To prepare each Natural Standard monograph,
electronic searches are conducted in nine databases, including AMED, CANCERLIT,
CINAHL, CISCOM, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, HerbMed, International Pharmaceutical
Abstracts, Medline, and NAPRALERT. Search terms include the common name(s),
scientific name(s), and all listed synonyms for each topic. Hand searches
are conducted of 20 additional journals (not indexed in common databases),
and of bibliographies from 50 selected secondary references. No restrictions
are placed on language or quality of publications. Researchers in the
field of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are consulted for
access to additional references or ongoing research.
All literature is collected pertaining to efficacy in humans (regardless
of study design, quality, or language), dosing, precautions, adverse effects,
use in pregnancy/lactation, interactions, alteration of laboratory assays,
and mechanism of action (in vitro, animal research, human data). Standardized
inclusion/exclusion criteria are utilized for selection.
Data extraction and analysis are performed by health
care professionals conducting clinical work and/or research at academic
centers, using standardized instruments that pertain to each monograph
section (defining inclusion/exclusion criteria and analytic techniques,
including validated measures of study quality). Data are verified by a
Blinded review of monographs is conducted by multidisciplinary research-clinical
faculty at major academic centers with expertise in epidemiology and biostatistics,
pharmacology, toxicology, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)
research, and clinical practice. In cases of editorial disagreement, a
three-member panel of the Editorial Board addresses
conflicts, and consults experts when applicable. Authors of studies are
contacted when clarification is required.
Natural Standard regularly monitors
scientific literature and industry warnings. When clinically relevant
new data emerge, best efforts are made to update content immediately.
In addition, regular updates with renewed searches occur every 3-18 months,
variable by topic.