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Let's Live: Reader Herbal Survey.
The results are in for the herbal survey taken by Let's Live in March 1995. The overwhelming majority of the 333 respondents reported that they started using herbs for a wide variety of conditions within the past five years. While 27 percent have been using herbs for more than 10 years, a growing number (21 percent) have only recently begun. Here is the Let's Live summary of findings.

What's your favorite herb? Although many responders use a variety of herbs, most (18 percent) use garlic. The next most popular herbs (in descending order) are: echinacea (15 percent); ginseng (14 percent); chamomile (11 percent); Ginkgo biloba (11 percent); aloe vera (9 percent); and goldenseal (8 percent).

How effective are herbs? The majority of respondents (40 percent) say herbs are very effective; 32 percent find herbs extremely effective. No respondents indicate the herbs they use are not effective.

What do you use them for? Results here vary widely. Most, however, indicate they use herbs to promote energy and well-being (22 percent); 18 percent use herbs to boost the immune system; 14 percent use herbs as a cold/flu remedy; 11 percent use herbs for stress relief; and 10 percent use herbs as a stomach/digestive aid.

How do you take them? Most respondents (62 percent) take herbs in combination, while 30 percent prefer to use them singly. Nonetheless, 45 percent say they prefer herbs in powdered extract form; 23 percent use herbs as a tea; 9 percent use a standardized extract; and 8 percent prefer to use a cream or lotion. Reprinted by permission from Let's Live, August 1995.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.