In a bid to bring added legitimacy to the use of herbal medicines, the International Symposium on the Role of Botanicals in Women's Health will bring together scientists, medical doctors, herbalists and representatives from the National Institutes of Health to present the latest scientific data demonstrating how botanical medicines can play a critical role in maintaining women's health.

Hosted by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and Rutgers University, the event takes place on February 16th - February 17th at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

"In addition to botanical medicine's long history of use, there is increasing scientific evidence that further supports the pivotal role that botanicals play in advancing women's health," says Beth Lambert, Vice Chair of AHPA, one of the symposium's hosts.

The two-day symposium, will, organizers hope, provide a credible platform for experts who study and use botanicals shown to be safe and effective for health conditions specific to women. New information on botanicals such as red clover (Trifolium pratense) used for menopause, chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) used to ease PMS, and soy (Glycine max), which is considered by some as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy are just some of the "women's herbs" that will be showcased. Additionally, clinical protocols for various gynecological conditions will be presented.

"More than ever before, women are using a combination of conventional and botanical therapies to achieve complementary health benefits," said one of the presenters, Saralyn Mark, MD, Senior Medical Advisor to the Office on Women's Health for the Department of Health and Human Services. "This symposium is just the type of event which makes scientifically sound information accessible to health practitioners and women alike. It also encourages further research into complementary health approaches for women," adds Mark.

Other speakers include such experts as Wolfgang Wutke, MD, the world leading researcher on chaste tree with the University of Gottingen, Germany; Tieraona Lowdog, MD, a member of the White House Commission on Complementary & Alternative Medicine; and Harry Fong, Ph.D., scientific researcher conducting a multi-disciplinary study on botanicals for women at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Click here to see the conference announcement at the AHPA website.