A man considered an expert on herbal medicine is speaking tonight at Drake University in Des Moines. Dr. Varro Tyler, who’s written more than 30 books on herbal products, says consumers need to be careful to buy only from reliable companies.Dr. Tyler says these products are in many ways drugs, but they’re considered “dietary supplements” or “foods” in the U-S now, so they can be easily sold without prescriptions. He says many types of herbal medication should be better regulated as they can be dangerous.Tyler says that herbal medicine, comfrey, has been known to cause liver cancer in lab animals. He says the rules are frequently changing on herbal medications — or botanicals.He says about one-third of all Americans use some type of herbal medication in what’s now a four-billion-dollar-a-year industry. Tyler’s free lecture is scheduled for 7 p-m at Drake’s Olmsted Center.
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