Botanical organizations and herb enthusiasts across the country recently celebrated HerbDay 2010 through diverse demonstrations and events. Here at the ABC headquarters, renowned herbalist and author Christopher Hobbs led a lively and informative herb walk through ABC’s medicinal gardens, attended by numerous spectators. We would like to thank both Christopher Hobbs and our attendees for helping to make ABC’s HerbDay event such a success!
Events such as HerbDay are important for increasing knowledge about botanical medicine and medicinal plants—topics that arguably need greater emphasis in today’s world. A recent survey, profiled in this issue, indicates that many healthcare providers may know very little about herbal medicine and rely on inadequate sources for herbal information. Another article in this issue profiles the updated conservation statuses of several medicinal plants, as determined through the recent meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
ABC’s Mark Blumenthal recently co-wrote an article concerning dietary supplement quality that has been published on the website of The Dr. Oz Show. Blumenthal will be giving two presentations on the health benefits of tea during the World Tea Expo, taking place June 11-13 in Las Vegas. Anyone participating in the expo is invited to attend.
The Staff of the American Botanical Council
HerbalGram 86 profiles the use of animal-derived products in healing and efforts to replace medicinally-used endangered animals with botanical alternatives. The use of DNA-based methods for identifying herbal ingredients is also featured in this issue, as is an overview of herbal supplement market sales during 2009. Another article explores efforts in the European Union to prepare for full enforcement of the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive, including a particularly heated controversy in the United Kingdom.
May's selected book excerpt comes from Traditional Medicine, written by Steven Kayne and published in 2009. This excerpt contains the book's title page, table of contents, preface, and sixth chapter, "Traditional Chinese medicine." All are available here.
We have tested the links of the following articles prior to publication; however, some news organizations remove stories and disable links at various times.
India Attempting to Increase Yield of Plant Used to Treat Cancer. The Times of India. 5-3-10. India’s Department of Biotechnology is beginning a project that aims to increase the large-scale cultivation of the plant nothapodytes, which is a source of the cancer treatment drug camptothecin.
Tai Sophia: A Healing Presence. Laurel Leader. 4-22-10. Once just a small acupuncture business, the Tai Sophia Institute has grown into a large educational center offering degrees in many alternative medicine modalities and may soon become an official university.
Marijuana Business Debate: Big Tobacco vs. Big Pharma. CNBC. 4-20-10. As a few states are considering the legalization of recreational marijuana use, and many more are legalizing medical marijuana, some are wondering what might be the first industry to capitalize on a potential marijuana market.
Flowers and Supplements to be Unmasked with DNA Barcoding? Scientific American. 4-18-10. Plant DNA barcoding can sometimes help identify invasive and endangered plant species, as well as the true contents of herbal supplements, but the future promise of the new science remains unclear.
Australia’s National Registration for Traditional Medicine Welcomed. Epoch Times. 4-15-10. Many in Australia’s Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) community are welcoming a measure that will require all TCM practitioners to register with the government by July of 2012, which requires that they have a 4-year degree from an accredited university.
Amid Concerns, Soy Isoflavone Probably Safe for Thyroid. Reuters. 4-14-10. Recent research studying 77 participants found that the soy isoflavone genistein did not affect thyroid function in post-menopausal women when compared with a placebo.
India Challenging EU Herb Regulations. The Financial Express. 4-13-10. The Indian government is working to take legal action against the EU’s Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive, which it says will make it impossible for most Ayurvedic drugs in India to be marketed in EU member countries.
Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In Again. New York Times. 4-11-10. While some university researchers have been reigniting the study of psychedelic substances, like psilocybin from mushrooms, funding for such investigations remains low.
The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) Releases Monograph Standards on Echinacea angustifolia Root. Press release from AHP.
The US Pharmacopeia Proposes (USP) New Standards for Botanical Ingredients. Press release from USP.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Releases its Good Documentation Practices Guide. Press release from AHPA.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Warns Consumers to Avoid Vita Breath Dietary Supplement. Press release from FDA.
May 18-19: SteviaWorld Europe. Geneva, Switzerland.
July 20-23: 13th Annual NBJ Summit: Investing Today to Ensure Our Tomorrow. Dana Point, CA. ABC members can enter the code ABCNBJ10 during registration to receive $200 off the registration fee!
September 24-26: Green Nations Gathering. Rowe, MA.
More events are available here.
Medicinal Plants Discussed at the 15th Meeting of CITES. Eight medicinal plants were discussed at the CoP15 CITES convention on March 13-25, 2010, in Doha, Qatar.
Survey Reveals Doctors Know Little about Herbal Medicine. The results of a recent survey published in April of 2010 reveal that conventional physicians, mainly in the United Kingdom, know little about herbal medicine.
Chinese Traditional Herbs in Cocktails. Herbal medicine comes in many forms: herbs, teas, capsules, tablets, extracts, and even cocktails? The addition of Traditional Chinese Medicine to beverages was recently implemented in a bar in the Chinatown of Vancouver, Canada.