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Dear Reader

Bhut Jolokia peppers.  ©2010 Chile Pepper Institute

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.
Cordially,
The Staff of the American Botanical CouncilABC has recently initiated new projects to further its nonprofit educational mission. In late May, ABC submitted its first article to Care2, a popular online community with millions of members that focuses on environmental and healthy living topics. ABC’s contributed article summarizes HerbalGram’s recent feature on botanical alternatives to animal-based remedies. ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal, meanwhile, is about to lead a webinar on June 29. He will discuss current issues and trends in the herbal industry. Interested persons can register for the webinar here.

ABC has also announced that its annual ecotour to the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest is now open for registration. This has been a key ABC program for over 15 years, and the 2010 workshop and ecotour will feature new learning and sightseeing opportunities.

Interesting news from India is featured in this issue, including the development of a new chili pepper grenade derived from India’s "ghost chili." Another article focuses on efforts to conserve wild medicinal plants and increase cultivation of Ayurvedic herbs in India. Additionally, this issue features comments from industry groups concerning the Dietary Supplement Full Implementation and Enforcement Act.

Mark your calendars: ABC’s Blumenthal will be delivering 2 presentations on the health benefits of tea during the World Tea Expo, taking place June 11-13 in Las Vegas, and he will be giving a speech on Ceylon cinnamon at the Southwest Foodservice Expo in Houston, Texas on June 28.

Cordially,

The Staff of the American Botanical Council

HerbalGram

HerbalGram 86 profiles the use of animal-derived products in healing and efforts to replace medicinally-used endangered HerbalGram 86 Coveranimals 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. 

Featured Book

 

June's selected book excerpt comes from African Natural Plant Products: New Discoveries and Challenges in Chemistry and Quality, edited by Rodolfo Juliani, James Simon, and Chi-Tang Ho and published in 2009. This excerpt contains the book's table of contents, preface, and Chapter 17, “Umckaloabo: From a Patent Remedy to a Modern Herbal Pharmaceutical based on Pelargonium sidoides with Clinically Proven Efficacy,” by Thomas Brendler. All are available here.

 

 

©2010 American Chemical Society

Media Watch

We have tested the links of the following articles prior to publication; however, some news organizations remove stories and disable links at various times.

New Anti-Cancer Compound Derived from Ancient Plant. University of Arizona News. 5-27-10. Scientists have used a new technique to produce a water-soluble form of a compound from Withania somnifera that combats cancer and encourages survival of healthy cells.

Are Pets GNC's Next Big Market? Pittsburgh Post Gazette. 5-27-10. GNC and PetSmart team up to enter the growing market for dietary supplements for dogs and cats.

Study Finds Herbal Supplements Contain Contaminants. New York Times. 5-25-10.
A report by the Government Accountability Office found that nearly all of the herbal dietary supplements investigated contained trace amounts of lead and other contaminants, although levels of heavy metals did not exceed thresholds considered dangerous.

Clock Ticking in War on Tuberculosis. Daily Gleaner. 5-25-10. Since strains of TB can develop resistance to antibiotics, two New Brunswick researchers are examining natives' traditional plant knowledge to create new treatments.

Researchers Reevaluate Use of Stimulant Herb. NutraIngredients. 5-24-10. A rise in adverse events surrounding yohimbe extract, an herb commonly used in weight-loss products, has led researchers to discuss the need for better label warnings about this controversial substance.

Village Finds New Purpose in its Ancient Medicine Traditions. Western Mail. 5-20-10. Inhabitants of a UK village have received a grant to continue the legacy of the town's former physicians by creating and selling traditional herbal products.

How I Poisoned My Wife. Times Online. 5-17-10. A man contemplates the toxicity vs medicinal value of comfrey after his wife claims that a comfrey tea has made her ill.

Resveratrol Clinical Trial Suspended. The Myeloma Beacon. 5-6-10. A clinical trial involving a formulation of resveratrol has been suspended after several patients developed kidney failure.

Community/Industry News

Senators Tom Harkin and Orrin Hatch introduce a new bill regarding regulation of dietary supplements. Press releases from the Natural Products Association (NPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA).

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report Finds Heavy Metals in Herbal Supplements at Levels That Do Not Raise Safety Concerns for FDAPress Release from AHPA.

A new report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends strengthening standards for health-related claims for foods and dietary supplements. Press Releases from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and NPA.

Western District of Wisconsin Announces Consent Decree Between Beehive Botanicals and the United StatesPress release from the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Events

July 20-23: 1st Annual Conference for the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants. New Brunswick, NJ.

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.   

Recent News

India Makes Grenade from World’s Hottest Chili Pepper. The Indian military is using the world’s hottest chili pepper to create a hand grenade.

Botanical Research at “Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century” Conference. Last April, more than 1,200 attendees convened to discuss psychedelic substances, including many psychoactive botanicals.

Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi)  

Efforts to Increase Sustainability of Ayurvedic Plants in India
. Over-harvesting has led to diminished populations of many important wild medicinal plants in India, leading India’s government and Ayurvedic companies to work to increase the sustainability of these botanical resources.