Matching Challenge: Over-the-Counter Products

By Mohamed Dungersi, Associate Student Editor

Match the following herbal products with their natural source and reason for use:

A. This product is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, primarily docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).  It is used to lower triglyceride levels, to lower high blood pressure, and for a variety of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. B. This product is native to the Balkans; it is a member of the Asteraceae family.  It is used to prevent migraines as well as for dysmenorrhea, arthritis, and psoriasis.

C. This product was originally extracted from bovine heart tissue, but is now manufactured using a beet and sugarcane fermentation process.  It is used for several cardiovascular conditions as well as a general antioxidant.  It is also used in Parkinson’s disease and for migraine prevention.

D. This product is a perennial from the Zingiberaceae family whose rhizomes and roots are used medicinally.  It is used primarily as an antiemetic agent to relieve nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, motion sickness, chemotherapy, and surgery.

E. This product is derived from the Gingko biloba tree.  It is used for a multitude of conditions, including alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, tinnitus, and acute mountain sickness.

F. This product is derived from dried or fresh bulbs of a plant commonly used in cooking, Allium sativum.  It is used for hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as prevention of various cancers.

G. This herb that is available in two forms: Roman/common and German/Hungarian.  It is a member of the Asteraceae family.  It is used for motion sickness, as well as many gastro-intestinal, inflammatory, and dermatologic diseases, including those in children. Additionally, it is used to decrease mucositis after certain types of chemotherapy.  (Hint:  It is also used as an herbal tea)

H. This product is derived from the bark of Prunus Africana, a member of the Rosaceae family.  It is used for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

I. This product is found in the marshy areas in Northern Asia, Europe, and parts of North America. It is a member of the Asteraceae family (formerly Compositae). It is used to prevent migraines as well as for allergic rhinitis and asthma.

J. This product is derived from the flowers and leaves of Hypericum perforatum.  It is used for depression, pain, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and premenstrual syndrome.

1. Co-enzyme Q102. Garlic

3. Fish Oil

4. St. John’s Wort

5. Butterbur

6. Feverfew

7. Ginkgo

8. Chamomile

9. Ginger

10. African Plum


  1. McQueen CE, Orr KK. Natural Products. In: Berardi RR, Ferreri SP, Hume AL, et al. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 16th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association; 2009:973—1014.
  2. McQueen CE, editor. Sigler’s Dietary Supplement Drug Cards. 2nd ed. Lawrence, Kan: SFI Medical Publishing; 2009.
  3. Charlson M, McFerren M. Garlic: what we know and what we don’t know. Arch Int Med 2007; 167:325—6.
  4. Garlic Effects on Cardiovascular Risks and Disease, Protective Effects against Cancer, and Clinical Adverse Effects. Summary, Evidence Report/Technology Assessment; Number 20. Rockville, Md: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2000. AHRQ Publication No. 01-E022.
  5. Birks J, Grimley Evans J. Gingko biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007;2:CD003120.


1=C , 2=F, 3=A,4=J, 5=I, 6=B, 7=E, 8=G, 9=D, 10=H

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