Arnica (Arnica montana); topical ointment should contain maximum 15 percent arnica oil.
Relieves muscle pain following sports injuries.
Do not apply to broken skin; if a rash appears, discontinue use.
Cayenne (Capsicum spp); topical, 50 mg capsaicin in 100 grams neutral base oil applied to affected area 3-4x/day.
Eases muscle pain.
Prolonged topical use may cause blister and ulcer formation.
Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus); 9-15 grams root bark/day; 9-27 grams root/day; 0.3-0.5 grams drug extract 3x/day.
Raises energy levels; boosts stamina; combats fatigue.
People with uncontrolled hypertension should be cautious about taking this herb; do not take while pregnant.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis); 300-400 mg polyphenols/day; three cups of green tea contain roughly 240-320 mg.
Helps boost metabolism.
Contains tannin and may cause discomfort to those with sensitive stomachs.
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra); pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried herb, cover, and steep for 10 minutes; drink as needed.
This extremely sweet herb helps curb sweet cravings.
People with high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, or history of stroke, and pregnant women should not use.
Psyllium (Plantago ovata); 12-40 grams/day; mix powder with fruit juice or cool water and stir.
Provides feeling of fullness; gets rid of waste efficiently.
Not recommended for those who have gastrointestinal problems or difficulties regulating diabetes.
Note: Larger doses may be necessary for disease management and prevention. Check with your health care practitioner for individualized recommendations.
Sources: Laurel Vukovic, an Ashland, Oregon-based herbalist and author of Herbal Healing Secrets for Women (Prentice Hall Press, 2000); PDR for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics Co., 2000).