Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Medicating oneself with herbal remedies has become and increasing popular phenomenon. It is estimated sales of herbal products were $3.2 million in 1997 (8). One third of educated, upper income Americans aged 25-49 years old are using these products each year (8). This paper is a compilation of information regarding the herbal industry. An overview of food and drug regulations as well as reviewing the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health Education Act clarify where industry is at today. A discussion regarding Germany's Commission E and their contribution to the herbal industry as well as reasons why the US is not following the same standards is also included. Echinacea, gingko biloba, ginseng, and St John's wort are herbs that have been show to have positive properties. Ephedra (ma huang), comfrey, and chaparral are herbs that are recommended to avoid. Finally, nine guidelines are included in order for the nutrition professional to properly educate patients regarding their choice to use herbal products. Due to our background and education, nutrition professionals are well qualified, experienced, and should take advantage of advising consumers regarding herbal use. Avoiding the topic due to strong biases and negative assumptions regarding the herbal industry forces consumers to turn to lesser qualified individuals for information.



Faculty Mentor

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt