Institute for the Study of
Healthcare Organizations & Transactions



In Germany, a special committee (Commission E) of the Federal Department of Health spent years gathering information from general practitioners, manufacturers, and from the scientific literature about herbals that are used for medicinal purposes.  Thus, the laws and regulations in Germany regarding the science of herbal medicine operate under a doctrine of "reasonable certainty". The monographs that were produced by this Commission represent the most current and useful information that exists on the safety and efficacy of herbals (Foster & Tyler, 1999).  

On this page we have tried to synthesize information from several sources (including Commission E) in order to put together a guide to the most popular herbals that we hope will help our visitors sort out technical, sometimes confusing, and often conflicting information.  This Guide is definitely a work in progress and over time we will continue to expand the list.  

We want to be clear that we are not promoting any particular brand of herbal and that we have received no advertising money to create this guide.  

Consumers who are considering the use of herbals should consult with a health care provider prior to engaging in any self-treatment.



Echinacea    Ephedra    Feverfew    Garlic    Ginkgo   Kava   Saw Palmetto    St. John's Wort

References    Illustration Notes




Blumenthal, M., Goldberg, A., and Brinckmann, J.  (2000).  Herbal Medicine, Expanded Commission E Monographs.  Newton, MA:  Integrative Medicine Communications.

Foster, S. & Tyler, V.E.  (1999).  Tyler's Honest Herbal. New York:  The Haworth Herbal Press.

PDR® for Herbal Medicines. 2nd edition.  (2000).  Montvale, NJ:  Medical Economics Company.

World Health Organization (WHO). (1999). "Herba Echinaceae Purpurae Radix Echinacea"  and "Radix Echinaceae." WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants, Vol. 1., 136-144; 125-135.  Geneva:  World Health Organization. 


Illustration Notes

The photographs of Ephedra, Kava, and  Saw Palmetto were adapted from the PDR for Herbal Remedies.  Otherwise, the photographs were taken by Dr. Lucy Canter Kihlstrom specifically for this Guide.



Lucy Canter Kihlstrom, PhD

Copyright © 2000 Institute for the Study of Healthcare Organizations & Transactions

Last modified:  04.08.2010 02:58 PM