International experts to say what's known, what's speculation about medicinal herbs

Are medicinal herbs -- now extremely popular in the United States but only poorly regulated -- safe? Do they work? Or are they just so much snake oil? How much should a person take to produce the desired effect?

Some of the world's top experts on the effects of garlic, ginseng, ginko biloba, comfrey, saw palmetto, feverfew, echinacea and St. John's wort will summarize what's known about the herbs and what remains speculation at an 11:45 a.m. news conference Thursday (March 2). Reporters are invited to the briefing, which will be held in the Dogwood Room of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

The event is part of the first international scientific conference on medicinal herbs, which continues through Friday (March 3) at the Friday Center. The unique gathering, which also will present new research findings, is being sponsored by the UNC Institute of Nutrition, the UNC-CH schools of medicine and public health, Duke University, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and other organizations.

Television crews can unload equipment in front of the center, which is located just off N.C. 54 roughly midway between Interstate 40 and the UNC-CH campus. The access road is marked with brown signs along the highway.


Contact: David Williamson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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