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February 16, 2000

The Herbal History of Digitalis: Lessons for Alternative Medicine

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(7):884-886. doi:10.1001/jama.283.7.882

To the Editor: Popular and medical literature, such as the article by Dr. Eisenberg and colleagues,1 on use of alternative medicine and herbal remedies triggered memories of our student days in 1942-1945 when we were assailed by extensive discussions of the merits of various digitalis preparations. Methods of standardization were most important when evaluating which preparation to prescribe. Especially treacherous were the preparations labeled "Digitalis USP XI," which were about twice as potent as those labeled "Digitalis USP X."2

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