Recommendation

Rationale

Notes

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita); pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried herb, cover, and steep for 10 minutes; drink 3-4x/day.

Helps relieve mild forms of stress and anxiety.

Those with pollen allergies may have a negative reaction.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba); 40-80 mg 3x/day.

May improve brain function by increasing circulation.

People taking blood-thinning medications should consult with a health care practitioner.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum); 140-420 mg divided into 2-3 doses/day.

Helps liver neutralize effect of prescription antidepressants.

Capsule or extract form is generally most effective.

Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata); pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried herb, cover, and steep for 10 minutes; drink 2-3x/day, plus one-half hour before bedtime.

Calms nerves; helps you fall asleep.

No known side effects or health hazards.

Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora); pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried herb, cover, and steep for 10 minutes; drink 2-3x/day.

Calms nervous tension that commonly accompanies depression.

No known side effects or health hazards.

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum); 200-1,000 mcg/day of a preparation standardized to contain 5 percent hyperforin for 4-6 weeks.

Helps ease anxiety and depressive moods.

Those taking depression medication should consult a doctor prior to using St. John's wort; interacts with numerous prescription medications, including antitransplant rejection drugs, anti-HIV drugs, and anticancer drugs.

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).