Just because herbs and dietary supplements are natural substances doesn't mean that they can be used indiscriminately. Herbs and supplements can be strong medicine. Before trying any herbal remedy or dietary/nutritional supplement, be sure that you know what it does, how it is used, and any possible side effects or drug interactions. 

A Herbologist should monitor the use of any medicinal herb or dietary supplement, making sure it does not conflict with medications already prescribed, and will not worsen conditions already known.  Also, the sensitivity or allergic reaction can best be handled by a Herbologist or aptly trained medical doctor who practices integrative medicine. You may email the HONERI for FREE information with respect to the safe and efficacious use of these supplements.

As a general rule, new medical problems may occur from ingesting herbal remedies or dietary supplements, but the potential for an allergic or toxic reaction is always there. In addition, about 1% of all plants are poisonous. Therefore, it not recommended that people gather their own herbs unless they are skilled Botanists/Herbologists.  Pregnant women should take these substances only under the direction of a knowledgeable practitioner or midwife.  Some herbs are contraindicated in certain diseases and/or conditions.  Parents should check with a qualified practitioner before giving herbs to children.

The information provided is for educational purposes only. Used as a reference; not as a means of diagnosis and/or treatment, it can act as a guide, but only with the cooperation and advise of trained professionals.  It is not within the scope of any collection of information to perform the medical duties of the health care profession.

Think of the body as a test tube in a chemistry lab.  Anything that is put into that test tube, or taken out, will cause a reaction. If the reaction is desirable, fine....  But if it is not desirable, it should be changed with the help of medical advise.  Even water causes a change in body chemistry.

Some people think that herbal tea is good, simply because it is a natural product. This is not only foolish, but dangerous. Every herbal tea should be weighed against possible complications, side effects, etc., before taking on a daily basis. Everyone knows that a great many modern day medications originated from herbs. Even aspirin was originally discovered from willow tea. The herbs in herbal teas should be known and checked against any medication, whether by prescription or over-the-counter, for compatibility and/or side effects.




Databases - Searchable:
Databases are available online at these websites.

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access) is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature created by the National Agricultural Library, USA 

American Indian Ethnobotany Database
Foods, drugs, dyes and Fibers of Native North American Peoples. Dr. Moerman's resource from University of Michigan

Carotenoid Database for US Foods
Collaborative effort between the USDA and the Nutrition Coordinating Center at the University of Minnesota.  Mainly pdf files.  The complete database can be downloaded.

Categorized, evidence-based resource for herbal information, with hyperlinks to clinical and scientific publications and dynamic links for automatic updating, produced by the nonprofit Alternative Medicine Foundation.

International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) is a database of published, international, scientific literature on dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, and botanicals, produced by the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health 

LIGAND Database
Ligand chemical database from GenomeNet, Kyoto University.

Plants for a Future
From Leeds University, UK, the Species Database contains nearly  7000 plants, either edible, have medicinal properties or have some other use such as fibres, oils or soaps. Three websites for searching and downloadable version.

National Library of Medicine's search interface to access the 10 million citations in MEDLINE, and Pre-MEDLINE, 
and other related databases. 

Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases, Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

Tropical Plant Database
Each plant file contains taxonomy data, phytochemical and ethnobotanical data, uses in traditional medicine, and clinical research from Raintree Nutrition, Inc, Austin, Texas.

Only description and access information are provided at the WWW sites.

Bibliographic database compiled by CAB International. It covers agriculture, forestry, aspects of human health, human nutrition, animal health and the management and conservation of natural resources.

Herb Research Foundation
Provides a search service from an extensive collection of herbal literature.

Lloyd Library and Museum
The 200,000 volume collection contains pharmacy, botany, and horticulture rare books and other collections. 

Large relational database of worldwide literature on ethnomedical, chemistry, pharmacology of plant, microbial, and animal extracts from University of Illinois.


Dictionary of Botanical Epithets
Searchable glossary

Garden Gate Glossary of Botanical Names
Useful resource on primarily a gardening site. 

Ohio State University Interactive Plant List
Dictionary of plants - includes medicinal plants.

Plantas Medicinais
Alphabetical listing of medicinal plants and their characteristics.

Herbal Monographs and Information Resources

Although they are often described as databases, the following resources are primarily sets of monographs. They are all quality evaluated or compiled from a particular perspective. It is important to question the criteria underlying the collection and presentation of these resources.

Publicly available:

Longwood Herbal Task Force
Monographs, patient and professional information from the faculty, staff and students of the Children's Hospital, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center- Herbs, Botanicals, & Other Products
Provides information evaluated by oncologists and healthcare professionals at MSK, including a clinical summary for each agent and details about constituents, adverse effects, interactions, and potential benefits or problems.


General medical information and herb monographs, aimed at licensing for commercial outlets. Advisory board and sources of information specified on web site.

UK based company provides consumer information on health, food, and lifestyle information for in-store touchscreen kiosks. States that all information is verified by compilers in peer-reviewed journals.

Management team and advisory team specified on web site. Provides a Chinese herbal database as part of resources. Professional pharmacist and patient oriented.

Natural Medicines
Large collection of monographs aimed at medical professionals generally. Also available in book format. Editorial team listed.

Natural Standard
Monographs compiled by a multidisciplinary team. High profile advisory team. Methodology, selection criteria, and evaluation clearly described. Primarily oriented to clinicians and pharmacists.

Online Journals, Libraries, and Citations: 

Bibliography from Bastyr University
A collection of citations from the literature on herbals from the Bastyr library.  The categorized listing is extensive and also cites the journals used for the compilation.

Cathay Herbal Library
Collection of articles on Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine for western doctors and TCM practitioners from the Cathay Herbal Laboratories Education Department.

European Phytojournal
Official newsletter of ESCOP, the European Scientific Cooperative on phytotherapy

International Journal of pharmacognosy
Research on the bioactivity of plants and extracts from all parts of the globe.

Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Interdiscipliniary journal from Elsevier devoted to research on biological activities of plant and animal substances used in traditional medical systems.

Journal of Natural Products
Joint publication of the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Pharmacognosy, for natural product chemists,biochemists, taxonomists, ecologists, and pharmacologists.

Journal of Naturopathic Medicine
lOfficial publication of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Medical Herbalism
A full text clinical newsletter for the herbal practitioner. 

Natural Products Reports online
Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK.

Pharmaceutical Biology 
Formerly the International Journal of Pharmacognosy. Research on the bioactivity of plants and extracts from all parts of the globe. 

Published by Elsevier, covers research on all aspects of plant chemistry, plant biochemistry, plant molecular biology and chemical ecology.

See also the American Society of Pharmacognosy listing of related journals

 Mailing Lists: 
Instructions on how to join or leave lists are provided at the urls below.

Centre for International Ethnomedicinal Education and Research
CIEER is an international network of ethnobotanical researchers and provides a public discussion forum and listserv to exchange information on the safe and effective use of medicinal plants.

Herbal Hall 
Interactive site for professional herbalists, students, and public 

Herb Bulletin Board
Click on The Green House for entry to an unmonitored, Web based, open discussion group. 

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Discussion List
Three lists are featured at this site: The Medicinal Herblist; The Culinary Herblist; and The HerbInfo-list archives. There is also a newsgroup: Alt.folklore.herbs. 

Medicinal Plants Working Group
A consortium of federal agencies and groups concerned with native plant extinction, native knowledge, and habitat resoration. Anyone can join by contacting and subscribing.

Email based, clinical practice mailing list. Free subscription required to join.   

Related Links: 

Algy's Home Page 
One of the earliest herb sites on the Web. Click on The Apothecary for information on medicinal herbs. 

Alternative Nature Online Herbal
Miscellany of links and resources for herbalists. 

American Botanical Council
Educating the public on the use of herbs and phytomedicinals.  ABC publishes HerbalGram and has an extensive list of publications in the herbal Education Catalog.

American Herbalists Guild
Non-profit educational organization representing herbalists. AHG also provides a large database of certified herbalists, educational programs, and publications.

American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
The goal of AHP is to produce authoritative herbal monographs containing accurate, critically reviewed information on botanicals to provide guidance in the appropriate use of herbal therapeutics.

Collection of resources and links on botanicals. Features a hyper-text version of A Modern Herbal, 1931, by Mrs. M.Grieve:

Center for Botanical Dietary Supplement Research in Women's Health
Center at University of Chicago, funded by NIH, studies botanicals with potential benefits for women's health.

Eclectic Medical Publications
Collection of books and articles by Francis Brincker and other naturopathic herbalists.

Environmental Estrogens (Phytoestrogens)
Scientific information on environmental estrogens and other hormones.

Compilations of aroma compounds sorted by their chromatographic and sensory properties - from Cornell University.

Henriette's Herbal Homepage
Collection of medicinal and culinary herb resources. 

Herbal Bookworm
Herbal book reviews by Jonathan Treasure.  Idiosyncratic and insightful.

Herb growing and marketing network. 

Herb Research Foundation
Information resource for the worldwide use of herbs for health, environmental conservation and international development. 

Howie Brounstein's Home Page
Collection of sites and resources.  

Natural Products Branch
National Cancer Institute's Natural Products Branch tests and screens crude natural products for anti-cancer activity.

Categorized links to information on medicinal herbs and herbalism in the clinical setting from the journal, Medical Herbalism. 

Michael Moore's Home Page 
Mounted by the Director of the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, features a collection of publications and images. 

Michael Tierra's Planetary Herbology
Idiosyncratic, lively site to explore.

Phytochemistry of Herbs
Focuses on the phytochemistry of popular herbal medicines.

A reference resource for herbal practitioners. 

Robyn's Recommended Reading
Quarterly review of literature on herbalism and phytotherapy from Robyn Klein, herbalist.

Cultivation and Conservation Issues

Directory of forest Products, Wood Science, and Marketing
Resource compiled by Steve Shook from the University of Idaho.

Information resource for plants, environments, uses, and environmental requirements.

Herb Society of America
Membership organization, founded in 1933.  Concerned with the cultivation of herbs and the study and history of their uses, past and present.  The Society is committed global environmental protection and encourages the practice of environmentally sound horticulture.

Horizon Herbs
Source of roots and seeds for medicinal plants

Laboratory of Ethnobotany
The Ethnobotany laboratory houses extensive collections of domesticated plants from around the world as well as specimens recovered from archaeological sites.

A global network committed to the sustainable and socially equitable use of medicinal plants.

National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs
Research on conservation of at-risk botanicals

National Plant Germplasm System
NPGS is a cooperative effort by public (State and Federal) and private organizations to preserve the genetic diversity of plants.

People and Plants Online
International initiative in applied ethnobotany, focusing on the interface between people and the world of plants.  It promotes sustainable use of plant resources, and the reconciliation of conservation and development.

Plant Conservation Alliance
The PCA is a consortium of 10 federal government member agencies and over 145 non-federal Cooperators: biologists, botanists, habitat preservationists, horticulturists, resources management consultants, soil scientists, and enthusiastic supporters, working to solve the problems of native plant extinction and native habitat restoration.

PLANTLAX is a pioneering organization in Mexico with an emphasis on organic herb products under a sustainable management.


Texts and images from the Vatican Library herbal collection. 

Searchable database of over 21,000 images from University of California, Berkeley.

Southwest School of Botanical Medicine
Scroll down to Michael Moore's collection of Medicinal plant images.

Rare Books from the MBG  Library
Missouri Botanical Garden rare books collection has been scanned and made available - includes medicinal plants and their uses.

Wild Herb Medicinal Flowers
Herb pictures, medicinal plans, wild flower photos and descriptions of uses in alternative medicine.

Adverse Effects/Safety and Standards:

Botanical Dermatology Database
Electronic version of book. Search on plant families or main index.

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System
Information resource from Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada

Independent laboratory testing of health and nutrition products.

European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy contains the herbal adverse drug reactions database, PhytoNet.

FDA: Poisonous Plant Database (PLANTOX)
Little known resource compiled by D. Jesse Wagstaff, DVM, with plant names and citations accessable from an alphabetical listing. 

HerbMed hyperlinks to the evidence on contraindications, toxic and adverse effects, and drug/herbal interactions. 

Herbs and Pregnancy
Information on herbs helpful and counterindicated in pregnancy from GardenGuides.com. 

Index of Poisons
From Mrs. M. Grieve: A Modern Herbal.

FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program, serves healthcare professionals and the public by providing information on medical product safety issues including dietary supplements and medical foods.

Ohio State University - Herb and Drug Interactions
Table of possible herb-drug interactions - referenced and authored.

Review of Herb-Drug Interactions: Docmented and Theoretical
Review article with look up tables published in US Pharmacist.

Information resource from Cornell University. 

Toxic Plant Database
Compilation from the veterinary Medicine Library, UIUC