Recommendation

Rationale

Notes

Chamomile
(Matricaria chamomilla)
3%­10% infusions for external use;
3­4 cups freshly prepared tea for internal use

Used externally, chamomile relieves irritated skin; internally it soothes gastrointestinal complaints and helps induce relaxation and sleep.

A cup of chamomile tea before bed promotes sleep.

Garlic
(Allium sativum)
4 g/day fresh garlic

Garlic is preventive medicine for age-related vascular changes.

Garlic consumption can substantially increase the anticoagulant effects of blood thinners; don't use large amounts of garlic before surgery because it can prolong bleeding time.

Ginkgo
(Ginkgo biloba)
40­60 mg standardized extract 3x/day
(120­180 mg/day)

Ginkgo is said to increase memory performance and learning capacity.

Ginkgo extracts may enhance the effects of platelet-aggregation inhibitors.

Hawthorn
(Crataegus spp)
120­240 mg standardized extract 3x/day

This herb strengthens the heart and circulation.

If you are taking drugs for high blood pressure or heart problems, consult a professional herbalist before using hawthorn.

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
1­2 g/day

This herb relieves difficulties (such as urination problems) associated with an enlarged prostate but does not reduce the enlargement.

Saw palmetto was touted as an aphrodisiac by Native Americans.

Sources: The Complete German Commission E Monographs (American Botanical Council, 1998); PDR for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics Co., 2000).