The widely used herbal antidepressant kava is damaging to the liver. Pregnant women should avoid most herbal remedies because of pesticides and preservatives required in the growth and storage of the herbs. Most ayurvedic medicines contain unacceptable levels of lead and other heavy metals. St. John's Wort could complicate any chronic medical condition. Many people see herbal remedies as "natural" and therefore safe, but in Prescription or Poison? Dr. Amitava Dasgupta explains that one of his first pharmacology professors taught him that "medicine" is just another word for "poison" and all medicines of any kind should be treated with great caution. This book, written for the layperson but based on solid science and research, explains how toxic many alternative remedies can be, alone or in combination with widely prescribed drug treatments. He includes detailed information on the proper use of alternative medicines and their history of good results, while also cautioning readers in this wake-up call about the casual, often uninformed, and sometimes damaging use of alternative remedies.