El Paso, TX–(HISPANC PR WIRE – US Newswire)–September 20, 2004–Should you drink Korean ginseng tea if you’re taking medicine for high blood pressure? Will eating nopales (prickly pear cactus) help or harm your diabetes treatment?
Researchers with the University of Texas at El Paso/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program are providing patients and medical providers answers to these kinds of questions with its Herbal
Safety Web site at www.herbalsafety.utep.edu
Research coordinator Armando Gonzalez-Stuart said the Herbal Safety site is unique because it is “one of few non-commercial sources of information about medicinal herbs presented in English
and Spanish” on the Web.
The pharmacy program’s Herbal Safety Initiative is funded by a $245,000 grant from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.
There is a great need for a reliable source of well-researched documentation about medicinal plants, particularly among the growing Hispanic population living along the U.S.-Mexico border,
the researchers said.
A study released this year by the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine revealed 19 percent of Americans are using natural products such as herbs, botanicals and enzymes.
However, recent studies by the UTEP researchers have found that herbal product use on the border is much higher than national rates—about 70 percent of patients interviewed used some kind of herbal product.
The researchers also found that only about a third of the patients said they told their doctors about their use of herbal remedies.
“It’s very common for low-income people to turn to herbs for medical treatment,” said José Rivera, director of UTEP’s Cooperative Pharmacy Program and assistant dean of the UT Austin College of Pharmacy.
The researchers hope the Web site will help encourage medical professionals to ask their patients if they are supplementing their traditional treatment with herbal medications.
The Herbal Safety Web site includes:
— Fact sheets for 40 medicinal plants (English and Spanish)
— Scientific monographs for 36 medicinal plants
— Scientific publications and presentations in PDF format
The University of Texas at El Paso is the only doctoral-research university in the United States with a Mexican-American majority student population. Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, the university ranks second in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics.
On the Web: http://www.utep.edu
Media Contact: Armando Gonzalez-Stuart, research coordinator, UTEP/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program at 915-747-8521 or e-mail asgonzalez1(At)utep.edu or David Peregrino, University Communications at 915-747-7507 or e-mail email@example.com
UTEP/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program
UTEP/UT University Communications