AUSTIN, Texas (June 19, 2017) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces the adoption of birch tree by The Actives Factory, a company that focuses on the scientific research on birch (Betula spp., Betulaceae) as a part of ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb program. Through its adoption of birch, The Actives Factory helps ABC expand its nonprofit educational mission and keep its unique HerbMedPro database updated with the latest scientific and clinical research on this traditionally used medicinal tree.
HerbMedPro is a comprehensive, interactive online database that provides access to important scientific and clinical research data on the uses and health effects of approximately 250 herbs.
“We are delighted to adopt birch as part of the Adopt-an-Herb initiative,” said Brian Garhofer, founder of The Actives Factory. “Birch is a classic example of ‘everything old is new again.’ Indigenous cultures have known about its healing properties for hundreds of years, but the insights gained in modern times from biochemical, cellular, and clinical research has really allowed us to understand how the compounds in birch bark work, and apply these insights across a spectrum of applications to improve health and well-being.”
“The Actives Factory and its principal Brian Garhofer have compiled an enormous amount of scientific research on the birch tree, particularly its outer bark and useful chemical compounds that have been investigated for their potential health benefits,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “ABC is deeply grateful for The Actives Factory’s generous and supportive adoption of birch that allows ABC to continue to develop HerbMedPro into a unique and highly useful medicinal plant database.”
Stefan Gafner, ABCs Chief Science Officer commented, “When I started to become interested in herbal medicine in Switzerland, it was mainly the birch leaf that was appreciated for its therapeutic benefits. But more recent research on birch bark extract and its triterpenes, in particular for topical applications, is very compelling. I am pleased that all the scientific research data on this botanical is now available in the HerbMedPro database.”
Birch bark is used in many medical traditions endemic to the natural habitat of the genus, which is found in temperate and boreal zones of the northern hemisphere. Traditional uses for birch bark and leaf primarily involve inflammatory conditions, such as the relief of arthritis, gout, and headaches. Birch leaves are also a popular ingredient in herbal teas and phyto-preparations for enhancing diuresis. Native American tribes made poultices of birch bark and leaves to aid in wound healing, among many other uses. (The essential oil in birch leaves contain significant levels of methyl salicylate, the same medicinal compound found in high levels in the popular oil of wintergreen — Gaultheria procumbens) Current research on birch investigates the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of betulin, betulinic acid, lupeol, and betulin caffeate for use in cosmetics, potential anticancer activity, and treatment of symptoms associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B and C viral infections.
About The Actives Factory
The Actives Factory is a wholesale supplier of natural compounds extracted from the outer bark of the North American white birch (B. papyrifera). For nearly two decades, the company has led the manufacture of ethically sourced birch bark extract, highly purified triterpenes, and specialized derivatives. The Actives Factory works with companies and manufacturers interested in developing innovative birch-based formulations for dietary, skin care, and pharmaceutical products.
About Adopt-an-Herb and HerbMedPro
The Actives Factory is one of 45 companies that have supported ABC’s educational efforts to collect, organize, 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, 50 herbs have been adopted.
Each adopted herb is continuously researched for new articles and studies, ensuring that its HerbMedPro record stays current and robust. The result is an unparalleled resource not only for researchers, health professionals, industry, 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. Its “sister” site, HerbMed, is free and available to the general public. In keeping with the 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.