A large and increasing number of patients use medicinal herbs or seek the advice of their physician regarding their use. More than one third of Americans use herbs for health purposes, yet patients (and physicians) often lack accurate information about the safety and efficacy of herbal remedies. Burgeoning interest in medicinal herbs has increased scientific scrutiny of their therapeutic potential and safety, thereby providing physicians with data to help patients make wise decisions about their use. This article provides a review of the data on 12 of the most commonly used herbs in the United States. In addition, we provide practical information and guidelines for the judicious use of medicinal herbs.