Two bottles labeled as St. John’s wort, which studies have shown may treat mild depression, contained none of the medicinal herb. Instead, the pills in one bottle were made of nothing but rice, and another bottle contained only Alexandrian senna, an Egyptian yellow shrub that is a powerful laxative. Gingko biloba supplements, promoted as memory enhancers, were mixed with fillers and black walnut, a potentially deadly hazard for people with nut allergies.
Come on NYTimes, part of the catch to the supplement industry, the reason they are able to sell any herb on the plant without testing or regulation, is because the products sold aren't supposed to carry the claim of being able to treat disease. It's the same way head shops get away with selling salvia as "incense" and internet sites selling MDPV as "bath salts".