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The American Botanical Celebration Launches ABC's New 'Creating an Herbal Legacy' Campaign

Awards Dinner for Herb Researchers and Industry Members Raises over ,000 for ABC

Mark Blumenthal, ABC Founder and Executive Director, provided a visual overview of ABC and served as emcee. Photo ©2007 ABC

ABC Board of Trustee President Peggy Brevoort welcomed the Celebration participants and thanked all who participated in making the event happen. Photo ©2007 ABC

The James A. Duke Botanical Literature Award to Prof. Eberhard Teuscher was accepted by Josef Brinckmann (L) and presented by Steven Foster, member of ABC Board of Trustees. Photo ©2007 ABC

The American Botanical Council (ABC) recently hosted its second annual American Botanical Celebration at the conclusion of the Nutracon Conference and just prior to the Natural Products Expo West (NPEW) conference and trade show in Anaheim, California.

More than 275 leaders from across the herbal and natural products community and around the world gathered on March 8, 2007, in the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim to honor botanical excellence and to help ABC launch its �Creating an Herbal Legacy� campaign. (See the article on page 12 for more details about the campaign launch.)

ABC honored its Sponsor Members, who provide generous financial support to ABC�s nonprofit educational programs. �It has been a long time since so many people from the herbal community were in one room. This truly is a Celebration for the herbal medicine community. I am pleased you are also here to witness the genesis of the Creating an Herbal Legacy initiative,� said Peggy Brevoort, president of the ABC Board of Trustees. The event also honored the 8-member ABC Board of Trustees and the 61-member Advisory Board who provide editorial and peer-review support.

ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal kicked off the program with a serious and sometimes whimsical overview of ABC and its history, both in words and images, including some historical (and in some cases hysterical) photos. Blumenthal said, �With the generous support and commitment from friends and colleagues in academia, health professions, industry, government, media, and the general public in over 70 countries, ABC has grown into a truly international organization, advocating research and rational regulation of herb and medicinal plant preparations to be responsibly used for self-care and healthcare. Tonight we launch our new Creating an Herbal Legacy campaign to help ensure the future viability of a robust herbal medicine agenda.�

Following Blumenthal, the �Creating an Herbal Legacy� campaign was introduced by ABC Board of Trustees members Neil Blomquist and Morris �Mo� Shriftman. Loren Israelsen of United Natural Products Alliance emphasized the compelling need for supporting such a campaign. In an understated 15-minute presentation, an overwhelming response from attendees resulted in more than ,000 in pledges and donations to the new campaign.

The second annual Botanical Excellence Awards were presented toward the end of the evening. The James A. Duke Botanical Literature Award was presented to Prof. Eberhard Teuscher of Triebes, Thuringia, Germany, for the publication of the English edition of Medicinal Spices: A Handbook of Culinary Herbs, Spices, Spice Mixtures and Their Essential Oils (Medpharm, CRC Press, 2006). (Read the review of this book on page 71 of this issue.) Josef Brinckmann, the co-translator and editor of the book, accepted the award on behalf of Prof. Teuscher. The Norman R. Farnsworth Botanical Research Award was presented to Prof. Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, for his extensive publications that systematically review clinical research on numerous herbs and phytomedicines. Prof. Ernst, the Laing Chair in Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter & Plymouth in the UK, sent a pre-recorded acceptance speech in which he expressed his deep appreciation for the award, adding a humorous side of research as he recounted his efforts at using artichoke extract as an attempted herbal remedy to prevent an alcohol-induced hangover!

The ABC Celebration was sponsored by the following companies and organizations: Alkemists Pharmaceuticals, Aloecorp, Avesthagen, CV Technologies, Indena, Maitake Products, Nature�s Way, New Hope Natural Media, Unigen, and United Natural Products Alliance. The Celebration provided a venue for ABC�s diverse leaders and industry members to meet, recognize accomplishments, and make plans for the future of herbal medicine.

Blumenthal summed up the event: �Tonight�s event and the establishment of our new Creating an Herbal Legacy fund will help take ABC to a higher level of expanded operations and fulfillment of our nonprofit educational mission, and, in turn, help take herbs and plant-based products for improving human health to a greater degree of public acceptance.�

�Wayne Silverman