Alternative Medicine Topics
Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis), a yellow wildflower, yields an oil that is a popular supplement, usually sold as capsules.
Coenzyme Q10, a vitamin-like compound discovered in 1957, plays a crucial role in the cells’ energy-producing mitochondria. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant, meaning that it helps neutralize cell-damaging free radicals.
Made from the bark of a West African tree, yohimbe has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries. In pre-Viagra (sildenafil) days, it was sometimes prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction.
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a yellow flowering weed that has been used to treat various “nervous disorders” for centuries. It is sold in Germany, usually by prescription, as an antidepressant and in the United States as a dietary supple...
A centuries-old Chinese herbal medicine, ginkgo comes from the dried leaves of the maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba). It contains a complex mix of compounds, but researchers have primarily focused on two particular chemical groups—flavonoids and terpen...
Cimicifuga racemosa, often called black cohosh, black snake root, or rattleweed, is a native American plant long used to treat “female complaints.”
The seeds of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) are ground up and used to flavor curries and other dishes. Rich in fiber, flavonoids, and other potentially beneficial compounds, fenugreek is also sold as a dietary supplement.
Intended uses: To treat colds, respiratory tract infections, and hay-fever symptoms.
Ginseng has been used as a cure-all since ancient times. It contains many active compounds, including more than 40 different ginsenosides, thought to be the plant’s main active ingredients.
The leaves, roots, or other parts of Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, or other species are processed by different methods (drying, alcoholic extraction, or pressing) and sold as capsules, tablets, tinctures, and tea.