Elizabeth M Williamson

Elizabeth M Williamson
University of Reading · School of Pharmacy

PhD

About

214
Publications
102,455
Reads
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6,083
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
University of London
January 2005 - present
University of Reading
January 2003 - present
The School of Pharmacy
Education
October 1973 - July 1977
The School of Pharmacy
Field of study
  • Pharmacognosy

Publications

Publications (214)
Article
Full-text available
In times of health crisis, including the current COVID‐19 pandemic, the potential benefit of botanical drugs and supplements emerges as a focus of attention, although controversial efficacy claims are rightly a concern. Phytotherapy has an established role in everyday self‐care and health care, but, since botanical preparations contain many chemica...
Preprint
Full-text available
In times of health crisis, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, the potential benefit of botanical drugs and supplements emerges as a focus of attention, although controversial efficacy claims are rightly a concern. Phytotherapy has an established role in everyday selfcare and health care, and since botanical preparations contain many chemical...
Article
The nutraceuticals market is vast and amorphous, encompassing many different types of products from a wide range of sources, with inconsistent levels of evidence available to support their use. This overview represents a mainly Western perspective of trends in the nutraceuticals market, with a brief comparison of the situation in China, as an illus...
Article
Astaxanthin (AX)‐containing preparations are increasingly popular as health food supplements. Evaluating the maximum safe daily intake of AX is important when setting dose levels for these products and currently, there are discrepancies in recommendations by different regulatory authorities. We have therefore conducted a review of approved dose lev...
Article
Full-text available
Plants are important resources in healthcare and for producing pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmacological and phytochemical characterization contributes to both the safe use of herbal medicines and the identification of leads for drug development. However, there is no recent assessment of the proportion of plants used in ethnomedicine that are character...
Chapter
A number of neurotoxins have been found in herbal medicines and it is likely that others with more subtle or complex effects remain to be discovered. Severe poisoning by herbal products may be due to factors such as misidentification, adulteration, and poor processing of the plant material, and CNS “herbal” toxicity in particular may also be the re...
Article
Full-text available
Background Herb/Dietary Supplements (HDS) are the most popular Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) modality used by cancer patients and the only type which involves the ingestion of substances which may interfere with the efficacy and safety of conventional medicines. This study aimed to assess the level of use of HDS in cancer patients un...
Article
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses represent the uppermost ladders in the hierarchy of evidence. Systematic reviews/meta-analyses suggest preliminary or satisfactory clinical evidence for agnus castus (Vitex agnus castus) for premenstrual complaints, flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) for hypertension, feverfew (Tanacetum partenium) for migraine prev...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the separate and combined anthelmintic (AH) effects of different phenolic compounds, including condensed tannins and flavonoids, all of which are known to occur in willow leaves, a potentially valuable dry season feed. A range of contrasting model tannins, which span the whole range of willow tannins, were isolated from tili...
Chapter
Bone diseases, and their causes and treatments, are only recently starting to be understood in a modern physiological sense and are often not discussed as such in traditional medicine texts. To use the ethnopharmacological literature to identify useful agents for bone and joint disorders, it is therefore necessary to understand how they are viewed...
Chapter
The histories of Western orthodox medicine (OM) and herbal medicine (HM) are inextricably intertwined because until the nineteenth century, with the advent of synthetic chemistry, all drugs were obtained from natural sources, and mostly from plants. During the period of the Middle Ages, Greek medical manuscripts were preserved and translated into A...
Article
ETHNOBOTANICAL RELEVANCE: cancer patients commonly use traditional medicines (TM) and in Thailand these are popular for both self-medication and as prescribed by TM practitioners, and are rarely monitored. A study was conducted at Wat Khampramong, a Thai Bhuddist temple herbal medicine hospice, to document some of these practices as well as the hos...
Book
Healthcare professionals, including doctors, pharmacists and nurses, are often confronted with patients who use over-the-counter (OTC) herbal medicinal products and food supplements. While taking responsibility for one’s own health and treatment options is encouraged, many patients use these products based on limited (and sometimes inaccurate) info...
Article
Full-text available
Differentiated human neural stem cells were cultured in an inert three-dimensional (3D) scaffold and, unlike two-dimensional (2D) but otherwise comparable monolayer cultures, formed spontaneously active, functional neuronal networks that responded reproducibly and predictably to conventional pharmacological treatments to reveal functional, glutamat...
Book
Healthcare professionals, including doctors, pharmacists and nurses, are often confronted with patients who use over-the-counter (OTC) herbal medicinal products and food supplements. While taking responsibility for one's own health and treatment options is encouraged, many patients use these products based on limited (and sometimes inaccurate) info...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.). There is anecdotal and pre-clinical evidence for cannabis use in epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, appetite regulation and many other conditions, where it has been taken illicitly...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical and pre-clinical evidence, indications, mechanisms of action, potential interactions, contraindications, and possible adverse effects of the herbal medicine Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.). Black cohosh is used mainly to relieve menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes. It has also been used for symptomatic relief...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, contraindications, information about adverse effects and dosage of Yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe). Yohimbe is recommended for erectile dysfunction (ED) in males and loss of libido in females; it has also been advocated as an aid to weight loss and t...
Chapter
This chapter presents the indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence and mechanisms of action, interactions, contraindications, adverse effects, dosage, and general plant information of Arnica (Arnica montana L. ). Arnica is used topically to treat sprains, bruises, inflammation, fracture oedema and muscle pain; and may support treatment...
Chapter
This chapter talks about the herbal medicine feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium (L.)). Feverfew has traditionally been used for fever, as the name suggests, as well as rheumatic conditions, coughs and colds. The chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of feverfew....
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of ginseng (Panax ginseng). The closely related species P. quinquefolius and P. ginseng both contain similar triterpene saponins, which include those commonly referred to as ginsenosides; an essential oil with polya...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens (W. Bartram) Small). Saw palmetto extracts are used to relieve lower urinary tract symptoms such as dysuria, polyuria and urine retention, in men with a confirmed diagnosis of benign...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Flavonoids, including apigenin, eriodictyol, luteolin, naringenin and others are the main non-volatile constituents found in thyme herb. Traditionally, thyme is used in the treatment o...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of chilli/capsicum (Capsicum annuum L., C. frutescens L., C. pubescens). The pungent principles are the capsaicinoids, present in concentrations up to 1.5%, but more usually around 0.1%. The major capsaicinoids are...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence and mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.)). Bearberry preparations are intended to relieve symptoms of mild cases of water retention and early symptoms of mild urinary tract infections ((UTI); burning sensations...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis, S. sphenanthera). Schisandra is considered an ‘adaptogen’ (that is, it increases resistance to stress), and is used as a general tonic and to improve fatigue, for chronic coughs...
Chapter
This chapter talks about the herbal plant, Verbena (Verbena officinalis L.). It presents clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence and mechanisms of action, interactions, contraindications, information about adverse effects and dosage of Verbena. Verbena is used for the relief of nasal congestion and sinusitis (generally in combination products) and...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Boldo Peumus boldo Molina. Boldo is used for mild digestive disturbances, gallstones, cystitis, and rheumatism; often used as an aid to slimming. The leaves contain alkaloids and essential oil, the main component...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). The uses of E. senticosus are similar to those of Asian and American ginseng, notably to improve the immune function. In this context it is used as an ‘adaptogen’, increasing...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus L.). Raspberry leaf is very commonly taken as a tea during the later stages of pregnancy, as it is reputed to facilitate labour. It is also used for the relief of menstrual cramps, fo...
Chapter
This chapter talks about Aloe Vera (Gel) (Aloe Vera (L.)), discussing its indications, clinical evidence, interactions and contraindications, possible adverse effects, dosage, and general plant information. Aloe Vera gel is applied externally to treat skin irritation (such as from insect bites), burns, psoriasis, wounds, radiation dermatitis and fr...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of red vine leaf (Vitis vinifera L.). Red vine leaf is used for relieving symptoms associated with non-complicated chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), including mild oedema, and sensations of heaviness and tingling...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa L. ). Wild lettuce herb is used traditionally as a sedative in irritable cough and as a mild hypnotic in insomnia. It is rarely used alone but is common in products also containing va...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of hoodia (Hoodia gordonii (Masson) Sweet ex Decne). Hoodia is an appetite suppressant for weight loss and, more recently, for treating diabetes. H. gordonii extract has been extensively characterised; chemical prof...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical and pre-clinical evidence, indications, mechanisms of action, potential interactions, contraindications, and possible adverse effects of the herbal medicine Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera L.). The main active constituents of the root are the steroidal lactones, the withanolides, which include withaferin A, and sitoin...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, contraindications, information about adverse effects and dosage of wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria (L.)). The approved uses of Wild Indigo are for the relief of symptoms of the common cold, such as cough, catarrh, sore throat, runny or blocked nose....
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Rhodiola (Sedum roseum (L. ) Scop.). The medicine is used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety. The main active constituents of the root are the...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of sea buckthorn (Elaeagnus rhamnoides (L. )). Preparations of the fruit are commonly used as a source of vitamins and antioxidants. Therapeutic claims are mostly for chronic inflammatory conditions, including arthr...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.). The main constituents are iridoid glycosides including aucubin and catalpol, mucilage polysaccharides, flavonoids such as apigenin and luteolin, the phenylethanoids (act...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Graviola (Annona muricata L.). The leaves, seeds and bark contain annonaceous acetogenins, including annonacin, annonacinone, annomontacin, murisolin and a series of muricins; and alkaloids including the benzylis...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical and pre-clinical evidence, indications, mechanisms of action, potential interactions, contraindications, and possible adverse effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale aggr., T. mongolicum Hand). Dandelion is used as a diuretic and adjuvant in minor urinary complaints, and also to relieve the symptoms of mild digesti...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, contraindications, information about adverse effects and dosage of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.). Gingko is used mainly to enhance cognition, and to prevent or reduce memory deterioration during old age, and in the milder forms of dementia including the...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). Ginger is one of the most widely used herbal medicines in the world and has a history of traditional use in most countries. Under the traditional herbal registration (THR) sch...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical and pre-clinical evidence, indications, mechanisms of action, potential interactions, contraindications, and possible adverse effects of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia). More than 200 compounds have been isolated from the fruit, seeds, leaves and roots. The main use of the fruit is for the management of type 2 diab...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence and mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of gentian (Gentiana lutea L.). Traditionally, gentian is used to treat loss of appetite following convalescence, and gastrointestinal complaints such as dyspepsia, bloating and flatulence. Historically, it was u...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of cramp bark (Viburnum opulus L.). The bark contains many phenolic derivatives, in particular catechins and epicatechin; ellagic, caffeic, chlorogenic, neochlorogenic, p-coumaric, ferulic, gallic, protocatechuic, h...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of the herbal medicine Astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus Bunge). In Europe and North America, it is used as an ‘adaptogen’ and for colds and flu, often in combinations. It is used widely in traditional Chinese medi...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence and mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of ispaghula husk, and psyllium husk (Plantago ovata Forssk.). Ispaghula preparations are used for the treatment of habitual constipation, and where soft stools are desirable, for example, after rectal or anal su...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Mallow (Malva sylvestris L.). Mallow herbal teas and hydroalcoholic extracts are most commonly used for upper respiratory tract inflammation, due to their antibacterial and demulcent properties. They are formulat...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical and pre-clinical evidence, indications, mechanisms of action, potential interactions, contraindications, and possible adverse effects of chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile (L.)). Internally, Roman chamomile is used to treat digestive ailments, including bloating and flatulence; and as a sedative for restlessness and...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Lobelia (Lobelia inflata L.). The active constituents are the piperidine alkaloids, mainly lobeline, but also lobelanine, lobelanidine, norlobelanine, lelobanidine, norlelobanidine, norlobelanidine and lobinine....
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical and pre-clinical evidence, indications, mechanisms of action, potential interactions, contraindications, and possible adverse effects of devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens). Devil's claw extracts are used to relieve rheumatic or muscular pain, general aches and pains in the muscles and joints and backache. The com...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of spirulina (Arthrospira platensis Gomont). Used as a source of high quality protein and vitamins, spirulina is considered a ‘nutraceutical’ with diverse beneficial effects, including lowering of cholesterol, modul...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, contraindications, and information about adverse effects and dosage of the herbal medicine Baobab (Adansonia digitata L). The nutrient rich fruit pulp is being marketed in the US and EU as yet another ‘super food’. In Africa baobab fruit pulp has man...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, contraindications, information about adverse effects and dosage of Ipecacuanha (Carapichea ipecacuanha.). Ipecacuanha is used as a traditional herbal remedy for relief of coughs and colds, and as an expectorant, generally used in combination products...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Centella (Centella asiatica). Centella is now mainly used for symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), including varicose veins, varicose ulcers, diabetic and airline flight microangiopathy. The herb is al...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.). Valerian is used as a mild sedative to treat symptoms of anxiety, stress and insomnia, including (and especially) during menopause. The chemical composition of V. officinalis...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of butterbur (Petasites hybridus). The main constituents are the sesquiterpenes petasin and isopetasin, volatile oils, flavonoids and tannins. Toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids are present in the fresh plant, but prepar...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum L.). The main active constituents of horse chestnut are the acylated triterpene glycosides (saponins). Other constituents include flavonoids (di- and triglycosides of querce...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea L.). Goldenrod has been used traditionally as a diuretic and for treating and preventing inflammatory conditions of the lower urinary tract and kidney stones. It is an ingredient of...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium spp.). Horny Goat Weed is used to treat sexual dysfunction, particularly impotence in men and lack of libido in women. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is also used widely for osteop...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical and pre-clinical evidence, indications, mechanisms of action, potential interactions, contraindications, and possible adverse effects of the herbal medicine Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.). Traditionally, goldenseal rhizome/root has been used to treat a wide range of ailments, mainly involving infection. Internal...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Evening Primrose (Oil) (Oenothera biennis L.). Evening primrose oil is taken to provide essential fatty acids, and for the symptomatic relief of itching in acute and chronic dry skin conditions. It is also used f...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence, mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of peppermint (Mentha piperita L.). The major constituent of peppermint leaves is the essential oil (0.5–4 %), which contains the monoterpenes menthol (30–55%) and menthone (14–32 %). Menthol is found mainly in the...
Chapter
This chapter presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence and mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus Labill.). The oil is used widely for the relief of symptoms of colds, cough, catarrh and sore throat, and as a decongestant, in oral and pastille preparations. It may be adminis...
Chapter
This chapter presents clinical and pre-clinical evidence, indications, mechanisms of action, potential interactions, contraindications, and possible adverse effects of the herbal medicine, Linseed or Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.). Traditional linseed extracts are often mucilaginous preparations, used as demulcents; they are taken internally for...
Chapter
This chapter talks about the herbal medicine i.e. Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack). It presents indications, clinical evidence, pre-clinical evidence and mechanisms of action, interactions, and contraindications of Tongkat Ali. Preparations of Tongkat Ali are most commonly used as a tonic for restoring energy and vitality, including in sports...