Aloe vera, a succulent plant prevalent in hot, dry regions of Asia, Africa, and other areas, has been used in traditional medicine for many centuries. It is easily propagated in most places where the climate is hot and dry.
Shiitake, an edible mushroom indigenous to East Asia, is cultivated worldwide for its purported health benefits
Ginseng is an herb from the genus Panax of the Araliaceae family that is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It is termed an “adaptogen,” as it is believed to have properties that help to restore balance to the body and protect the body from physiologic stress.
Kava is a plant indigenous to the Pacific Rim and the Hawaiian Islands whose root and rhizome are used to prepare a non-fermented beverage with relaxant effects that is used for social and recreational purposes.
Yoga, an ancient tradition that originated approximately 5,000 years ago in Central Asia, is a complete system of mental and physical practices for health and well-being. Predominantly practiced within the philosophical context of Ayurvedic medicine in India, yoga as a mind-body therapy is now also increasingly popular in the West, practiced by approximately 15 million individuals.
ALSO KNOWN AS: Ananase, dayto anase, traumanase.
Dong quai is a perennial herb native to China, Japan and Korea; its root has been used for thousands of years as medicine.
The berries of Lycium barbarum, a perennial plant native to Asia and southeastern Europe, have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat poor vision, anemia, inflammation, and cough. They are also consumed as food and used in soup recipes.
Though there are no data yet on their efficacy, oleander extracts are promoted to treat cancer, AIDS, and congestive heart failure, and are being investigated in clinical trials.
Vitamin B12 is part of the vitamin B complex and is essential for maintaining nerve function, fatty acid metabolism, and DNA and amino acid synthesis. By lowering homocysteine levels, it may also protect against cardiovascular disease. Vitamin B12 can be obtained through diet (including eggs, dairy products, poultry, meat, and fortified cereals) and in supplement form. Deficiency of B12 can lead to a wide variety of hematologic, neurologic, and psychiatric disorders and may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Clinical evidence to support the role of vitamin B12 in decreasing cancer risk is mixed. Further research is needed.