There are several Chinese herbs used as food supplement or as an alternative medicine.Fructus lycii, Panax ginseng, Cervi cornu pantotrichum, Herba epimedii and Angelica sinensis are among the most commonly prescribed. All of them have been claimed for various indications which are mainly due to their variety of active ingredients or chemical compositions. Even though Chinese herbs have been used and claimed for their efficacy for decades, some toxicity has been found, thus the need to be cautious. In this review, we describe the most common indications of F. lycii, P. ginseng, C. cornu pantotrichum, H. epimedii and A. sinensis and also report their toxicity, if any have been found.
Key words: Chinese herbs, Fructus lycii, Panax ginseng, Cervi cornu pantotrichum, Herba epimedii, Angelica sinensis.
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