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The Top Ten Herbs

by Paul Bergner

Medical Herbalism 6(1):8

Twelve herbalists sent in a list of their ten most frequently used herbs. Participants included lay and professional herbalists, midwives, acupuncturists, naturopathic physicians, and chiropractors. Below are twenty-five herbs which appeared on more than one person’s top-ten list, followed by the number of lists they appeared on, and their most common therapeutic use.

Herb            Number of Appearances    Most Common Use

Echinacea            12                immune stimulant

Dandelion             7                alterative

Valerian             7                sedative

Calendula             6                antiseptic

Scullcap             5                sedative

Burdock             5                alterative

Licorice             5                tonic, pectoral

St Johnswort         4                antiseptic

Milk thistle         4                alterative, hepatic

Ginkgo             4                tonic

Passiflora             4                sedative

Angelica/dong quai     4                female

Osha             3                immune stimulant, pectoral

Garlic             3                circulatory tonic

Chaste-tree berry         3                female

Goldenseal         3                antispetic
 

Wild Yam             3                female

Poke Rt.             3                antiseptic

Cramp bark         3                female

Hawthorne         3                circulatory tonic

Red Clover         2                female

Gotu Kola             2                tonic

Marshmallow         2                demulcent

Yellow Dock         2                alterative

False Unicorn Rt.         2                female

    Echinacea was the only herb on everyone’s list. The list illustrates how most American practitioners use herbs in their practice. Allowing one point for each time an herb appeared on someone’s lists, alteratives have seventeen points; sedatives, sixteen; immune stimulants, fifteen; female system herbs, fourteen; antiseptics/antibiotics, thirteen; tonics, eleven; circulatory tonics, six; and demulcents, two.
  Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner           



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