Complete list of commonly used herbs and supplements


Herbal treatments are widely used by patients in the United States and elsewhere. They have the potential for both benefit and harm. 

Acai (Euterpe oleracea) – National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states ” The acai palm tree, native to tropical Central and South America, produces a reddish-purple berry. The acai berry’s name, which comes from a language of the native people of the region, means “fruit that cries.” The acai berry has long been an important food source for indigenous peoples of the Amazon region, who also use acai for a variety of health-related purposes.”

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) – (you may check some sites alongwith some search words such  “Menopausal hot flashes”, section on ‘Role of complementary and alternative therapies’.) Also in NLM MedlinePlus, NCCIH, and EMA Community Herbal Monograph (EMA). Some explain, ” Black cohosh (known as both Actaea racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa), a member of the buttercup family, is a perennial plant that is native to North America. Other common names include black snakeroot, bugbane, bugwort, rattleroot, rattletop, rattleweed, and macrotys. Insects avoid it, which accounts for some of these common names.”

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)  (is often used for management and outcomes of this are related to “Infantile colic”.regulators do not suggest herbal remedies (eg, herbal teas, fennel seed, Gripe water [a mixture of herbs and water]) for the treatment of infantile colic. Although a few randomized trials suggest that specific herbal remedies may be beneficial in reducing crying compared with placebo.

Capsicum pepper, cayenne (Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum annuum) – (Finds its use for “Complementary and alternative therapies for allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis”,”Cancer pain management as an Adjuvant analgesics (coanalgesics)”, sand “Initial pharmacologic therapy of osteoarthritis” and “Initial pharmacologic therapy of osteoarthritis”.

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol, Ubiquinone, Ubidecarenone) – (This widely known and used enzyme for “Mitochondrial myopathies: Treatment”,”Statin myopathy”,”Investigational and emerging therapies for heart failure”,

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon, Vaccinium oxycoccos) – (Some claim that it could be used for”Recurrent urinary tract infection in women”, for also may be to treat “Urinary tract infections in children: You may check  NCCIH

Creatine – its use in “Non-hormonal performance enhancement”, and “Unipolar depression in adults and initial treatment. and  NLM MedlinePlus  may detail a bit for more details such as ,  “Creatine is a chemical that is normally found in the body, mostly in muscles. It is made by the body and can also be obtained from certain foods. Fish and meats are good sources of creatine. Creatine can also be made in the laboratory.

Creatine is most commonly used for improving exercise performance and increasing muscle mass in athletes and older adults.”

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) – being soled as “Dehydroepiandrosterone and its sulfate”.) As per NLM MedlinePlus, ” DHEA is a hormone that is naturally made by the human body. It can be made in the laboratory from chemicals found in wild yam and soy. However, the human body cannot make DHEA from these chemicals, so simply eating wild yam or soy will not increase DHEA levels. Don’t be misled by wild yam and soy products labeled as “natural DHEA.”

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) – clinical use of Echinacea can be found at  NCCIH. Echinacea has traditionally been used for colds, flu, and other infections, but research studies on echinacea for colds have had inconclusive results.

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis) – (Many recommend it for “Treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema)”, or as part of ‘Dietary supplements’ and “Menopausal hot flashes”. NCCIH, and EMA state , Evening primrose oil has been used since the 1930s as a folk or traditional remedy for eczema (a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed, itchy, or scaly because of allergies or other irritation). More recent folk uses include other conditions involving inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis; conditions affecting women’s health, such as breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle, menopausal symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS); cancer; and diabetes.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) – for “Preventive treatment of migraine in adults”. the NCCIH, and EMA views is some what like, “Some research suggests that feverfew may be helpful in preventing migraine headaches; however, results have been mixed and more evidence is needed from well-designed studies.

Fish oil widely also read or known as “marine omega-3 fatty acids”. Lot is know about them and briefly, Fish oil consumption may also affect other clinical outcomes in Cognitive decline and dementia , Depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders or even Asthma and other inflammatory disorders

Flax, flaxseed oil, linseed (Linum usitatissimum) – supports “Lipid lowering with diet or dietary supplements”.

Garlic (Allium sativum) – supports “Lipid lowering to great extent. Also in NCCIH has a great tutorial on this great nature’s find.

Ginkgo biloba – Ginkgo was originally utilized by traditional Chinese physicians for a variety of problems including asthma and digestive disorders.More recently, ginkgo leaf extract has been utilized for its antioxidant properties, for a number of vascular problems, and for the treatment of memory loss, dementia, and macular degeneration .Ginkgo represents one of the most studied and commonly used herbal remedies in the world.

Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, Panax ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus) – A beneficial effect of American ginseng (2000 mg daily) on cancer-related fatigue was suggested in a preliminary report of a double-blind, placebo controlled trial conducted by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group.

Glucosamine and chondroitin –  Glucosamine has been extensively studied and is widely used to treat osteoarthritis, particularly of the knee and hip. However, there are little data to support its use for low back pain. In a six-month randomized trial of 250 patients with chronic low back pain and degenerative lumbar osteoarthritis, there were no differences in pain or quality-of-life scores between the glucosamine sulfate (1500 mg daily) and placebo arms.

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) – Table below can be handy for the safe consumption limits:


Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) – Historically, hawthorn fruit has been used for heart disease since the first century. It has also been used for digestive and kidney problems. More recently, hawthorn leaf and flower have been used as folk or traditional remedies for heart failure, a weakness of the heart muscle that prevents the heart from pumping enough blood to the rest of the body, which can lead to fatigue and limit physical activities.

Horse chestnut seed extract (Escin, Aesculus hippocastanum) – For centuries, horse chestnut seeds, leaves, bark, and flowers were used for a variety of conditions and diseases. Today, horse chestnut seed extract is used primarily as a folk or traditional remedy for chronic venous insufficiency (a condition in which the veins do not efficiently return blood from the legs to the heart). This condition is associated with varicose veins, pain, ankle swelling, feelings of heaviness, itching, and nighttime leg cramping. The seed extract has also been used as a folk or traditional remedy for hemorrhoids.

Kava (Piper methysticum) –

Kava is native to the islands of the South Pacific and is a member of the pepper family. Kava has been used as a ceremonial beverage in the South Pacific for centuries.

Historically, kava was used to help people fall asleep and fight fatigue, as well as to treat asthma and urinary tract infections. It also had a topical use as a numbing agent. More recent folk or traditional uses include anxiety, insomnia, and menopausal symptoms.

Melatonin – Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland from the amino acid tryptophan and secreted into the blood and cerebrospinal fluid. It conveys signals to distant organs, principally the brain, and affects the synthesis of second messengers and, ultimately, sleep and circadian rhythms.

Milk thistle (Silymarin, Silybum marianum) – Milk thistle is a plant whose fruit and seeds are used to make remedies for liver and bile duct ailments .The active ingredient found in milk thistle is silymarin, that protects against cell damage and stimulates repair of liver tissue

Omega-3 fatty acids – Average fish consumption to achieve 250 mg/day of EPA+DHA is an optimal range. When a fish oil supplement is used, it should contain both EPA and DHA; a 1 g/daysupplement (containing 200 to 800 mg of EPA and DHA) is a reasonable option. Fish oil supplements are generally derived from small pelagic fish used for fish feed or from formulations produced by algae. Similar to dietary consumption of the great majority of fish and seafood species, significant exposure to contaminants from fish oil is not a major concern.

Probiotics – Phew the list is large. The intestinal tract is host to a vast ecology of microbes that are necessary for health, but also have the potential to contribute to the development of diseases by a variety of mechanisms. Perturbations in intestinal epithelial barrier function or innate immune bacterial killing, for example, can lead to an inflammatory response caused by increased uptake of bacterial and food antigens that stimulate the mucosal immune system.

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) – (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) : is a chemical that is found naturally in the body. SAMe is sold in the United States as a dietary supplement.

SAMe was discovered in the early 1950s. It’s made in the body from methionine, an amino acid found in foods. It has been found to regulate key functions in living cells.

Abnormal levels of SAMe in the body have been reported in liver diseases and depression. This prompted researchers to investigate whether SAMe might be helpful in treating these conditions. The idea that SAMe might be helpful for osteoarthritis came from studies of SAMe for depression. Some of the participants in the depression studies who also had osteoarthritis said their joint symptoms improved when they took SAMe.

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repent)- Extracts of the fruit from saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), the American dwarf palm tree  are commonly used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The first evidence of saw palmetto use for urinary symptoms in men is from Egypt in the 15th century BC.Native Americans in Florida in the early 1700s utilized saw palmetto to treat prostate gland swelling and inflammation, testicular atrophy, and erectile dysfunctionVariability in the quality and purity of available products limits the ability of the clinician to provide sound advice to the patient. If patients do choose to take saw palmetto, a product should be chosen that meets specific quality criteria

Soy isoflavones (Glycine max) – some tips from NIH:

  • Soy is considered safe for most people when used as a food or when taken for short periods as a dietary supplement.
  • Minor stomach and bowel problems such as nausea, bloating, and constipation are possible.
  • Allergic reactions such as breathing problems and rash can occur in rare cases.
  • The safety of long-term use of soy isoflavones has not been established. Evidence is mixed on whether using isoflavone supplements over time can increase the risk of endometrial hyperplasia (a thickening of the lining of the uterus that can lead to cancer). Studies show no effect of dietary soy on risk for endometrial hyperplasia.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) –  St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a five petal yellow flower that has been used medicinally since antiquity.It was commonly referred to as “Fuga Demonum” (the devil’s scourge) since it was used to protect against demonic possession and “evil spirits”. One of the earliest references to the name St. John’s wort is noted in a Gaelic legend from the sixth century where the missionary St. Columba carried a piece of St. John’s wort because of his high regard for St. John. It is believed that the name may have been derived from the fact that the flowers bloom around June 24th, the birthday of St. John the Baptist. Wort represents the old English term for plant.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – AMA confirms it to be Herbal medicinal product for the relief of sleep disorders.

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