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NYBG storm damage
 A fallen tree at the New York Botanic Garden 
after Hurricane Sandy. ©2012 Ivo M. Vermeulen/NYBG


Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, much of the Northeast United States continues to recover and rebuild, including many botanical organizations and businesses. An article in this issue of HerbalEGram provides information on the post-storm conditions of these groups, such as the New York and Brooklyn botanic gardens, and what readers can do to help with recovery efforts.

This story and additional pieces — including articles on Ginkgo biloba for Alzheimer's disease prevention and a man's herb-related attempted fetal homicide charge in South Dakota — are available in the Recent News section below.

The American Botanical Council, which just entered its 25th year, recently published a new issue of HerbalGram featuring an article investigating the adulteration of commercial bilberry products, as well as two letters-to-the-editor


The American Botanical Council

Featured Book
Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine
 ©2012 Oxford University Press 

Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine: Plants and Modern Medicine by Kathleen Hefferon, published in 2012 by Oxford University Press. The featured excerpt includes the book’s title page, table of contents, and Chapter 1, “Plants and Human Health.”


Hefferon presents an overview of the process of identifying plants with healing properties and turning them into useful and accessible medicines. The book begins with a brief history of medicinal plant use and continues with discussions on the process of locating medicinal plants in the wild, modern analyses of phytochemicals, and the development of plant-based drugs.

Hardcover, 208 pages. $55.00. Available for purchase  at the publisher’s website.

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.


Purple Berries Can Benefit All-Around FitnessFox News. 10-31-12. Columnist Chris Kilham discusses the health benefits of various purple berries, which contain antioxidant pigments known as anthocyanins.

Bayer to Acquire Utah Vitamin Maker Schiff for $1.1 BillionSalt Lake Tribune. 10-30-12. The German drug maker Bayer recently announced plans to buy the vitamin and supplement brand Schiff to expand its consumer health unit.

Reports on Energy Drinks Show Gaps in Safety PolicyNew York Times. 10-26-12. After 5 deaths were linked to the highly caffeinated Monster Energy drinks, industry leaders have called for tighter regulation of dietary supplements such as energy drinks.

Red Wine Compound May Not Help Healthy 10-25-12. A recent study failed to show benefits in heart disease or diabetes prevention from resveratrol supplements in healthy women in their late 50s and early 60s.

“Landmark” Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ruling May Hurt FedsSF Weekly Blog. 10-25-12. A San Diego appeals court ruled that a man previously found guilty for selling marijuana should have been able to use in his defense the California state law legalizing medicinal marijuana.

Powerful Botanical Formulas: New Weapons against CancerHerald Online. 10-16-12. At this year’s Meeting of the Society for Integrative Oncology, doctors presented the promising findings of 3 anti-cancer botanical formulas.


Quaker Thrives in China with Traditional Medicine Cereal 10-16-12. To expand the appeal of Quaker oats in China, some products now feature traditional Chinese medicine ingredients such as red dates for replenishing blood and white fungus to clear the lungs.

US Supplement Use Remains Strong, CRN Survey 10-8-12. The recently released results of the 2012 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements show that more than two-thirds of Americans use supplements.


February 15-17, 2013: Interface between Ayurveda and Evidence-Based Medicine. Hyderabad, India. 

February 22-24, 2013: Southwest Symposium 2013. Austin, TX.

February 28-March 2, 2013: Integrative Healthcare Symposium. New York, NY.

More event listings are available on ABC's website.

Recent News
Gingko biloba
Ginkgo biloba leaves. 
©2012 James Field

Ginkgo and Alzheimer's Disease. By Tyler Smith. Recent results of a large clinical trial on ginkgo for Alzheimer's suggest that the herb is better suited for the treatment — and not prevention — of the disease and its symptoms.

Hurricane Sandy's Impact on the Botanical Community in Northeast USBy Lindsay Stafford Mader. Botanic gardens and herbal companies along the East Coast sustained damage from Hurricane Sandy, and several are welcoming donations to help with the recovery process.

Man Suspected of Administering Herbal Abortifacients in Attempted Fetal Homicide Case.By Ash Lindstrom. Though the victim of this alleged crime delivered a healthy baby, a former boyfriend is being accused of spiking her drinks with an herbal abortifacient such as pennyroyal.

Pennyroyal. ©2012 Raffi Kojian

FDA Delays Decision on Crofelemer for Second TimeBy Lindsay Stafford MaderThe FDA again has delayed its drug-approval decision on this Croton tree-based medicine for chronic diarrhea.

Herbal, Dietary Supplement Organizations Provide Reference and Wellness AppsBy Tyler Smith. More botanical and dietary supplement nonprofit and governmental organizations are providing mobile apps to educate and entertain their members.