What now?

On the larger scale it would be great if there was:

  • More transparency in the financial links to research
  • More funding for research into herbs for the sake of the herbs, not for a product development

From the point of view of herbalists:

  • Refining of the evidence base of traditional knowledge
  • Trials where treatment is individualised and person centred (making ‘placebo’ rather tricky, since it requires the engagement of the patient)
  • Ongoing basic research into physiological actions of the multiple compounds in herbs including the phenomena of synergy.
  • Ongoing research into the links between psychology and physiology and the way in which herbs often act on both in a synergistic fashion.
  • Could comparative effectiveness research models be a good way forward?

Herbalists practice according to a best evidence evaluation. This evaluation of the evidence base does not necessarily prioritise DBPCT’s above all other evidence, but assesses a portfolio of traditional knowledge, case studies, biomolecular research, clinical trials and clinical safety research.

As with the best of evidence based medicine, this is only half of the story, the other half being the skills, knowledge and therapeutic intuition of the practioner.

Sites to research herbs: