ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
CAREGIVING
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
Six Healthy-Sounding Foods That Really Aren't
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
Hurricane Threats: Time to Batten Down the Hatches
EYE CARE, VISION
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
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Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike

Medical personnel tend to think that people in general -- themselves included -- are poorly informed about herbal medicines and that their patients' faith in the power of such remedies is misplaced, according to a new survey.

The survey was conducted online among 164 subscribers to the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, which published the results online April 8. More than 80 percent of the respondents were doctors, mostly family physicians, and most of the other respondents were pharmacists.

More than 85 percent of the survey participants indicated that they believe the public is poorly informed about herbal medicines. None considered the public to be well informed. However, 75 percent said that doctors also are poorly informed on the subject, with 22 percent indicating that doctors are "moderately well informed."

Nearly half (48 percent) of the respondents said their own knowledge and understanding of herbal medicines was either "quite poor" or "very poor," and 90 percent said their knowledge of herbal medicines was much poorer than their knowledge of prescription drugs.

About 70 percent said that if they knew a patient was taking an herbal remedy about which they had little knowledge, they would get further information before starting or adjusting prescription drugs. Uncertainty about how to use such information was among the reasons they cited for not seeking further information about herbal medicines.

Among the other findings:

* More than 70 percent of the respondents said the public has misplaced faith in the effectiveness of herbal remedies.
* About 77 percent said they worried that their patients would take herbal medicines and not tell them. Nonetheless, just 13 percent said they always ask whether a patient is taking herbal medicines when reviewing or planning prescription drug treatment, and 55 percent said they never ask or do so only occasionally.
* Only 3 percent of respondents said they know a great deal about herbal medicine regulatory rules, and 85 percent said they believe that herbal medicines are not well regulated.

"It's obviously worrying that doctors in general seem to know so little about herbal medicines, given the widespread use of such products," Dr. Ike Iheanacho, editor of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, said in a news release from the journal. "The fact that few doctors make a point of asking patients whether they are taking herbal medicines raises further safety concerns. Similarly unsettling is that even when doctors don't know the effects of a herbal medicine a patient is taking, many won't try and look these up."

SOURCES: BMJ Journals, news release, April 7, 2010 Published on: April 08, 2010