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Prescription or Poison?: The Benefits and Dangers of Herbal Remedies Paperback – June 8, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hunter House; 1 edition (June 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897935500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897935500
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,154,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


Prescription or Poison? is written in layman’s terms, is based on current information and research, includes complete descriptions of common herbs, and uses several case studies that demonstrate benefits and dangers in real-life terms. This book is a superb reference tool for a consumer who takes prescription drugs and wants to avoid conflicts with herbs, food, alcohol, and other substances. It is just as valuable for anyone who wants an authoritative overview of the benefits and dangers of herbal remedies. —ForeWord Reviews

More About the Author

Amitava Dasgupta was born in Calcutta, India in 1958 and immigrated to U.S in 1980. He received his Ph.D from Stanford University and Fellowship training in Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology from the University of Washington at Seattle. Currently, he is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at University of Texas Medical School at Houston. His research interest is in the field of drug-drug interaction, alcohol and drugs of abuse testing as well as efficacy and toxicity of herbal supplements using in vitro cellular model or animal model. He has published 182 scientific articles in many medical journals and is a member of the editorial board of five international journals including American Joural of Clinical Pathology, Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Journal.

Although Dr. Dasgupta is a toxicologist by profession, his passion is writing poetry especially haiku. His poems and haiku have appeared in many magazines including Modern Haiku and Frogpond. He lives in Houston with his wife and two cats.

twilight
I think about you
as leaves fall

Customer Reviews

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Written for laymen, it uses easy to understand terms and is clearly laid out.
Barbara J. Case
As a fan of alternative medicines, chiropractic care, supplements and homeopathy, it was with great interest that I read Prescription or Poison?
Sean D. Harvey
In short, this is the only book you need if you are thinking about taking, or are currently taking herbal supplements.
Dead Climber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The best thing about this book is the thorough research done and the citing of references and studies to back up the author's writings, so you know he's not making anything up. The laws in America for the testing of prescription drugs are such that there is data on the prescriptions while the herbs have no such requirement. Therefore the studies are not always available on the herbs or any of the alternative treatments. The author is so cautious it seems he always errs on the side of caution going with the prescription drug with a study over a very old plant based remedy which doesn't have a study on it. He is playing it safe, almost acting like a lawyer in his attempt to be so cautious.

I also note the bias in the subtitle "the benefits and dangers of herbal remedies" YET he does not discuss negative known side effects of prescription drugs! For example he may recommend against using a certain herb or plant based remedy as it sometimes causes liver damage yet many very common top selling prescription medications are used today which have more data behind them showing they cause liver damage. Doctors monitor patients who take Lipitor (used to lower blood cholesterol levels) with blood tests to look for signs that the drug is damaging the liver. Users of Warfarin (aka Coumadin -- first used as a rat poison now used as blood thinner) and Lithium (used to treat depression) are monitored to prevent poisoning by too-high levels of the toxic materials in the patient's bloodstream. Yet Dr. Dasgupta is so cautious that he warns the reader that St. John's Wort can cause photosensitivity (which, come on, is no big deal compared to some of the known side effects of some of the depression prescription medications which are the other choices).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By naturegirl on February 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for an initial and very quick reference to thumb through, this book works. It is by no means complete (you will look up many herbal and even ayurvedic medicines and not find them) but it is a good addition to a serious herbal remedy library. I will caution you, though, about seller Bookbums, who offers it. After putting this book in my cart, then sending a message to seller Bookbums inquiring about the condition of the last copy that they carried and thanking them for their fair price, they immediately raised the price on the book, then admitted in an email to me to raising its value because I had expressed an interest and commented on how good their price was (!). This is a good book full of very useful information on herbal pros and cons, and I do recommend it despite the brevity and incompleteness of its listings, but please support better people that are here trying to make a living. There are lots of sellers offering this book, and they are all more deserving of your business. Prescription or Poison?: The Benefits and Dangers of Herbal Remedies
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dead Climber on July 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have read numerous books on alternative medicine and herbal remedies and this book is by far the best at setting forth the answer to the question which most people want to know which is, not just "Can it help me?" but, "Can it HURT me?". Once that threshold issue is resolved in my mind, which this author does in a very readable manner, I feel more inclined to try some of these alternatives. The book is very informative and really is the only book I've read of this type where the author backed up good or bad statements about a supplement, or other alternative therapy with solid references to research. Unlike books which push one side or other of the issue, you get the distinct impression that the author is giving you "Just the facts". After reading this book, I feel empowered by the knowledge gained to make greater use of the supplements and alternative therapies that have been proven to work and to avoid those which are toxic or have interactions with medication.

Without a doubt, I will use this as the "go to" book around the house when contemplating a supplement or alternative therapy and I recommend it.

In short, this is the only book you need if you are thinking about taking, or are currently taking herbal supplements.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara J. Case on September 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book could save you money and even your health. Written for laymen, it uses easy to understand terms and is clearly laid out. It talks about what supplements to avoid because they may actually damage your health and when to avoid mixing certain supplements and herbs with prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Amitava Dasgputa (Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas-Houston Medical School) presents Prescription or Poison? The Benefits and Dangers of Herbal Remedies, a cautionary resource that provides a balanced, evenhanded, and practical overview of available alternative remedies. Though Prescription or Poison? adheres strongly to a scientific viewpoint, the emphasis is above all on the safety of remedies - alternative remedies such as supplements, homeopathy, and ayurvedic medicines are not derided or denounced, but rather carefully evaluated with solid recommendations on their proper use. Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, "Prescription or Poison?" is an absolute must-have for anyone considering the use of alternative remedies for themselves or loved ones. "[Essential oils] should be kept out of reach of children - in the Western world, essential oils are the fourth-most common agent in childhood poisoning... Five mL of oil of wintergreen is equivalent to 21.7 adult aspirin tablets (325 mg), and its ingestion can cause serious toxicity even in adults."
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