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Guide to Herbal Medicine Chosen as Finalist For Medical Book of the Year

Guide to Herbal Medicine Chosen as Finalist
For Medical Book of the Year
First Alternative Medicine Book to Qualify for this Award

Austin, Texas, April 18, 1999 -- For the first time ever, an alternative medicine publication has been recognized as an outstanding contribution to the field of health science publications. The Complete German Commission E Monographs-Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines has been chosen as one of the top three medical books released in 1998. Doody Publishing, the leading reviewer of medical titles, chose this book using a process involving over 3,500 titles published last year. An expert panel of professionals in health sciences affiliated with major universities, including the Center for Disease Control, and major hospitals and healthcare systems, made the final three selections. All the publications submitted were required to pass meticulous levels of peer review, including authority of the author and the quantity and currency of references.


The Complete German Commission E Monographs, produced in August 1998, by the American Botanical Council of Austin, Texas, and published in collaboration with Integrative Medicine Communications of Newton, Massachusetts, is the culmination of five years of translation and review by the senior editor, Mark Blumenthal, and contributing editors. The Commission E is an expert panel appointed by Germany’s equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, overseeing extensive government evaluation of the safety and efficacy of herbal medicines. This publication represents the Commission’s advice on the benefits and potential risks of herbal medicines for both health professionals and consumers.

The Complete German Commission E Monographs contains 380 herb monographs, both approved and disapproved for use. The book is indexed and cross-referenced, with tables and appendices offering comprehensive therapeutic information for each herb. With today’s increased interest in herbal supplements, this guidebook serves as an authoritative tool in aiding health professionals to understand the therapeutic benefits and potential risks of herbal medicines. As the Doody reviewers cite, "There are no other books at this time to which this can be compared. This is an important reference book for the healthcare providers committed to the responsible use of botanicals in their practice, through their own initiation, or in understanding the safety and efficacy of botanicals used by their patients."

Since publication in August 1998, The Complete German Commission E Monographs has received acclaim from many professionals in the health sciences. "Arguably the best compendium of clinical information about herbs in the world," states Archives of Family Medicine. "The Complete German Commission E is essential for anyone involved in the manufacturing, research, use, or dispensing of herbs…it represents the foundation for the evolution of herbal medicine in the United States," cites a review in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. From a cover story November 1998, TIME magazine calls the publication a "scientific tome," providing rational regulatory guidelines to medicinal herbs.

To attest to the book’s ease of use, Annals of Internal Medicine says, "The introduction carefully delineates the expertise and methodology of the Commission, adding to the authority of the text. The ability to quickly look up the known toxicity of an herb is a clear benefit. Therefore, this book can be used to advise a patient about the potential risks and benefits of most medicinal herbs." "Accurate, responsible, authoritative, it is a must for every health professional interested in practicing natural medicine, " says Andrew T. Weil, M.D., physician, botanist, and alternative health author.

The importance and current value of this publication is most relevant today, following a record-breaking year of herbal supplement sales in the U.S. With market sales figures of nearly $4 billion last year in herbal products, purchased by more than 60 million Americans, it is obvious that consumers are demanding more natural medicines. As the first alternative medical book to be chosen as a finalist for medical book of the year, The Complete German Commission E Monographs provides guidance to the responsible use of herbs to meet these demands.

The American Botanical Council is a 10-year old Austin, Texas-based, non-profit organization, whose mission is to research, educate, and promote the responsible use of herbal medicines. ABC was founded by its Executive Director, Mark Blumenthal. As senior editor of the book, Blumenthal says, "The Complete German Commission E Monographs offers the busy health professional reliable information on approved uses of herbs, contraindications, side effects, proper dosages, durations of use, and possible herb-drug interactions. Prior to publication of this book, this information was not available in any reference book for health professionals."

The Complete German Commission E Monographs book (710 pages; $165) is also available in CD-ROM format ($99). The American Botanical Council also publishes the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal, HerbalGram, and offers an extensive 32-page Herbal Education Catalog containing medicinal herb books and other educational materials. Inquiries can be accessed via phone (512) 926-4900, fax: (512) 926-2345, or by visiting the website at Other ABC programs include Continuing Education Courses for pharmacists, ethnobotanical tours of the world’s rainforests, and the Ginseng Evaluation Program.