Australian College of Phytotherapy
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Australian College of Phytotherapy

Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy

Second edition
A core must-have textbook

Kerry Bone MCPP, FNHAA, FNIMH, DipPhyto, BSC(Hons), Head of Research and Development, MediHerb Pty Ltd, Warwick Queensland, Principal Australian College of Phytotherapy, Australia and Simon Mills MCPP, FNIMH, MA, Director, Centre for Complementary Health Studies, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.

The first edition of Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy published in 2000 was the first authoritative, comprehensive modern textbook for western herbal medicine, covering all the major aspects of the field from fundamental concepts, traditional use and scientific research through to safety, effective dosage and clinical applications. It became the central textbook for students of phytotherapy in many English-speaking countries and was widely used by natural therapists, researchers, and professionals in the manufacturing industry from Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and beyond.

Now the long-awaited second edition brings a complete revision of the material in the first, with 50 fully up-to-date evidence-based monographs including 7 new herbs. Written by herbal practitioners with active experience in clinical practice, education, manufacturing and research, the textbook is both practical and evidence based.

In addition, the all-important therapeutics Chapters 8 and 9 have been comprehensively updated and extended to include many new insights into the herbal management of approximately 100 modern disease states. Additional information includes extensive coverage of vital new topics such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, acne, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, insulin resistance, migraine headaches and prostate cancer, to name a few. However, the focus on the individual case and the specific needs of the patient in terms of the herbs best suited to them is emphasised in the material. In addition, the authors have added wide-ranging discussions of the contribution of phytotherapy to important modern health issues, including healthy ageing, gut dysbiosis, cognition enhancement and management of andropause.

Above all, Bone and Mills have been able to distil their more than 60 years of combined experience in herbal practice, research, education, writing, regulation, manufacture and quality assurance to arrive at the most accurate, balanced, evidence-based and informed treatise on this topic.


  • Extensive revision of the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of archetypal herbal constituents (Chapter 2) including a comprehensive, updated discussion of important fundamental concepts such as the role of secondary metabolites, synergy and additive effects, polyvalent or multifaceted activity and herbs as pharmacologically "intelligent" mixtures.
  • A comprehensive revision of vital safety data, including an extensive herb-drug interaction chart, evaluated from the perspective of experienced herbal clinicians, which informs the reader in a user-friendly fashion of the key safety issues relevant to herbal practice and helps them to differentiate between the false scares and the real concerns.
  • Despite its strong scientific focus, the book does not neglect the philosophical/ traditional foundations of western herbal therapy, with an extensive discussion of these important grounding considerations in Chapters 1 and 3 and elsewhere throughout the dosage and therapeutic chapters and the herbal monographs. In particular, the approach of using herbs to correct internal dysfunction as well as focussing on symptoms is emphasised.
  • Chapter 8 includes major rewrites of topics including the role of herbs in malignant diseases (with a review of the recent clinical evidence) and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, with a focus on new information and hypotheses.
  • Chapter 9 includes new sections on the herbal management of skin and endocrine diseases together with updated herbal protocols informed by the latest research into the aetiology and treatment of most common health disorders. Important new topics such as metabolic syndrome, thyroid disorders, gout, erectile dysfunction and even herbs for healthy longevity are included. Worked case histories and example formulations are used to illustrate the phytotherapeutic approach.
  • Fifty herbal monographs exhaustively researched and compiled include vital research information that is difficult to find elsewhere. The relevant literature has been rigorously reviewed using evidence-based criteria. New herbs covered include gotu kola, willow bark, bugleweed, butcher's broom, Boswellia, myrrh and Tribulus. The already extensive pharmacology, clinical trial and safety data have been comprehensively updated, reviewing all the relevant primary publications.


PART 1 Background and strategies

1 Herbal therapeutic systems
2 Principles of herbal pharmacology
3 Principles of herbal treatment
4 Validating herbal therapeutics
5 Optimising safety

PART 2 Practical clinical guides
6 Dosage and dosage forms in herbal medicine
7 A systematic approach to herbal prescribing
8 Herbal approaches to pathological states Topical applications, Fever, Infectious diseases, Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, Fatigue and debility, Malignant diseases
9 Herbal approaches to system dysfunctions Digestive system and bowel, Biliary system, The liver, Cardiovascular system, Respiratory system, Urinary system, Nervous system, Female reproductive system, Joint diseases, Skin diseases, Male reproductive system, Endocrine disorders

PART 3 Materia Medica
10 How to use the monographs Andrographis, Arnica flowers, Astragalus, Berberis bark and Hydrastis root, Bilberry fruit, Black cohosh, Boswellia, Buchu, Bugleweed and European Bugleweed, Bupleurum, Butcher's broom, Chamomile, German, Chaste tree, Chelidonium, Devil's claw, Dong quai, Echinacea root, Evening primrose oil, Eyebright, Fennel fruit, Feverfew, Ginger, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Globe artichoke, Gotu kola, Hawthorn, Horsechestnut seed, Kava, Licorice, Meadowsweet, Melilotus, Myrrh, Nettle, Pau d'arco, Peppermint, Poke root, Rehmannia, Saw palmetto, Siberian ginseng, St John's wort, St Mary's thistle, Thyme, Tribulus leaf, Turmeric, Valerian, Willow bark, Witchhazel, Withania

Appendix A: Glossary of herbal actions
Appendix B: Toxic or potentially toxic herbs
Appendix C: Potential herb–drug interactions for commonly used herbs
Appendix D: Herbs and children: basic dosage rules
Appendix E: Herbal clinical trial papers: how to read them

ISBN 9780443069925                 1056 pages             Churchill Livingstone