The medicinal use of herbs has a long history in virtually all the cultures of the world. Traditionally, many herbs and spices possess both medicinal and culinary uses, while others are used only for the treatment of specific ailments and conditions.

In the United States, the use of dietary herbal supplements to support the health of the body’s systems and functions has increased dramatically since the passage of DSHEA (Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act) in 1994. Herbal products are subject to the same GMPs (good manufacturing processes) required by FDA for all dietary supplements.

The safety and efficacy of herbal supplements is based both on their history of traditional use and on a growing body of scientific literature supporting their use for specific conditions. Research and analytic methods for a wide variety of herbal medicinal plants is supported by organizations such as the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the American Botanical Council and the American Herbal Products Association.

Among the most widely used most researched and best selling herbs in the dietary supplements category are hawthorn for heart health, cranberry for urinary tract health, garlic for cholesterol control and antioxidant activity, gingko for brain function, saw palmetto for prostate health, Echinacea for immune support, milk thistle for liver cleansing, St. John’s wort for depression, and ginseng for tonic and energy-boosting properties.