Chamomile
Chamomile

 Two types of chamomile are used for health conditions: German chamomile and Roman chamomile. While the two kinds are thought to have similar effects on the body, the German variety is more commonly used in the United States

Common Names—chamomile, German chamomile

Latin Names—Matricaria recutita, Chamomilla recutita

 

Cat's Claw
cat's claw, uña de gato

Cat’s claw grows wild in many countries of Central and South America, especially in the Amazon rainforest. The use of this woody vine dates back to the Inca civilization.

Common Names—cat's claw, uña de gato

Latin Names—Uncaria tomentosa, Uncaria guianensis

Creatine

Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid (protein building block) that's found in meat and fish, and also made by the human body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is converted into creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine and stored in the muscles, where it is used for energy. During high-intensity, short-duration exercise, such as lifting weights or sprinting, phosphocreatine is converted into ATP, a major source of energy within the human body.

Creatine supplements are popular among body builders and competitive athletes. It is estimated that Americans spend roughly $14 million per year on creatine supplements. The attraction of creatine is that it may increase lean muscle mass and enhance athletic performance, particularly during high-intensity, short-duration sports (like high jumping and weight lifting).

Valerian

Valerian is a plant native to Europe and Asia; it is also found in North America. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Its therapeutic uses were described by Hippocrates, and in the 2nd century, Galen prescribed valerian for insomnia.

Common Names—valerian, all-heal, garden heliotrope

Latin NameValeriana officinalis

Valerian

Valerian is a plant native to Europe and Asia; it is also found in North America. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Its therapeutic uses were described by Hippocrates, and in the 2nd century, Galen prescribed valerian for insomnia.

Common Names—valerian, all-heal, garden heliotrope

Latin NameValeriana officinalis

 

Thunder god vine

Thunder god vine is a perennial vine native to China, Japan, and Korea. It has been used in China for health purposes for more than 400 years.

Common Names—thunder god vine, lei gong teng

Latin NameTripterygium wilfordii

St. John's wort

St. John's wort is a plant with yellow flowers whose medicinal uses were first recorded in ancient Greece. The name St. John's wort apparently refers to John the Baptist, as the plant blooms around the time of the feast of St. John the Baptist in late June.

Common Names—St. John's wort, hypericum, Klamath weed, goatweed

Latin NameHypericum perforatum

Saw Palmetto

 Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to the eastern United States. Its fruit was used medicinally by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Common Names—saw palmetto, American dwarf palm tree, cabbage palm

Latin NamesSerenoa repens, Sabal serrulata

Peppermint Oil

 The herb peppermint, a cross between two types of mint (water mint and spearmint), grows throughout Europe and North America. Peppermint is often used to flavor foods, and the leaves can be used fresh or dried in teas.

Common Name—peppermint oil

Latin NameMentha x piperita

Mistletoe

 European mistletoe is a semiparasitic plant that grows on several types of trees in temperate regions worldwide. Where the term "mistletoe" is used in this fact sheet, it refers to European mistletoe. (European mistletoe is different from American mistletoe, which is used as a holiday decoration.)

Common Names—European mistletoe, mistletoe

Latin NameViscum album L.

Licorice root

 Most licorice is grown in Greece, Turkey, and Asia. Licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid). Licorice has a long history of medicinal use in both Eastern and Western systems of medicine.

Common Names—licorice root, licorice, liquorice, sweet root, gan zao (Chinese licorice)

Latin NamesGlycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice)

 

Kava

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.

Common Names—kava, kava kava, awa, kava pepper

Latin NamePiper methysticum

 

Hoodia

Hoodia is a flowering, cactus-like plant native to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Its harvest is protected by conservation laws.

Common Names—hoodia, Kalahari cactus, Xhoba

Latin NamesHoodia gordonii

 

Astragalus
 astragalus

 astragalus—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Native to China, astragalus has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. In the United States, the herb gained popularity in the 1980s. There are actually over 2,000 species of astragalus; 

The root of the astragalus plant is typically used in soups, teas, extracts, or capsules. Astragalus is generally used with other herbs, such as ginseng, angelica, and licorice.

Soy

 Soy, a plant in the pea family, has been common in Asian diets for thousands of years. It is found in modern American diets as a food or food additive. Soybeans, the high-protein seeds of the soy plant, contain isoflavones—compounds similar to the female hormone estrogen. The following information highlights what is known about soy when used by adults for health purposes.

Common Name—soy

Latin NameGlycine max

Red Clover

Like peas and beans, red clover belongs to the family of plants called legumes. Red clover contains phytoestrogens—compounds similar to the female hormone estrogen.

Common Names—red clover, cow clover, meadow clover, wild clover

Latin NameTrifolium pratense

 

Noni

Noni is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows throughout the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean, from Southeast Asia to Australia and especially in Polynesia. Noni has been traditionally used in Polynesia as a dye.

Common Names—noni, morinda, Indian mulberry, hog apple, canary wood

Latin Name—Morinda citrifolia

Milk thistle

Milk thistle is a flowering herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for a variety of ailments, especially liver problems.

Common Names—milk thistle, Mary thistle, holy thistle. Milk thistle is sometimes called silymarin, which is actually a mixture of the herb's active components, including silybinin (also called silibinin or silybin).

Latin NameSilybum marianum

Lavender

Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region. It was used in ancient Egypt as part of the process for mummifying bodies. Lavender's use as a bath additive originated in Persia, Greece, and Rome. The herb's name comes from the Latin lavare, which means "to wash."

Common Names—lavender, English lavender, garden lavender

Latin NameLavandula angustifolia

Horse Chestnut

 Horse chestnut trees are native to the Balkan Peninsula (for example, Greece and Bulgaria), but grow throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Although horse chestnut is sometimes called buckeye, it should not be confused with the Ohio or California buckeye trees, which are related but not the same species.


Common Names—horse chestnut, buckeye, Spanish chestnut

Latin NamesAesculus hippocastanum

 

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera’s use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. Known as the "plant of immortality," aloe was presented as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs.

Bilberry
Bilberry

Bilberry

Keywords: bilberry, European blueberry, whortleberry, huckleberry, night vision

Common Names—bilberry, European blueberry, whortleberry, huckleberry

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