Preface to the paperback edition
A. L. Tommie Bass died in August
about eight years after the
original manuscript of this volume was completed. He had seen a
remarkable growth of interest in herbal medicine during that time.
As one reflection of this interest, Peggy Brevoort, in a
sion on the
S. botanical market, stated that the size and intensity of
consumer interest in botanicals was "exemplified in
when this
small [herb] industry successfully lobbied to pass legislation which
dramatically changed the way botanicals are regulated. Congress
received more mail on the Dietary Supplement Health and Education
Act of
than on any subject since the Vietnam War."
Tommie Bass began to promote commercially prepared herb cap-
sules in
even though this countered his long-standing rec-
ommendations of using teas and salves. Moreover, commercialism
contrasted sharply with his own service to patients, which was
mentioned in his New York Times obituary: "[Bass] spent much of
his life treating the people of Cherokee County and surrounding
areas without taking payment."
various approaches to the use of herbs in health
care have become more conspicuous. For some people, nutritional
herbalism has come of age as a result of the
Dietary Supplement
Health and Education Act, which legislates that herbs can be mar-
keted as "safe" unless proven otherwise by the government. In addi-
tion, given certain criteria, labels can include dosage recommenda-
tions and warnings about particular uses without dooming the herb
or product to be branded as a drug or food additive.
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