Herbal and related remedies are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Although some of these products have been promoted as panaceas with little scientific data to support their use, clinical data are starting to accumulate showing the benefit of specific products. For the herbal products, English translation of the German Commission E monographs greatly increases the availability of credible information. Under the 1994 Dietary Health Supplement and Education Act, these products are considered as dietary supplements rather than drugs; regulation by the Food and Drug Administration is therefore limited. This lack of regulation has contributed to drug misadventures; such adverse events should be reported to the MedWatch program of the Food and Drug Administration. One suggestion to improve the status of these products in the United States would be to adopt the German philosophy that the products be approved as drugs based on absolute proof of safety and reasonable proof of efficacy.