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Coastal cranberry bog. ©2012 Keith Weller

Many who eat cranberry more frequently during the wintertime might find themselves wondering about the fruit’s medicinal properties, such as its ability to treat and prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). An article in this HerbalEGram by staff writer Tyler Smith examines a recently updated Cochrane Collaboration Review on cranberry for UTI prevention, analyzing methodology that could explain this particular review’s conclusions.

This and several additional articles — covering topics such as a European Commission proposal to facilitate nature-based research and a new botanical authentication wiki website from the American Herbal Products Association — are available in the Recent News section below.

Happy Holidays to all of our members from everyone at ABC!


Featured Book

 ©2012 by Martin A. Lee

Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific by Martin A. Lee, published in 2012 by Scribner. The featured excerpt includes the book’s title page, table of contents, and prologue.

Martin A. Lee, the well-known author of Acid Dreams, presents a chronological historical review  of the “devil’s weed,” commonly known as marijuana. Lee covers a multitude of important cannabis events and topics, including prohibition, veterans for drug-war peace, and the emergence of a medicinal cannabis industry. The book’s nine chapters are broken down into wittily named sections such as “Flower Power” and “Reefer Sadness.”

Hardcover, 528 pages. $35.00. 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.

Forest Farming Key to Saving Wild Ginseng from Extinction. 12-9-12. At the International American Ginseng Exposition, experts discussed ways to protect populations of the highly prized wild ginseng, including sustainably harvesting the plant on private lands.

Program to Boost Production, Export of Herbs, Essential Oils
. 12-8-12. A three-year, multimillion dollar government program in India will encourage the export and production of medicinal plants and essential oils, boosting income for local farmers.

Med School Embraces Natural Remedies
. U-T San Diego. 12-8-12. Bastyr University, a renowned school of science-based natural medicine, opened its second campus in San Diego, California, in September, enrolling an inaugural class of nearly 50 students.

Daily Dose of Red Wine Compound Backed for Cancer Fight. 12-5-12. Preliminary findings from UK researchers show that resveratrol, a compound found in grape skins, may reduce the incidence of certain bowel cancers by 50 percent, but many questions remain.

Harborside Health Center: Landlord Can’t Evict Medical Marijuana Dispensary. SF Weekly Blog. 12-3-12. A California state court has ruled that Oakland’s Harborside Health Center — a distributor of medicinal cannabis — cannot be evicted due to language allowing for the sale of cannabis in the Center’s lease.

Tea’s Health Benefits Look Promising
. Dallas Morning News. 12-3-12. Camellia sinensis — the source of white, green, oolong, and black teas — is rich in antioxidant flavonoids and has been found to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and aid weight loss.

Christmas Plant May Be Natural Alternative to Chemotherapy
. 12-3-12. Researchers have reported that mistletoe extract reduces the viability of colon cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells relatively intact, suggesting a possible chemotherapy alternative.

Coffee: A Great Source of Antioxidants and an Effective Mood Enhancer
. Fox News. 11-28-12. Columnist Chris Kilham discusses the health benefits of naturally antioxidant-rich coffee, which has been shown to reduce rates of depression, boost attention, and increase mental alertness.


January 30-February 2, 2013: 10th Anniversary Natural Supplements. San Diego, CA. 

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

March 7-10, 2013: Natural Products Expo West. Anaheim, CA.

More event listings are available on ABC's website.

Recent News

Cochrane Collaboration Revises 2008 Conclusions on Cranberry for UTI Prevention. By Tyler Smith, HEG Staff. Experts and researchers discuss the recent Cochrane Review of cranberry for urinary tract infection prevention, which — contrary to the organization's 2008 conclusions — found no significant benefit in consuming cranberry for UTI prevention.


Jim Simon at a spice market in Sanquelle, Liberia.

James Simon Honored with Scientific Excellence Award from Presidentially Appointed BIFAD Council. By Lindsay Stafford Mader, HEG Staff. Rutgers University Professor and ABC Advisory Board member Jim Simon recently received a scientific excellence award for his work in improving fruit, vegetable, and medicinal plant production strategies in Africa.

AHPA Launches New Botanical Authentication Wiki. By Tyler Smith, HEG Staff. AHPA's new wiki-style website, launched earlier this year, allows registered users to access an expanding database of industry-provided examples and techniques of authentication tools for botanical materials, such as microscopy and macroscopy images, white papers, and a list of known adulterants.

EU Proposes Legislation to Encourage Nature-Based Research. By Lindsay Stafford Mader, HEG Staff. In October, the European Commission published a draft regulation designed to foster mutually beneficial access to natural and genetic resources in an effort to ease and increase important nature-based research.