Herbal and Complementary Medicines Used for Women’s Health

  • Sheila M. Wicks
  • Gail B. MahadyEmail author


Recent data suggest that the global herbal medicines market continues to increase, with estimates of annual sales as high as $160 B USD. In the United States alone, almost 30 % of U.S. adults use herbal medicines, and of the $11.5 billion spent annually on dietary supplements in the U.S., over half a billion dollars are spent on herbal products. Women continue to be the primary users of herbal supplements, and the use of these products to treat or prevent a wide array of ailments including the menopause, common cold, depression, and other non-life threatening medical conditions is on the rise. In terms of herbal medicines used by women, black cohosh, cranberry, dang gui, green tea, and ginseng are the most common worldwide. While the clinical data for efficacy are often equivocal for most herbal products with the exception of St. John’s wort, there are contraindications, drug interactions and some serious adverse events associated with the use of these products. Where no clinical efficacy has been proven but serious adverse events have been reported, the safety risk in negative (no benefit and potential safety risk), and thus such products should not be recommended.


Herbal Medicine Dietary Supplement Panax Ginseng Menopausal Symptom Herbal Supplement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical AnatomyCity Colleges of Chicago and Rush UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy Practice, Rm 122, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine, College of PharmacyUniversity of IllinoisChicagoUSA

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