Top selling herbs and supplements are being used for chronic conditions that are difficult to treat or manage with conventional medicine. Ailments such as mood disorders, heart disease, arthritis, women’s health conditions, and digestive disorders are among the most common reasons.
Before taking any herbs it’s highly recommended to talk to your doctor. Also, be sure to see precautions and potential side effects for each herb, listed on the individual pages linked.
Below is a list of the top selling herbs based on information gathered online:
- Ginkgo Biloba sold $147 million worth, commonly used to increase because of it’s antioxidant properties, which is believed to help improve memory, increase brain blood flow, and prevent dementia. It’s also thought to help prevent heart attacks and stroke.
- St. John’s Wort, nature’s anti-depressant (sold $104 million) is generally used for mild to moderate depression.
- Ginseng at $84 million, is used to help combat fatigue and weakness. (Primarily for men, Don Quai is for women.)
- Garlic, more than just a tasty addition to foods, it’s a natural antibiotic and has sold $84 million in a year. It’s also used to lower cholesterol levels.
- Echinacea, an herb I always keep around, sold $72 million in 2010. This herb while listed as a treatment for colds and respiratory infections, is best used to prevent these problems when taken at the change of seasons and/or the first signs to shorten duration. I take it instead of a flu shot! If a cold or respiratory problem has already shown it’s nasty signs, I also take Elderberry and Zinc (formula) to expedite healing.
- Saw Palmetto, at $45 million in sales, is used primarily by men to prevent or help with prostate conditions. (In women it seems to make breasts perkier!)
- Kava Kava, $18 million in sales, is used to reduce or relieve stress and anxiety. The effect is similar to drinking a glass of wine.
- Soy, while not actually an herb, it is a big seller at $18 million. It’s used for a variety of health reasons including menopausal symptom relief.
- Valerian, aka the herbal valium (sells $10 million per year) helps relieve anxiety.
- Evening Primrose, at $9 million, is most often used for menopause, premenstrual syndrome (pms) and inflamation. It supplies many essential fatty acides.
- Grape Seed, $8 million strong, is a powerful antioxidant that also works well for relieving symptoms of allergies.
- Milk Thistle, a restorative herb ($8 million in annual sales) provides liver support supplement.
- Bilberry, at $6 million, is for eye disorders and works well to improve night vision. It’s also a diabetic aid and circulatory enhancer.
- Black Cohosh, also at $6 million, is a powerful antispasmodic and muscle relaxer. It’s uses are also similar to Evening Primrose use but, in addition, helps with menstrual disorders.
- Pycnogenol, a $5 million per year antioxidant supplement. (New info on this coming soon.)
- Ginger, at $2 million, aids in poor digestion and nausea. (Remember mom giving you ginger ale when you were sick?)