Herb Library

 

Aloe Vera

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4/5 (105 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
There are nearly five hundred species of aloe, a type of plant that originated in southern Africa, near the Cape of Good Hope. The use of aloe goes back in history. There are pictures of aloe plants on some Egyptian... (Read More)

Arnica

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (85 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Arnica montana is a perennial flowering plant native to southern Russia and other mountainous areas in Europe. In Germany, A. montana is a protected species, so the pharmacopoeia there includes the very similar species A. chamissonis. (French and Swiss pharmacopoeias... (Read More)
 

Bilberry

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.7/5 (30 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
"Bilberry" sounds a lot like "blueberry," and for good reason. The bilberry is a European blueberry. American blueberries are Vaccinium corymbosum. Huckleberries and whortleberries are also closely related. Although blueberries in the United States are noted primarily for their excellent... (Read More)

Black Cohosh

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.7/5 (51 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
This plant, native to North American forests, has a number of popular names: bugbane, black snakeroot, rattleroot, and squaw root. It sends up graceful tall spires of white flowers; the black in its common name refers to the root or... (Read More)

Boswellia

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.9/5 (154 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.9/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Frankincense, like myrrh, is featured in the Bible story about the three wise men visiting the infant Jesus. Like myrrh, frankincense is a resin from a tree in the family Burseraceae. (Guggul is another resin from Boswellia carteri, a tree... (Read More)
 

Cascara Sagrada

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.1/5 (58 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.1/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Cascara sagrada, Spanish for "sacred bark," comes from the American buckthorn tree native to the western coast of North America, from California to British Columbia, and as far inland as Montana. The Spanish priests of California may have learned about... (Read More)

Cat's Claw

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.9/5 (29 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.9/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Cat's claw, or uña de gato as it is also called, has piqued many people's interest lately, first because it comes from remote and exotic rain forests, and second, because it is believed to act on the immune system. Both... (Read More)

Cayenne

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.2/5 (67 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.2/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
The Capsicum genus originated in the New World but has been adopted into cuisines around the globe. It contains as many as five species, with an untold number of variants, giving rise not only to the familiar green bell pepper,... (Read More)

Chamomile

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.1/5 (71 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.1/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Two different plants carry the common name chamomile. One of them, M. chamomilla, is sometimes referred to as Hungarian, German, or genuine chamomile to distinguish it from C. nobile, Roman or English chamomile. The older terminology for C. nobile is... (Read More)

Chaste Tree Berry

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.5/5 (351 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.5/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Chaste tree is a large shrub (up to twenty-two feet tall) native to the Mediterranean and southern Europe. Although it flourishes on moist riverbanks, it is easily grown as an ornamental plant in American gardens, where its attractive blue-violet flowers... (Read More)
Was this information helpful? Average rating: 4.6/5 (225 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
For a spice that has a history going back over 4,000 years, you would think that there wouldn't be much controversy or confusion. Au contraire. The benefits and risks of cinnamon are making headlines these days like never before. Just... (Read More)

Cranberry

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.5/5 (49 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.5/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Cranberries are a traditional part of the Thanksgiving feast in America, where V. macrocarpon is part of the native flora. Recent interest in cranberries, however, goes beyond sauce or relish. A traditional women's belief (or old wives' tale) that cranberry... (Read More)
 

Dong quai

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (32 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
The term "dong quai" (a Chinese name that is sometimes transliterated tang-kuei or dang-gui) refers to a plant known either as A. polymorpha var. sinensis or simply as A. sinensis. As the name suggests, this member of the celery family... (Read More)
 

Echinacea

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4/5 (39 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Echinacea is the name of a genus of native North American plants with reddish or purplish flowers. There are nine species, but only three of them (E. angustifolia, E. pallida, E. purpurea) are used as botanical medicines. Gardeners may recognize... (Read More)

Elderberry

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.7/5 (24 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
S. canadensis, the American elder, is a large shrub native to North America. It bears white flowers early in the summer and dark, almost black, berries in the late summer. Both the flowers and the berries have been used as... (Read More)
Was this information helpful? Average rating: 4.6/5 (63 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Q. I have found that elderberry extract really helps against the common cold. If I start taking it soon enough I can keep the cold from getting a foothold. A. German researchers have found that a standardized elderberry extract is... (Read More)

Evening Primrose

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (60 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
The evening primrose is native to North America, where it grows like a weed. Not really a primrose, it is sometimes called "sun drop." The large yellow flower opens late in the day and lasts only one evening, then produces... (Read More)
 

Fennel

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.2/5 (36 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.2/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
This member of the celery family is a well-known herb native to southern Europe and western Asia, but it was known in ancient China (as xiao hui xiang) as well as in India, Egypt, and Greece. In the Middle Ages... (Read More)

Feverfew

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.5/5 (71 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.5/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Feverfew was used by Greek physicians to treat "melancholy," which may have included headaches as well as depression. The English used it into the seventeeth century for symptoms that might translate today into vertigo, depression, and headache, as well as... (Read More)
 

Garlic

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.2/5 (62 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.2/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Garlic is valued in many parts of the world for its pungent aroma and flavor. It is possible that garlic's biological activity and popularity in Mediterranean cuisines contribute to the healthful effects of the "Mediterranean diet." Most investigations of garlic's... (Read More)

Ginger

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.3/5 (101 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.3/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Ginger is a popular seasoning for foods in many different cuisines. In China and Southeast Asia where it probably originated, it has also been put to a range of medicinal purposes. It is considered good for the digestion and beneficial... (Read More)

Ginkgo

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.7/5 (38 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Ginkgo biloba is one of the most popular botanical medicines in both Europe and America, but Chinese healers take the prize. They have been using this ancient tree for thousands of years to treat asthma and cold injury to fingers... (Read More)

Ginseng

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.6/5 (31 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Ginseng has been used for more than two millennia in China, where the earliest written description of its use appeared in a medical book written during the Han dynasty, before a.d. 100. At that time, the expert recommended it for... (Read More)

Goldenseal

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.3/5 (31 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.3/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
This perennial plant grows wild in wooded areas of North America, from New England to the southern Appalachians, and west to Arkansas and Minnesota. The Cherokee and the Iroquois had many medicinal uses for goldenseal. Settlers learned some of these... (Read More)

Gotu Kola

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.3/5 (38 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.3/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
This Asian species is reputed to bring long life to the user. According to the Sinhalese proverb: "Two leaves a day will keep old age away." As the story goes, people in Sri Lanka noticed that elephants, animals known for... (Read More)

Grapeseed

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.1/5 (19 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.1/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Seeds of the fruit of the vine, once discarded as waste after the juice was pressed out for wine, have become the source of a popular dietary supplement. Grapes were first cultivated near the Caspian Sea, and their use as... (Read More)

Green Tea

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.2/5 (40 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.2/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Until a few years ago, tea might have seemed more appropriately addressed in a cookbook than in a book about herbs. This beverage is probably the most frequently consumed in the world after plain water. To be sure, it has... (Read More)

Guggul

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.7/5 (54 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Guggul (Goo-gall) is a resin from a tree native to India. This resin has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, which combined it with other plant products to cleanse and rejuvenate the body, especially the blood vessels and the joints.... (Read More)
 

Hawthorn

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.4/5 (108 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Hawthorn is a small thorny tree with white flowers and red berries that grows in England and throughout Europe. C. laevigata is only one species; related species have slightly different chemical profiles but similar medicinal uses. Although hawthorn was known... (Read More)

Hops

Did this herb work? Average rating: 2.8/5 (12 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 2.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Hops have been used to flavor beer for nearly a thousand years. This plant, a member of the same family as marijuana, is cultivated commercially in England, Germany, the Czech Republic, and the United States, as well as parts of... (Read More)

Horse Chestnut

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (27 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Horse chestnut trees originated in northern India, the Caucasus, and northern Greece but have long been grown throughout Europe. Relatives in the same genus grow in the United States as California buckeye (A. californica) and Ohio buckeye (A. glabra). The... (Read More)
 
Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (39 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Q. I have been reading about the problems of hormone replacement therapy on your website. Since discontinuing HRT I have been using St. John's wort and it has relieved many symptoms, including sleeplessness, stress and fits of temper. I don't... (Read More)
 

Juniper

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.4/5 (65 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
This small evergreen is one of several juniper species native to the northern hemisphere. It has the distinction, however, of being the principal flavoring for a commonly used alcoholic beverage, gin. The aromatic "berries" (actually cones of this evergreen) have... (Read More)
 

Kava

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.7/5 (30 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Kava (or kava-kava) has an important place in the cultures of many islands of the South Pacific. Traditionally, it was painstakingly prepared and consumed with great ceremony and considered a sacred drink. It was also used to greet important visitors... (Read More)
 

Lemon Balm

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.3/5 (56 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.3/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Lemon balm is originally a native of the Mediterranean area and western Asia, but it has long been popular in Western Europe, including England. Lemon balm is frequently used as an attractive edible garnish, and it can be made into... (Read More)

Licorice

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (125 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
The roots of this plant are widely used, not only in European herbal medicine but also in the traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia. In China and parts of Russia, the species used is G. uralensis; it is known in Chinese as gan... (Read More)
 

Ma Huang

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.9/5 (41 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.9/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Ma huang, Chinese ephedra, was used to treat asthma, or at least wheezing, five thousand years ago. The Herbal Classic of the Divine Plowman described it as an herb of "middle class," referring to its perceived usefulness rather than to... (Read More)

Milk Thistle

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.1/5 (64 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.1/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Milk thistle, also referred to as St. Mary's thistle, lady thistle, or holy thistle, originated in the Mediterranean region and was grown and used as a vegetable throughout Europe. It was brought to the United States and has adapted to... (Read More)
 

Oregon Grape

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.6/5 (17 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Barberry, B. vulgaris, was highly regarded as a useful and even necessary herb in Europe from Elizabethan times and through the eighteenth century. The English settlers brought it with them to America, where they extended the name and reputation of... (Read More)
 

Passion Flower

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (62 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Several species of Passiflora are native to the Americas, but the one generally used as a botanical is P. incarnata. This perennial vine grows wild in the southeastern United States as far north as Virginia and as far west as... (Read More)

Pau d'Arco

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.7/5 (38 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Pau d'arco, known as lapacho colorado in Argentina and Paraguay and as ipe roxo in Brazil, is a good example of the lure of the exotic. This South American native has been used medicinally by several indigenous groups. There are... (Read More)

Psyllium

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4/5 (72 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Psyllium seeds (also known as blond psyllium or ispaghula) are derived from a species of plantain that is native to India and Iran. The seeds are small and reddish-brown, with no distinctive aroma and almost no flavor. They absorb water... (Read More)
 

Red Clover

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4.5/5 (13 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4.5/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
This familiar plant is native to Europe, northern Africa, and central Asia, but red clover is also grown for pasturage and as a rotation crop in the Americas and Australia. (Nodules on the roots fix nitrogen, enhancing the soil.) American... (Read More)
 

Saw Palmetto

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (69 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Saw palmetto, also called sabal palm, grows in the southeastern United States. Its dark berries were traditionally made into a tea and taken for urinary problems or sexual difficulties. During much of the nineteenth century, saw palmetto berry extract was... (Read More)

Scullcap

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (36 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Scullcap is a member of the mint family and a native of North America, where it thrives in moist woodlands. Common names for it include helmetflower, hoodwort, and mad-dog weed (from its introduction into American medicine in 1773). A physician... (Read More)

Senna

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4/5 (16 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
These two shrubs (sometimes considered variants of a single species, C. alexandrina) have a place in medical history going back to the ninth century when Arabian physicians introduced Europeans to this powerful laxative. C. senna, in particular, is native to... (Read More)

Siberian Ginseng

Did this herb work? Average rating: 4/5 (42 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
This shrub, a Russian relative of China's popular herb ginseng, also grows in northeast China, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, and in Korea. In Russia, it occurs in forest undergrowth and margins. In China, this herb is called... (Read More)

Slippery Elm

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.6/5 (23 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Slippery elm trees are native to North America and grow in moist but not waterlogged woods of eastern Canada and the United States. The colonists were familiar with the use of bark from other elm species to treat coughs and... (Read More)

St. John's Wort

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (196 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
St. John's wort has long been used in Europe for treating mood disorders and has become very popular in the United States. The plant itself is a perennial native to Europe, but it has adapted well to North America and... (Read More)

Stinging Nettle

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.6/5 (177 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Stinging nettle is native to Europe, but it has become established in North America and now grows in Canada and throughout the United States. It is best known for its ability to provoke an impressive rash (urticaria) that stings for... (Read More)
 

Valerian

Did this herb work? Average rating: 3.8/5 (96 votes)
What do you think?
  • Currently 3.8/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Valerian is a perennial plant that grows readily in Europe, North America, and northern Asia. A number of related species have been used by herbalists throughout history, but the exact kinds and amounts of chemical constituents vary. Valeriana officinalis is... (Read More)