The American Botanical Council (ABC) has been selected to receive one of the inaugural grants by the newly-formed Weil Foundation. The Weil Foundation was established earlier this year by Andrew Weil, MD, best-selling author and pioneering educator in integrative medicine. The other three grants went to university programs and teaching hospitals.
"We are pleased to be able to provide this support to four outstanding organizations," said Dr. Weil, chairman of the Foundation board. "Their pioneering work will help to create a healthcare system that fully recognizes the natural healing capacity of human beings, emphasizes prevention above treatment, ensures appropriate use of both conventional and alternative therapies, and makes doctors and patients true working partners."
ABC received $5,000 toward the cost of completing Healthy Ingredients, an online database of plants and other ingredients used in supplements, cosmetics, and body care products. There are currently 130 ingredient overviews in the database. Healthy Ingredients, geared to consumers and healthcare and industry professionals alike, provides an overview of each ingredient, including:
• Descriptions of plants, including native growth regions;
• Historical and current uses of plants and parts used;
• Clinical studies and other scientific research; and
• Market outlook, sustainability, and future commercial growing.
The Weil Grant will also be used to continue the development of ABC's Literature Database, a searchable reference catalog of journal articles and other printed materials pertaining to medicinal plants and the science behind their use. The system is used internally for ABC staff members and writers. Support will permit the system to be updated and will improve the functionality of the system.
"ABC deeply appreciates the Weil Foundation's confidence in and support of our nonprofit educational activities," said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. "For over 30 years Dr. Weil has been a pioneer in educating the public in the role that natural foods and beneficial herbs can play in modern self-care and healthcare, and his work clearly reflects the mission of ABC."
"ABC has had a long relationship with Andrew Weil, his colleagues, and one of the programs that he founded, the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. We applaud the formation of this charitable foundation and are honored to receive its support," said Wayne Silverman, PhD, ABC's Chief Administrative Officer. "Healthy Ingredients is a prime example of ABC responding to the needs of the natural product community to present simple yet science-based information," Silverman continued.
The Weil Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supporting integrative medicine through grant-making and other activities. The Foundation seeks to improve the training of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals; educate the public about health, healing, and lifestyle; reform public policies governing healthcare and the practice of medicine; and expand and deepen research in integrative medicine.