSAIDS: 1 in 10,000
Food Poisoning: 1 in 25,000
Mushroom Poisonings: 1 in 100,000
Supplements: 1 in 1,000,000
Herbs: 1 in 1,000,000

References and further commentary on the above can be accessed from its source at: http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/syllabus/module15.htm found in Dr. Jim Duke’s, PhD, website.

Additional Reading

  • Death by Medicine by Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, November 2003 www.NutritionInstituteOfAmerica.org
  • Iatrogenic Illness: The Downside of Modern Medicine A White Paper by Gary Null, PhD & Debora Rasio, MD Copyright, 2000
    Detailed, well referenced articles on iatrogenic (drug induced) disease in the United States, including statistics and studies on hospital errors, unnecessary surgical procedures, x rays and hospitalizations, adverse drug reactions, medication errors and safety, environmental pollution, the over medication of seniors and issues pertaining to women’s health.
  • Relative Risk in Perspective (click image to enlarge)



© 2009 Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist
Port Moody Clinic: 201-2615 St John's Street, Port Moody BC, V3H 2B5 | tel.: 604.939.4325
Vancouver Clinic: Suite 514 -119 West Pender Street (at Abbott), Vancouver B.C. Canada, V6B 1S5, | tel.: 604.683.2298
Email: info@katolenyardley.com