Herbal Fact Sheet: Fenugreek

fenugreek illustration
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb fenugreek—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. The first recorded use of fenugreek is described on an ancient Egyptian papyrus dated to 1500 B.C. Fenugreek seed is commonly used in cooking. Common Names—fenugreek, fenugreek seed Latin Name—Trigonella foenum-graecum ...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Evening Primrose

evening primrose
This fact sheet provides basic information about evening primrose oil—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Evening primrose is a plant native to North America, but it grows in Europe and parts of the Southern hemisphere as well. It has yellow flowers that bloom in the evening. Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Elderberry

This fact sheet provides basic information about European elder—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. European elder is a tree native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, and it also grows in the United States. There are several different types of elder, such as American elder, but European elder is the type most often used as a supplement. Common Names—European elder, black elder, elder, elderberry, elder flower, sambucus. Latin Name—Sambucus nigra What It Is Used For • Parts of the elder tree—such as the berries and flowers—have long been used for pain, swelling, infections, coughs, and skin conditions. • Today, elderberry and elder flower are used for flu, colds, fevers, constipation, and sinus infections. How It Is Used The dried flowers (elder flower) and the cooked blue/black berries (elderberry) of the European elder tree are used in teas, liquid extracts, and capsules. What the Science Says • Although some small studies show that elderberry may relieve flu symptoms, the evidence is not strong enough to support this use of the berry. • A few studies have suggested that a product containing elder flower and other herbs can help treat sinus infections when used with antibiotics, but further research is needed to confirm any benefit. • No reliable information is available on the effectiveness of elderberry and elder flower for other uses. Side Effects and Cautions • Uncooked or unripe elderberries are toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting, or severe diarrhea. Only the blue/black berries of elder are edible. • Because of elder flower’s possible diuretic effects, use caution if taking it with drugs that increase urination. • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This helps to ensure coordinated and safe care. Sources Elderberry. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed at http://www.naturaldatabase.com on May 15, 2007. Elderflower. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed at http://www.naturaldatabase.com on May 15, 2007. Elder (Sambucus nigra L.) Natural Standard Database Web site. Accessed at http://www.naturalstandard.com on May 16, 2007. Elder flower. In: Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckman J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000:103-105. This publication is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. Duplication is encouraged. NCCAM has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by NCCAM.
This fact sheet provides basic information about European elder—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. European elder is a tree native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, and it also grows in the United States. There are several different types of elder, such as American elder, but European elder is the type most often used as a ...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Ephedra

ephedra
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb ephedra—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Ephedra is an evergreen shrub-like plant native to Central Asia and Mongolia. The principal active ingredient, ephedrine, is a compound that can powerfully stimulate the nervous system and heart. Common Names—ephedra, Chinese e...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Echinacea

echinacea
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb echinacea—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. There are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used, Echinacea purpurea, is believed to be the most potent. Common Names—echinacea, purple conefl...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Chamomile

chamomile illustration
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb chamomile—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. 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 and is t...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Chasteberry

chasteberry
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb chasteberry— common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree, a small shrub-like tree native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean region. The name is thought to come from a belief that the plant promoted chastity—it is reported that monks in the...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Black Cohosh

black cohosh
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb black cohosh—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Black cohosh is a plant native to North America. Common Names—black cohosh, black snakeroot, macrotys, bugbane, bugwort, rattleroot, rattleweed Latin Names—Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa What It Is Used For • ...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Dandelion

dandelion
This fact sheet provides basic information about dandelion—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Dandelion greens are edible and a rich source of vitamin A. Common Names—lion’s tooth, blowball Latin Name—Taraxacum officinale What It Is Used For • Dandelion has been used in many traditional medical systems, including Native...
Read More

Herbal Fact Sheet: Cranberry

cranberries
This fact sheet provides basic information about cranberry—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Cranberries are the fruit of a native plant of North America. These red berries are used in foods and in herbal products. Common Names—cranberry, American cranberry, bog cranberry Latin Name—Vaccinium macrocarpon What It Is Used...
Read More