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If you’ve ever glazed over at all the herbs and supplements on health food store shelves, you’re not alone. As confusing as they may seem, there is a growing body of medical evidence suggesting that some of these therapies are effective when used properly.

UCF Health’s new integrative medicine physician, Christopher Smith, M.D., who is board-certified in family medicine, will discuss some of the following herbs and supplements at the June 17 seminar entitled “Are Alternative Therapies Right for Me?”

  • Ashwagandha – From the nightshade plant family, Ashwagandha is used for generalized anxiety by preparing a tea mixture or taking the extract form.
  • Butterbur – As part of the daisy family, Butterbur can be used for migraine headaches and hay fever.
  • Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) – Made from the root of a plant found in Asia and Europe, DGL is a common treatment for acid reflux.
  • Echinacea – Used to treat the common cold and flu since this early 1900s, Echinacea remains a way to decrease the severity and length of illness when taken within the first couple days of symptoms.
  • Fish Oil – Extracted oil from fish in the upper part of the ocean is used to treat a number of medical conditions ranging from elevated triglycerides and high blood pressure to ADAD and Alzheimer’s disease. The dosage depends upon the amount of seafood in your diet.
  • Lemon Balm – Part of the mint family, Lemon Balm may help with anxiety, dementia, insomnia, stress and herpes virus outbreaks.
  • Passionflower – Traditionally used by Native Americans, Passionflower can be used for insomnia and anxiety.
  • Turmeric – Part of the ginger family from Asia, Turmeric often helps with indigestion and heartburn, as well as osteoarthritis

WARNING:  Before trying any new herb or supplement, discuss it with your physician since possible side effects can occur in people with certain medical conditions.

Dr. Smith’s seminar on Wednesday, June 17, will be held from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the UCF Health location in Medical City. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit

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