Source: Target Publishing -

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Massive boost for herbal medicine: US puts $6.75m into five botanical research centres

It's the equivalent of the NHS spending £4 million to set up university-based research centres dedicated to herbal medicine – two US government bodies are funding five dietary supplement research centres focusing on studies of botanical products.

The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), both components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have come up with nearly $7 million to investigate the scientific base of knowledge about the safety, effectiveness, and mechanisms of action of herbal medicines.

The US government t has taken a pragmatic view: since millions of Americans are using “botanicals”, someone ought to checking safety and effectiveness. The 2002 National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 38.2 million American adults (about 19%) use non-vitamin, non-mineral natural products, primarily botanical supplements.

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