In less than 5 months, new regulations on traditional herbal medicines will take full effect in the European Union. Many groups disagree with these laws and continue to petition against them. In this issue of HerbalEGram, guest columnist Thomas Brendler presents another point of view, discussing why he thinks the regulations are positive and criticism against them is unfounded.
An additional article in this issue of HerbalEGram discusses the recent meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and another article details the growing US black cohosh rhizome trade.
We at the American Botanical Council would like to wish all of our members and readers a happy, restful, and restorative Holiday season and a healthy and successful New Year!
The Staff of the American Botanical Council
HerbalGram 88 includes an overview of many botanical essential oils' potential to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections. The issue also features a rundown on the growing market for Fair Trade botanicals and organizations that provide certification. Additionally, HerbalGram 88 provides a detailed report on the burgeoning community supported herbal medicine movement, as well as a profile of 17th US poet laureate W.S. Merwin and his Hawaiian palm conservancy.
December's selected book excerpt comes from The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis, edited by Julie Holland, MD, and published in 2010 by Park Street Press. It contains chapters from a wide range of cannabis experts, including Andrew Weil, Lester Grinspoon, and Allen St. Pierre. This excerpt includes the book's title page, table of contents, introduction, and Dr. Holland's chapter on cannabinoids and psychiatry. 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.
Meet Washington’s Mushroom Man. Seattle Times. 12-4-10. Paul Stamets, who has been studying fungi for nearly 40 years, continues his interesting and important mycological career.
Colorado Struggles to Develop Marijuana Regulations. Associated Press. 11-26-10. Officials trying to write regulations for the state's medicinal marijuana industry are finding trouble in being the first state to do so due to the lack of existing guidelines.
Modern Technology To Refine Chinese Herbal Medicine. Focus Taiwan News Channel. 11-24-10. Chinese researchers have developed new techniques to make Traditional Chinese Medicine products, which often come in large doses of thick, pungent powders, more appetizing and easy to consume.
Devil's Claw Policy to Regulate Industry, Trade. The Namibian. 11-22-10. The African country of Namibia, the largest exporter of devil’s claw herb, has finalized a new policy that aims to streamline the industry in areas ranging from harvesting to exporting.
Warfarin, Dietary Supplements a Risky Combo. WebMD. 11-16-10. A recent survey shows that nearly 70% of respondents who use the blood thinner warfarin did not report herbal or dietary supplement usage to their practitioner, despite the potential risks posed by drug-supplement interaction.
Arizona Voters Approve Medical Marijuana. The Arizona Republic. 11-13-10. By a very narrow margin of 50.13%, citizens of Arizona voted to approve the use of marijuana for medical use, becoming the 15th state to do so.
Herbal Medicine May Ease Constipation. Reuters. 11-12-10. A new Chinese study suggests that a Traditional Chinese Medicine formula called hemp seed pill could improve some symptoms of constipation more than a placebo.
New Reference Materials Account for Whole Berry. Laboratory Equipment. 11-10-10. Researchers have developed new certified reference materials for measuring amounts of organic acids in Vaccinium berry-formulated dietary supplements in a way that considers the complexity of the whole berry.
ConsumerLab.com (CL) Rebuts Criticism of its Recent Report on Valerian Products, and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Continues to Speak Out Against CL's Testing Methods. Press releases from CL and AHPA.
The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Announce Funds for NCCAM-Supported Optimization and Validation Studies of New Analytical Methods. Notice from the US National Institutes of Health.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Sends Warning Letters to 4 Makers of Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages. News release from FDA.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Praises Senate on Passage of Food Safety Modernization Act. Press release from CRN.
Editorial Perspective: Campaigns Against EU Herbal Regulations are Misguided. Guest columnist Thomas Brendler discusses why he thinks current petitions against EU reglations on traditional herbal medicines are unfounded.
Convention on Biological Diversity's 10th Conference of the Parties. Amid last decade's failed conservation goals, members of the Convention on Biological Diversity return home with new documents to guide their upcoming actions and policies.
Taking a Closer Look at the US Black Cohosh Rhizome Trade. Black cohosh grows native in eastern North America and though its populations are not drastically declining, there are some sustainability concerns as the majority of it is wild collected.
With EU regulations pending, several UK products containing echinacea (Echinacea spp.) were registered as traditional herbal medicines in 2010. Photo©2010 Matthew Magruder.