The NIH’s New App Helps People Understand the Evidence Behind Herbs and Herbal Supplements

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has launched an app that is designed to inform people about the science behind herbs and herbal supplements commonly marketed for health purposes. The app, called HerbListTM, contains information on over fifty herbs. The source article can be read here, at the NIH’s website.

About the App

According to the NIH, the app is designed to help people better understand the effects of frequently used herbs and herbal medicines. The information given by HerbList is based on research and scientific conclusions and is hoped to help consumers reach informed decisions about different products. The app will include information such as the safety profile of the herbal products, known side effects, and how they interact with drugs, as well as other common names for the plants, brief background information on them, and links to additional resources. HerbList was developed using the NCCIH’s website Herbs at a Glance, which contains similar information. Users will be able to choose and save their favourites to use offline from over fifty herbs and herbal supplements, including turmeric, acai, and ginkgo.

HerbList is intended to help patients, consumers, healthcare providers, and other users to better understand herbs and herbal supplements.

So far, the app has been well received, with, at the time of writing, a rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 on the Apple App Store and 4.6 out of 5 on the Google Play Store.

About the NCCIH

The NCCIH (previously called the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicines) works to use evidence to understand how products that aren’t usually considered to be a form of conventional medicine can be used to improve people’s health. It is part of the National Institutes of Health, which is involved in medical research and part of the United State’s Department of Health and Human Services.

HerbListTM is currently available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.


Anna Hewitt

Anna Hewitt

Anna is from England and recently finished her undergraduate degree. She has an interest in medicine and enjoys writing. In her spare time she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with cats.

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