Open Access Opinion

Herbal Pharmacy

M’Lou Barnett*

Integrative Medicine Fellow, North Western University of Louisiana, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date: March 20, 2020;  Published Date: May 14, 2020


With 50% of Americans utilizing Complementary Alternative Medicines, knowledge of herbal supplements is limited among the general population. Unfortunately, most Americans rely on the advice of health food store employees to select botanical supplements.

The top Herbal supplements will be presented to educate nurses. These include Aloe Vera, Ashwagandha, Black Cohosh, Butterbur, California Poppy, Capsicum, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Dandelion, Echinacea, Elderberry, Evening Primrose, Fennel, Feverfew, Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Green Tea, Hibiscus, Horse Chestnut, Kava, Lemon Balm, Licorice, Milk Thistle, Peppermint, Red Yeast Rice, St. John’s Wort, Saw Palmetto, Skullcap, Soy, Tea Tree Oil, Turmeric, Uva Ursi & Valerian.

Each herb topics will include: Common Latin Binomial Name, Part Used, Active Ingredient, Primary Uses, Preparation & Dose, Pregnancy & Lactation, Contraindications, Adverse Effects, Duration, Toxicity & Drug Interactions.

European countries far exceed the United States in standardizing, determining indications for usage & have developed formularies for herbal supplements. The German Commission E approves botanical supplements for primary uses. Even the textbooks about herbal medicine have been translated from German to English.

Since many Americans are turning to Complementary Alternative Medicines, nurses need to have the knowledge base to advise patients. United States physicians are not schooled in herbal medicine and are unable to advise patients. Most physicians advise patients to not take herbal supplements because they are only schooled in medicine (pharmacotherapy) and surgery. There are more natural modalities that can benefit patients.

Nurses have traditionally been open to new modalities to assist patient on health promotion & health maintenance. Medication & Surgery does not cure or benefit all illnesses, as nurses astutely know. Nurses & health professionals will have a better knowledge of Herbal Pharmacy to better inform their patients.

GAIA Herbs are the Best Brands of Herbal Medicine

Aloe Vera-RX: Gel soothes pain & Promotes healing of wounds.

Ashwagandha-RX: Calming adaptogen for anxiety, Stress, insomnia & Improving Cognitive function.

Black Cohosh-RX: Menopausal Symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, irritability); Premenstrual Syndrome & Dysmenorrhea.

Butterbur-RX: Allergies & migraine prophylaxis.

California Poppy-RX: Insomnia, Sedation, Aches, Nervous Agitation, Prolong sleep & Anxiolytic.

Capsicum-RX: Topically for pain of Shingles, OA, RA, Post- Herpetic Neuralgia, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Diabetic Neuropathy & Back pain.

Chamomile-RX: Calmative, Carminative, GI Antispasmotic & Anti Inflammatory.

Cinnamon-RX: Type 2 Diabetics, Flatulence, GI Spasms, Prevent N/V. Diarrhea Infections. Add Cinnamon to small container of Applesauce to prevent Diarrhea.

Dandelion-RX: Diuretic, Laxative, Flatulence, Gallstones, Bile Stimulation, Circulatory tonic.

Echinacea-RX: Supportive therapy for colds & infections of respiratory & lower urinary tracts. Take at beginning of cold symptoms for 4 weeks, 8 weeks maximum.

Elderberry-RX: Treatment for influenza, stimulates immune function. Great for upper respiratory symptoms.

Evening primrose-RX: PMS, RA, mastalgia, atopic eczema, diabetic neuropathy & Osteoporosis.

Fennel-RX: Diuretic, respiratory infections, flatulence, bloating & colic for infants.

Feverfew-RX: Migraine prophylaxis. Butterbur is better.

Garlic-RX: Lipid lowering, reduces cholesterol 5-12%.

Ginger-RX: Motion sickness, chemo induced N/V & hyperemesis gravidarum.

Ginkgo-RX: Mild to moderate dementia, intermittent claudication, vertigo, tinnitus & migraine prophylaxis.

Ginseng-RX: Stimulation adaptogen. SE: Hypertension, Nervousness.

Goldenseal-RX: Treatment for infectious diarrhea; Giardia, entamoeba histolytica, trichomonas vaginialis, cholera & E. Coli.

Green tea-RX: Improves cognitive performance; mental alertness, vomiting, diarrhoea, H/A, hyperlipidaemia, type 2 diabetes & parkinson’s disease.

Hibiscus-RX: HTN, diuretic, effective as captopril & lisinopril, hypercholesterolemia, increased HDL & laxative.

Horse chestnut-RX: Chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins, haemorrhoids & phlebitis.

Kava-RX: Anxiety, stress, ADHD, insomnia & restlessness.

Lemon balm-RX: Anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, dyspepsia, bloating flatulence, colic & dementia.

Licorice-RX: Upper respiratory tract, gastric/duodenal ulcers, GERD, IBD & topically for herpetic lesions (will heal lesions in one day with repeated applications).

Milk thistle-Hepatoprotectant: Treats cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis & liver cancer.

Peppermint-RX: IBS-Diarrhea dominant, cramps of GI tract, myalgias, neuralgias & common cold.

Red yeast rice-RX: hyperlipidmia, indigestion & diarrhea.

St. john’s wort-RX: Mild to moderate depression, anxiety & nervous unrest.

Saw palmetto-RX: Benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Skullcap-RX: Insomnia & anxiety.

Soy-RX: Hyperlipidemia, menopausal symptoms, prevents osteoporosis & breast cancer.

Tea tree oil-RX: Topically only-RX: Onychomycosis, Tinea pedis, antiseptic for cuts & abrasions.

Turmeric-RX: Most potent anti-inflammatory in food. Dyspepsia, OA, RA, H/A, bronchitis, URI & fibromyalgia.

Uva Ursi-RX: UTIs, cystitis, urethritis, diuresis, dysuria, pyelonephritis, BPH & bronchitis.

Valerian-RX: restlessness, mild sleep promoting agent, nervous or anxiety induced sleep disturbances.


We wish to acknowledge Janet Mindes, Ph.D. for her scientific expertise and excellent editorial assistance.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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