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As many regions of the United States continue to deal with the threat of West Nile virus, an article in this issue of HerbalEGram explores several botanical ingredients that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use in insect repellents. This story and additional news articles — including a guest editorial on California's Prop. 37 for GMO labeling — are available in the Recent News section below. 

The American Botanical Council, meanwhile, recently announced theaddition of Tom Newmark to its esteemed Board of Trustees, as well as the much-anticipated launch of a digital flip-page version of its peer-reviewed journalHerbalGram.


The American Botanical Council


HG95 coverHerbalGram 95, now availableonline, includes ABC’s AnnualHerb Market Report, which shows an increase in herb sales by 4.5% in 2011 from 2010. The issue also features an overview of new research supporting thesynthetic origin of DMAA, which some supplement manufacturers have alleged is derived from oil of geranium. Additional articles include research reviews onpelargonium and acute bronchitis in children, as well as curcumin for rheumatoid arthritis.

Featured Book

Medicinal Plants Book


October’s featured book excerpt comes from Medicinal Plants: Biodiversity and Drugs by Mahendra Rai, Geoffrey A. Cordell, José L. Martínez, Mariela Marinoff, and Luca Rastrelli (eds.). Published by CRC Press in 2012, this text features numerous scientific articles by various authors on subjects ranging from medicinal plant science to ethnobotanical studies around the world. The excerpt selected for readers of HerbalEGram includes the foreword, preface, table of contents, and Chapter 3, “Revitalization of the Knowledge of Herbs: A Way Forward to Discovery of New Drugs.”

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.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Helps Menopause Symptoms. 9-30-12. A Phase II clinical trial supports the use of the Chinese herbal formula Dang Gui Buxue Tang as an effective method of reducing hot flashes in menopausal women.

Singapore to Allow Sale of Chinese Medicine Containing Berberine. 9-22-12. Following a safety review, the Health Science Authority (HSA) of Singapore will allow the sale of Chinese medicines containing berberine, which was prohibited for sale in the 1970s due to safety concerns.

Who Makes the Call? Beverage vs. SupplementBevNET Magazine. 9-18-12. A May 2012 FDA warning letter to Rockstar Inc. cautions the company against labeling its “Roasted Coffee & Energy” beverage as a dietary supplement and calls into question the fine line between these 2 product classifications.

Obama, Romney, and the Dietary Supplements IndustryNatural Products Insider. 9-18-12. With regulations passed under the Obama administration — such as federal GMP regulations — the question remains as to how a Democratic or Republican president will affect the state of supplement industry regulations.

Study Finds Black Cohosh Ineffective for Menopause Symptoms. Health Behavior News Service. 9-13-12. A Cochrane Library review of 16 studies on black cohosh for menopausal women found no difference in hot-flash frequency between women using the herb and those taking a placebo.

Soapy Taste of Coriander Linked to Genetic VariantsNature. 9-12-12. A recent genetic survey of 30,000 individuals has identified 2 genetic variants that may explain some people’s extreme dislike for cilantro.

Without Alcohol, Red Wine is Still Beneficial.New York Times. 9-10-12. New research conducted by scientists in Spain has found that daily intake of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic wine decreased blood pressure in middle-aged men.

Cinnamon Supplements Fight Type 2 DiabetesMellitus. 9-8-12. A recent study found that newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus experienced a significant reduction in blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels after taking cinnamon supplements.


November 2-9: SupplySide West 2012. Las Vegas, NV. 

December 1: CRN-International's 3rd Scientific Symposium. Kronberg, Germany. 

December 1-6: International Society for Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods 2012 Annual Conference and Exhibition. Kailua-Kona, HI.

More event listings are available on ABC'swebsite.

Recent News

Plant-Based Insect Repellents Provide an Alternative to Synthetic FormulasBy Tyler Smith, HEG Staff. With nearly 150 West Nile virus-related deaths reported in America this year, health officials are urging consumers to use EPA-registered insect repellents, some of which include plant-based active ingredients.

Guest Editorial in Support of California Proposition 37: Required Full-Label Disclosure of Genetically Modified OrganismsBy Tom Newmark, DrakeSadler, and Michael Besancon. These 3 guest contributors argue in support of the controversial Prop. 37, which would require manufacturers to label products containing GMO ingredients, among other provisions.


US Drought of 2012 Expected to Impact Yields, Quality, and Prices of Some BotanicalsBy Tyler Smith, HEGStaff. The drought that settled over much of the United States in 2012 has taken a toll on economically important agricultural crops such as soybeans and corn, and also is expected to impact medicinal plants and wild-harvested herbs.

Australian TGA Launches Online Database of Adverse Event NotificationsBy Lindsay StaffordMader, HEG Staff. According to the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration's new Online Database of Adverse Events, herbal medicines accounted for just 0.67% of adverse events reported in Australia from January 1971 until present day.

Report on the 13th Congress of the International Society ofEthnopharmacologyBy Geoffrey A. Cordell, PhD, Guest Contributor. This annual meeting of ethnopharmacologists from around the world featured discussions on herbs traded along the Silk Road as well as the scientific examination of traditionally used medicinal plants.