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Top herbs in medical practice

by Paul Bergner

Medical Herbalism 04-30-94 6(1): 8-9

The following list of herbs was compiled from a year-long survey of readers of Medical Herbalism, lasting from Spring of 1993 to Spring of 1994. Respondents were asked to rank the ten most important herbs in their practice. There were eighty-nine respondents. The numbers for “rank” on the list indicate the number of times the herb appeared on anyone’s top ten list. Latin names may not be precise because most were indicated by common name, and many of those have several species. The most common use of the herb is listed, although some herbs have additional properties that are not as well known in popular practice.

Rank    Latin Name (Common Name )        Action

74        Echinacea spp (Echinacea)            Immune stimulant/tonic

34        Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal)        Antibiotic, astringent

33        Taraxacum off (Dandelion)            Alterative

26        Urtica dioica (Nettles)            Alterative, astringent

23         Ginseng (unspecified)                Energy tonic

21        Crataegus oxycantha (Hawthorn)        Cardiac tonic

20        Allium sativa (Garlic)                Cardiovascular tonic, antibiotic

19        Valeriana off (Valerian)            Sedative, analgesic

18        Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)        Liver tonic

18        Glycyrrhiza spp. (Licorice)            Energy tonic, respiratory, digestive, hepatic, female system

17        Capsicum annum (Cayenne)            Circulatory stimulant, heating synergist

17        Arctium lappa (Burdock)            Alterative

17        Mentha piperita (Peppermint)            Digestive

16        Astragalus membranaceus (Astragalus)    Immune tonic
 

16    Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo leaf)            Cardiovascular tonic

16    Zingiber off (Ginger)                Digestive, anti nauseant, heating synergist

15    Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste berry)        Female system

14    Chamomilla recutita (Chamomile)        Sedative, digestive

14    Dioscorea villosa (Wild Yam)        Antispasmodic; female system

13    Scutellaria lateriflora (Scullcap)        Sedative

13    Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort)    Nervine, topical

11    Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola)            Cerebral stimulant, wound healing

10    Avena sativa (Oat)                Nervine, tonic

8    Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)        Diaphoretic

8    Angelica sinensis (Dong quai)        Female system

8    Verbascum thapsus (Mullein)            Respiratory

7    Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape)        Alterative

7    Chrysanthemum parthenium (Feverfew)    Headache

7    Rubus ideaus (Raspberry)            Female tonic

7    Symphytum off (Comfrey)            Demulcent

7    Trifolium pratense (Red clover)        Alterative, expectorant

7    Ulmus fulva (Slippery elm)            Demulcent

6    Cimicifuga racemosa (Black cohosh)        Female system, antispasmodic

6    Ligusticum porteri (Osha root)        Respiratory, antiviral

6    Lobelia inflata (Lobelia)            Respiratory

6    Serenoa repens (Saw palmetto)        Male urogenital

5    Leonurus cardiaca (Motherwort)        Female system, sedative
 

5    Passiflora incarnata (Passion flower)    Sedative

4    Calendula off (Calendula)            Antibiotic, wound healing

4    Ephedra sinensis (Ma huang)            Anti-allergy, stimulant

4    Lomatium dissectum (Lomatium)        Antiviral

4    Tabebuia impetiginosa (Pau D’Arco)        Antifungal

4    Rosemarinus off (Rosemary)            Nerve tonic, circulatory stimulant, digestive stimulant

4    Stellaria media (Chickweed)            Used in ointments, alterative

4    Usnea barbata (Usnea)            Antibiotic

3    Oplopanax horridum (Devils Club)        Hypoglycemic, alterative

3    Sambucus nigra (Elder flowers)        Diaphoretic

3    Gallium aparine (Cleavers)            Urinary tract

3    Melissa off (Lemon Balm)            Sedative

3    Smilax off (Sarsaparilla)            Alterative
 
    Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner  



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