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November 25, 1997
Companies that produce herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals should be able to make health claims about them as long as they can prove those claims, a government-appointed panel said. The Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels sent its final report to Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, who must decide whether to recommend new laws or regulations.
August 16, 2004 | Elena Conis
Damiana grows wild in hot, sunny regions from the American Southwest to northern South America. The leaves of the yellow-flowered shrub were once used by the Aztecs, the Maya and other native groups for a variety of medicinal purposes and as an aphrodisiac. * Uses: Over the last few centuries, damiana has been used to treat bedwetting, constipation, impotence, depression, lethargy, anxiety, hot flashes, diabetes and obesity.
A single-family home in the heart of a Latino neighborhood here is a haven for those who believe. They are there to see Mina, a slightly built woman with a head of uncontrollable brown hair and wild eyes, who they believe can cure physical ailments, help the lovelorn and bring fortune to lost souls--all in her converted washroom.
November 14, 1992 | From Associated Press
Did you think that herbs were just for tea? On the contrary, the possibilities are endless, says Country America magazine. Herbs can be used in holiday cards, cosmetics, soap and sleep pillows. Linda Dotson and June Centimole of Nashville, Tenn., classify as an herb as any plant with a utilitarian value, among them roses, bayberry bushes, dandelions and apple trees.
January 31, 2000
The Jan. 17 article ("Which Herb Helps What? Labels Can Now Say") constitutes a step backward by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Although there are probably some benefits to be derived from herbs and dietary supplements, for the most part, positive results are likely due to the placebo effect. The labeling is largely based on anecdotal reports. There may sometimes even be harm, especially when herbs and supplements are mixed with certain prescription drugs. Until scientific studies supporting the claims made by the distributors of herbs and supplements are done, labels describing what these products can be used for should not be allowed.
December 19, 2005 | Elena Conis
The spindly, yellow-flowered Bupleurum chinense and some closely related species are key herbs in traditional Chinese medicine prescribed for mood swings and gastrointestinal conditions. The root of the plant is one of the main ingredients in an herbal formula widely known by its Japanese name, Sho-saiko-to -- in Chinese it's known as xiao chai hu tang -- that contains ginseng, licorice, ginger and a handful of other herbs in addition to Bupleurum.
November 7, 1997 | From Associated Press
Cracking down on makers of "herbal fen-phen," the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Thursday that some products sold as substitutes for recently banned diet drugs may be dangerous. The FDA wrote to a Pennsylvania company this week that its products violate federal law and may be seized as illegal drugs. The diet drugs fenfluramine and its close cousin Redux were banned in September after doctors discovered the medicines could damage dieters' heart valves.
April 30, 2008 | Regina Schrambling, Special to The Times
CONSIDERING France is the country that gave the world the expression menage a trois, it's probably not surprising that cooks there have defined ways to use herbs in multiples too. Three of these brilliant combinations will make cooking more enticing any day of the year, but one of them could not be better suited to this season: fines herbes. Herbes de Provence, typically thyme, rosemary, lavender and bay leaves, are the essence of summertime cooking, meant for dishes with sunny aspects.
There is an obscure herb that grows along the cliffs in a remote Hawaiian cloud forest, one of the rainiest and most inaccessible places in the world. Botanist Michael Doyle became fascinated with this herb as a graduate student, but to study it he had to get to the cloud forest. And to get to the cloud forest--higher in elevation than a rain forest--he had to take risks not usually associated with plant gathering.
December 20, 2010 | By Sari Heifetz, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Pungent steam rises from a boiling pot of a mugwort tea blended with wormwood and a variety of other herbs. Above it sits a nude woman on an open-seated stool, partaking in a centuries-old Korean remedy that is gaining a toehold in the West. Vaginal steam baths, called chai-yok, are said to reduce stress, fight infections, clear hemorrhoids, regulate menstrual cycles and aid infertility, among many other health benefits. In Korea, many women steam regularly after their monthly periods.
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