Botanicals are used worldwide in food and supplements for their nutritional and physiological effects and have become part of the local and regional cultural heritage. The use of botanicals has evolved from experience over a long period of time, often over centuries. Folk knowledge of this use has been passed on from generation to generation and later been systematically recorded. This information is collectively called ‘traditional use’ and is the largest body of observational evidence in humans available. It is recognised as a valid body of knowledge to support the safe use of botanicals and document their health benefits. This paper describes the experience on how traditional use is accepted as a basis for support of the safety and benefits for health of botanical preparations used in food supplements. It proposes a common basis for themutual acceptance of the evidence as assessed by expert judgement that may lead to recognition of the safety and benefits of botanicals in different parts of the world.