In the book "The Herbal Drugstore" by Linda B. White and Steven Foster, we find some examples of the convergences between herbalism and modern medicine:
The book also points out that today, in any of the current regulatory frameworks, in order to make a medical claim, studies that include double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are required.
Random means that the individuals participating in the study are not pre-selected in any particular way, as this could influence the results. Instead, it could be all the residents of some nursing home, or the next 250 patients who visit a particular clinic.
Placebo-controlled means that some participants take the active herb or drug, while others receive an inactive substance or placebo. The latter almost always provides significant relief to about a third of people who take it, because the mind is able to stimulate the immune system. In order for the tested substance to be considered effective, it must produce results that are significantly superior to those produced by the placebo.
Double-blind means that neither the participants nor the researchers know in advance who took the placebo. This prevents researchers from treating participants differently, which could also influence the results.
Under these premises, various scientific studies related to medicinal plants have already been carried out, verifying their safety and efficacy. For example, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to test an extract of ginkgo to treat Alzheimer's disease.
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