In late 2016, the American Botanical Council (ABC) announced the adoption of coffee fruit (Coffea spp., Rubiaceae) by VDF FutureCeuticals, Inc., and recognized the past adoption of arnica (Arnica montana, Asteraceae) by Naturopathica. Their adoptions benefit ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb program, which supports ABC’s HerbMedPro.
FutureCeuticals Adopts Coffee Fruit
Distinct from the coffee bean, coffee fruit contains higher levels of phenolic acids and antioxidative compounds than other so-called “super fruits.” Through FutureCeuticals’ generous support, ABC ensures that new, up-to-date scientific publications related to coffee fruit are entered into the extensive HerbMedPro database in a timely manner.
“For many years, ABC has been a major thought leader and contributor to a higher road within the natural foods and dietary supplement industries,” said John Hunter, FutureCeuticals’ executive vice president. “We have long respected and admired Mark Blumenthal, whose groundbreaking crusades for better standards to test botanical identity and improved manufacturing practices are well known to us all. His campaigns against botanical adulteration have led to important industry changes. Naturally, when we were invited to participate in the Adopt-an-Herb program by sponsoring coffee fruit, we were very pleased.”
Blumenthal, ABC's founder and executive director, said: “ABC is deeply grateful to the folks at FutureCeuticals for adopting coffee fruit on ABC’s HerbMedPro database. This adoption will allow ABC compilers and database editors to stay abreast with any and all recent scientific publications on coffee fruit.”
About Coffee Fruit
Coffee fruit, which is the fruit of the coffee tree, provides low levels of caffeine, high levels of phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity, and riboflavin. Coffee fruit refers to the whole cherry, which includes the bean. Research on coffee fruit currently explores its antioxidant properties, effects on brain function, and effects on athletic performance. Preliminary clinical studies have shown that an extract of coffee fruit stimulates the production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a neuroprotein known to be central to brain health. Additionally, a whole coffee fruit powder was shown to increase levels of Nrf2, a transcription factor known to regulate expression of antioxidant proteins that promote healthier aging and protect against oxidative damage.
Built upon deep agricultural roots, FutureCeuticals supplies and manufactures ingredients for the dietary supplement, functional foods, and cosmetics industries. The company is committed to creating a simplified supply chain, which includes being a leader in research and development, delivering the highest-quality raw materials, and providing material transparency via customer-centric quality programs. FutureCeuticals owns a number of brands including its proprietary Coffeeberry brand line of powders, extracts, and concentrates made from coffee fruit. More information is available at www.futureceuticals.com.
Naturopathica’s Adoption of Arnica
Naturopathica, a wellness company with healing arts centers, skin and body care products, herbal remedies, and holistic health treatments, was the first company to support the Adopt-an-Herb program upon its launch in 2009. The company sells numerous botanical-based products, including three that contain arnica flower extract: Arnica Muscle & Joint Gel, Alpine Arnica Bath & Body Oil, and Mighty Mint Rescue Cream. Through Naturopathica’s ongoing support, ABC ensures that new, up-to-date scientific publications related to arnica are entered into HerbMedPro.
“ABC is deeply grateful to Naturopathica for its support of ABC’s nonprofit educational mission by adopting arnica in ABC’s robust HerbMedPro database,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “Naturopathica’s adoption allows ABC to ensure that the arnica record is up-to-date with the latest scientific and clinical research papers, just shortly after they are published, so researchers and others can access the totality of arnica-based research in a unique, time-saving organized format in HerbMedPro.”
Arnica montana, also known as European arnica, is a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae) and is native to Europe. Historically, arnica preparations have been used externally for their anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, skin-conditioning, and muscle pain-reducing properties. Although there are some traditional internal uses for arnica, preparations of the herb are almost exclusively used externally, with the exception of certain highly diluted homeopathic products.
The species contains a variety of phytochemicals, including alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, coumarins, and carotenoids. Modern human clinical trials have focused largely on the herb’s anti-inflammatory effects, and recent studies support the ability of topical arnica preparations to reduce bruising and relieve the severity and duration of osteoarthritis symptoms.
Naturopathica is “21st Century Wellness.” The company empowers personal transformation with its healing arts centers, remedies, and rituals. Founder and product architect Barbara Close, a lifelong practitioner of natural health, creates skin care and body care products, herbal remedies, and holistic health treatments that support individuals on their path to wellbeing. Close has a master’s degree in therapeutic herbalism from the Maryland University of Integrative Health and holds credentials in esthetics, advanced massage, and aromatherapy. Today, Naturopathica can be discovered through its Healing Art Centers & Spas in East Hampton and New York City, New York, its spa partners, and online at www.naturopathica.com.
ABC's Adopt-an-Herb Program and HerbMedPro
FutureCeuticals and Naturopathica are two of the 40 companies that have supported ABC’s educational efforts to collect, organize, summarize, and disseminate reliable, traditional, science-based, and clinical information on herbs, medicinal plants, and other botanical- and fungal-based ingredients through the Adopt-an-Herb program. This program encourages companies, organizations, and individuals to “adopt” one or more specific herbs for inclusion and ongoing maintenance in the HerbMedPro database. To date, 45 herbs have been adopted.
Each adopted herb is continuously researched for new scientific articles and pharmacological, toxicological, and clinical studies, ensuring that its HerbMedPro record stays current and robust. The result is an unparalleled resource not only for researchers, health professionals, industry, students, and consumers, but for all members of the herbal and dietary supplements community.
HerbMedPro is available to ABC members at the Academic level and higher. Twenty herb records are available for free to the public on HerbMedPro's “sister” site, HerbMed. In keeping with ABC’s position as an independent research and education organization, herb adopters do not influence the scientific information that is compiled for their respective adopted herbs.