Echinacea Garlic Ginkgo Biloba Goldenseal Kava Saw Palmetto Feverfew Ginger Ginseng Gotu Kola St. John's Wort Valerian


Welcome to the Dietary Supplement Database, a web site developed as an Independent Study Project at the UCSD School of Medicine.

The information provided within the pages of this site is, in large part, a synthesis of the literature available through PubMed. The information is provided as a tool for quick reference into a sampling of dietary supplements available to consumers, and in no way reflects an endorsement of use of these products. Indeed, some of the supplements contained within this web site have proven to be potentially very dangerous, as outlined in the "Adverse Effects, Contraindications, Drug Interactions" section of each page.

In selection of the twelve herbs dealt with in this site, sales information published by the American Botanicals Council was first reviewed. From a list of the top 25 selling herbal supplements in the US, twelve were selected based on personal recognition from numerous drug histories of patients encountered throughout the clinical years of medical school.

This site is targeted mainly to medical students in their clinical years who will no doubt encounter many patients with dietary supplements as part of a daily medicine regimen. It is my hope that it may serve as a quick and easy-to-use reference of these supplements, their purported uses, any real effects borne out by scientific research, and any important interactions with drugs or other supplements - an informational tool at the fingertips of interested medical students who wish to know more about what their patients, their family members, or even what they are taking themselves.


Site navigation

To get started, click on any of the herbal supplements listed above. You will be taken to a page with information about that specific herb, including nomenclature, purported uses, scientific evidence for efficacy of the supplement, as well as some information about the side effects and contraindications and toxicity. From each individual page, one may jump to another supplement page simply by clicking the herbal links on the sidebar.

Visitors to this site may also perform a current search in PubMed for up to date peer reviewed publications about these herbal supplements by clicking on the side bar link titled pub med.

In addition, a page of helpful links to other sites with information on these and other dietary supplements is provided.