The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Unique aspects of herbal whole system research

Zick, Suzanna M., Schwabl, Herbert, Flower, Andrew, Chakraborty, Bibhas and Hirschkorn, Kristine (2009) Unique aspects of herbal whole system research EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, 5, (2), pp. 97-103. (doi:10.1016/j.explore.2008.12.001).

Record type: Article


INTRODUCTION: whole systems of healthcare offer unique methodological and theoretical challenges for researchers. Herbalism has its own set of methodological and philosophical research issues that are beyond those presented for whole system research in general. It was our objective to explore various conceptual and methodological issues surrounding whole system herbal research.
METHODS: an International Society for Complementary Medicine Research workshop, Challenges in Herbal Whole System Research, was presented. Starting from a definition of herbalism, the most important challenges to herbal whole system research were elicited with inputs from both the workshop presenters and the audience.
RESULTS: five major challenges unique to herbal whole system research were identified: (1) defining herbalists and herbalism, (2) the role of the natural products industry in herbal research, (3) designing placebos and delivering active herbal treatments as given by herbalists, (4) researching the herb as a living entity, and (5) designing trials to investigate and develop multicomponent herbal therapies.
CONCLUSIONS: unique methods and theoretical frameworks are required to design studies of herbalism. Solutions to these methodological challenges need to be addressed to conduct research that examines herbal systems of medicine versus conducting trials on individual herbs given out of their original therapeutic context

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: March 2009
Keywords: whole systems, herbalism, research methodology


Local EPrints ID: 73673
ISSN: 1550-8307
PURE UUID: 31c2f77a-62e7-43f2-8e5e-270f4daf823a

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Mar 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:48

Export record



Author: Suzanna M. Zick
Author: Herbert Schwabl
Author: Andrew Flower
Author: Bibhas Chakraborty
Author: Kristine Hirschkorn

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.