Many US consumers are devoting more effort toward engaging in healthy and environmentally responsible purchasing practices, and various organizations are doing their part to assist consumers in these areas.
The natural retail giant Whole Foods Market, for instance, plans to institute a new policy in which personal care products labeled organic must be certified according to strict standards. An article explaining this new policy and its implications for the personal care industry can be found in this issue.
Additionally, herb-focused community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs) are beginning to sprout up across the country. As noted in an article in this issue, these local organizations provide fresh herbs and herbal remedies to members, who in turn help to support growers' and formulators' operating costs.
Mark your calendars: ABC will have its own booth at the free Natural Products Marketplace Virtual Event, which will be held online from September 14-15. Additionally, ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal will be speaking at a number of events during the next few months, including the 2010 American Herbalists Guild National Symposium (September 30 to October 3 in Austin, TX), the 2010 Bioneers Conference (October 15-17 in San Rafael, CA), and SupplySide West (October 19-23 in Las Vegas, NV).
The Staff of the American Botanical Council
HerbalGram 87 includes a review of the historic and current medicinal uses for hops, highlighting the plant’s value beyond beer production. The issue also features an excerpt from the 2009 book Plants of Semillas Sagradas: An Ethnomedicinal Garden in Costa Rica, as well as a detailed profile of aloe’s historic uses and modern research. Additionally, the issue contains reports of 2 recent conferences pertaining to medicinal plants, one of which examined conservation concerns while the other explored research into botanical psychedelics.
September's selected book excerpt comes from The H.E.R.B.A.L. Guide: Dietary Supplement Resources for the Clinician, edited by Robert A. Bonakdar and published in 2010. This excerpt contains the book's foreword, preface, table of contents, and Chapter 31, "Supplements Evaluated in Clinical Trials: Why Specific Formulations Matter," contributed by Marilyn Barrett. 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.
Herbal Health School Closes. The Scotsman. 8-22-10. After 18 years as one of Scotland’s leading schools for complementary and alternative medicine, the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine has closed due to financial shortages.
Illinois Bans Herbs From Continuing Education. HealthCare Medicine Institute. 8-22-10. Illinois law refuses to allow any coursework focused on or containing herbal medicine instruction to count toward continuing education credit for acupuncturists.
Stuffed Herbal Pals Aim to Ease Allergies. Patch. 8-19-10. Two mothers in Port Washington, NY recently created a line of herbal remedies, including such products as herb-filled stuffed animals, to address allergy and common cold symptoms in children.
Chinese Plant Medicine Might Heal Chemotherapy Side Effects. Nature. 8-18-10. Early clinical trials show that an ancient medicine containing Chinese peony, licorice, date tree, and skullcap combats severe diarrhea caused by many chemotherapy drugs.
Glaxo Censures Sale of Supplements. New York Times. 8-13-10. Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline tells 2 employees to distance themselves from a nonprofit that sells resveratrol supplements that are similar to a formula Glaxo has been testing as a drug.
Traditional Korean Tea Cools During Hot Summer. The Korea Times. 8-12-10. Cafes offering a variety of Korean herbal teas are popping up around Seoul and other cities, offering a medicinal and cooling alternative to coffee on-the-go.
Critically Important Plant Bank in Danger. The Scientist. 8-11-10. Following a decision by a high Russian court, a renowned plant bank that is home to thousands of rare fruit species will be destroyed to make way for a housing development unless appeals are successful.
Potential for Vinpocetine in Alzheimer’s Treatment. The Irish Times. 8-3-10. Supplements containing the chemically modified compound vinpocetine, which is extracted from the common periwinkle, have shown some potential in treating dementia and memory loss, but research remains inconclusive.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Announces 5 Botanical Research Centers. Press release from NIH.
American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) Releases New Monograph on Echinacea pallida Root. Press release from AHP.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Warns Consumers to Avoid TimeOut Capsules and that Mr. Magic Supplements Contain an Undeclared Drug Ingredient. Safety alerts from FDA.
October 7-9: Endobiogeny Physician Seminar. San Diego, CA.
October 19-23: 14th Annual SupplySide West. Las Vegas, NV. ABC members are eligible for a $50 discount. Visit www.supplysideshow.com or call (800) 454-5760 and reference promo code ABCvip. (Valid through Oct. 15 to CPG/finished product manufacturers; does not replace previously paid registration.)
December 3-4: 7th International Conference "Functional Foods in the Prevention and Management of Metabolic Syndrome." Dallas, TX.
More event listings are available here.
Whole Foods Market Raises Standards for Organic Labeling on Personal Care Products Sold in its Stores. The new policy goes into effect in June of 2011 and requires all Whole Foods personal care products (not including supplements) to prove the legitimacy of their organic label claims.
The Community Supported Herbal Medicine Movement. With more people using methods of self care to address their health concerns, community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) with an herbal focus are increasing across the country.
Renowned Artist Margaret Stones's Medicinal Plant Illustrations on Display. Selected illustrations and paintings by botanical artist Margaret Stones will be on exhibit at Louisiana State University through October 23, 2010.