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Tyler's books.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: Ginkgo Biloba
From: p_iannone.pop.com (Paul Iannone)
Date: Wed, 10 May 95 15:30:34 PST

Camilla Cracchiolo <camilla.primenet.com> wrote:
: My main source of information on Gingko is _The Honest Herbal_ by Varro Tyler, Ph.D. Many 'quack-busters' regard Tyler's work very highly. Tyler is a tenured professor of pharmacognosy (the branch of pharmacy that deals with herbal medicine) in the school of pharmacy at Purdue University. Steven Barrett mentions in his book _The Vitamin Pushers_ that Tyler is also the former dean of Purdue's school of pharmacy. _The Honest Herbal_ is the one herb book that I have ever found that relies solely on scientific studies instead of anecdotes *and* which provides references.

Which is why Tyler uses newspapers, trade papers, and rumors as references. 'Many quack-busters'--well, that is a prestigious group of ambulance chasers! They have certainly spent a lot of time (not) studying the vastness of traditional healing, and have no agenda that would interfere with their judgement. Moral of the story is that if you wish to be healed by the Amazing Randi, then you had better check to see if cynicism and hyper-rationality indeed possesses a healing force, and are not simply the condescending offal of poorly-integrated individuals.

Any one of Michael Moore's books blows the doors off all of Tyler's lame ramblings.

--Paul || p_iannone.pop.com


From: karyn.siegel-maier.kotl.uu.ids.net

>Which is why Tyler uses newspapers, trade papers, and rumors as references.

I would have to agree with you about Tyler. I've been referencing the book recently to prepare for some material that I'm writing. While I can appreciate an approach of ingnoring folklore and presenting clinical evidence, I think the author has successfully ignored both! The book is organized with short (and I mean short...1-2 pages) sections devoted to each herb. At the end of nearly every section the author interjects something to negate any pharmoclogical findings. For instance, the section on ginsengs...we've all heard, read, experienced. learned from eastern medicine of the benefits of ginseng(s). However, Tyler concludes this section with [..."it is necessary to agree with Lewis' conclusion regarding this interesting herb. "unfortunately, ginseng remains a medical enigma with no proven efficacy for humans."] Now, I find that quite disappointing!

Do we have to see the light come on to know that it does when we close the refrigerator door? I'm not saying the book hasn't any value to it - not at all. And, the good Dr. is certainly entitled to his professional analysis. I just find myself taking what information I can glean from it and turning to other sources.


From: camilla.primenet.com (Camilla Cracchiolo)

karyn.siegel-maier.kotl.uu.ids.net wrote:
: However, Tyler concludes this section with [..."it is necessary to agree with Lewis' conclusion regarding this interesting herb. "unfortunately, ginseng remains a medical enigma with no proven efficacy for humans."] Now, I find that quite disappointing!

Actually, he states that most of the herbs in his book have pharmacologic activity. He gives glowing reviews to silymarin, gingko biloba, valerian, ginger (which he relates is even more effective than dramamine in the control of nausea), aloe, and peppermint among many others. When there is no evidence that the folklore about an herb is true, or if there are dangers or the evidence is ambiguous, he says so.


From: p_iannone.pop.com (Paul Iannone)

Camilla Cracchiolo <camilla.primenet.com> wrote:
: When there is no evidence that the folklore about an herb is true, or if there are dangers or the evidence is ambiguous, he says so.

Wouldn't that be nice? The efficacy of ginseng is amply evidenced, Camilla. If Tyler indeed tries to poo-poo those effects because he feels the need to run against the tide of the alternative health world, that is his problem. Feed those ginsenosides to mice and watch them swim! It's not exactly a secret, or a folktale--more an effect that as yet evades a simplistic mechanism that boneheads like Tyler can understand.

--Paul || p_iannone.pop.com



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