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Alphabetical listing of Constituents

The use of plants and plant extracts for medicinal purposes has until recently been based on folk lore and superstition. Knowledge of which plant to use and how to use it has been passed from generation to generation for as long as man has been around. Although much of this information was valid there was also a plethora of plants used that either had no effect at all or in some cases even the opposite effect from that desired.

It is only in the last century that some scientific research has occurred to validate or dismiss the efficacy of medicinal plants. In some cases a particular substance or plant led to the development of conventional drugs and medication after extensive research; in other cases the studies were superficial and mostly biased towards "proving" or justifying claims of efficacy. These pages reflect the information we have have gathered from diverse sources and it is unfortunate that in most cases we cannot vouch for the validity of the information.

Even today more than half the population of our planet relies exclusively on herbs, plants and other extracts from nature for the treatment of all diseases. In almost all of these cases the practice is as a consequence of thousands of years of trial and error with very little scientific validation. Isolating individual constituents (the chemical ingredients found in the plant) to determine which substances are responsible for the desired effect is still in its infancy with only a small percentage of these substances fully analyzed.

This is an index to the constituents of plants and other substances that occur in nature. It is by no means complete and in many cases inaccurate but it is the best information we have been able to find at this stage. We are constantly updating and expanding on the information.

Constituents are far too many to fit on one page - please click on one of the alphabetic links below to jump to the page you need:


Over the years medicine and the practice of medicinal treatments have been divided between the science of modern medicine and pharmacology and the art and myth of the various modalities of traditional medicine (often referred to as alternative medicine).

Many are recognizing that there is a role to play for both, leading to the middle ground of  CALM (Complimentary Alternative Medicine) where more patients and practitioners are discovering the benefit of using both forms of medicine synergistically. As this trend grows it is creating a need to better understand the constituents (or ingredients) of these alternative medicines.

Herbal medicine, one of the oldest and most widely applied of the alternative modalities, has been the prospecting fields of modern pharmaceutical companies for years. Many widely used pharmaceutical drugs like ephedrine, aspirin, warfarin and many more were used in herbal medicine for many years before they became the staple products of modern medicine.

The demand for more information on the safety and efficacy of alternative medicine is growing rapidly and tests and trials are constantly conducted on constituents either in the search for a new pharmaceutical drug or to prove or ascertain the efficacy and affect.

Pharmacists view the herbs as a mixture of many chemicals and are constantly working on extracting the active or desired principle to use as an isolated substance while herbalists have a holistic approach of using all of the constituents in the plant. Needless to say, that means that herbalists need to understand not only the beneficial constituents but also the ineffective or potentially harmful constituents.

At beneforce we try to provide an objective view of each constituent but will never be able to give all information available as the sources are scattered and often poorly substantiated.

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* Statements made have not been evaluated by American Food and Drug Authority or similar board or authority of any other country.
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