Get Involved
About Us
Our Members
ABC News

ABC has formally changed the name of a 2-year-old program that provides reliable, science-based herb safety information to manufacturer licensees. ABC’s Safety Assessment Program, formerly known as the Safety Labeling Program, was developed to provide the most current safety information to manufacturers for use on their herbal product labels. The resulting label guidelines and warnings are designed to increase responsible use of herbal products by consumers.

As an independent third party, ABC reviews and evaluates current literature on safety aspects of selected herbs and creates Safety Assessment Reports. In response to numerous requests, ABC is now licensing these reports for manufacturers’ internal use in developing products and educating sales personnel. The reports are also available for use as educational information on manufacturers’ Internet sites. New lower pricing options are now available for companies who opt for uses other than on the product label.

For further information, contact Wayne Silverman, PhD at 800-373-7105 or the Development Department.

The August 2004 issue of Prevention magazine included a column about ABC’s Herbal Information Course, an online module geared toward providing retailers and others basic information on 29 popular herbs in the United States. For more information on this course, visit and click on ABC Herbal Information Course in the left navigation. View the Prevention article.

Texas Highways ran an article in its July 2004 issue recommending ABC’s medicinal theme gardens as a “top pick” of places to visit. The article gave background information on ABC and discussed some of the plants that visitors would see.

The classic phytotherapy text by Volker Schulz, Rudolf Hänsel, and Varro Tyler, has been fully revised and expanded with ABC Executive Director Mark Blumenthal as an additional author. Blumenthal was invited by Dr. Schulz to edit the new volume after the unfortunate passing of Dr. Tyler. This new Fifth Edition will be available October 2004 for $59.95 through ABC’s Herbal Education Catalog, both online at or by calling 800-373-7105. The ABC item number is B326.

All practitioners and pharmacists interested in treatment with herbal remedies should have this book at their disposal. Now in its fifth edition, it is the definitive practice-oriented introduction to phytotherapy. 
Methodically classified by organic systems and fields of application, it offers a quick insight into dosage, form of application and effects of the most important herbal remedies. Only those herbal remedies that are of pharmacological and clinical efficacy have been considered. According to the publisher, the “authors are highly experienced in the field of postgraduate medical education, and, with this work, present an indispensable reference book for the medical practice. The text is ideally suited for general practitioners, internists, pharmacists and non-medical practitioners.”

The new edition includes the following features and benefits:

  • Based on the 100 most widely prescribed herbal medications in Germany;
    • Covers phytomedicines that have been pharmacologically and clinically tested;
    • Gives a rapid overview of efficacy and safety;
    • Clearly organized by organ systems and indications;
    • Highlights current developments in research and German drug policies.

Features new to the fifth edition include:

  • Herbal versus synthetic drugs in prescribing practice;
    • The ‘therapeutic context’ and its impact on treatment efficacy;
    • Fully revised chapters on the respiratory tract and digestive organs;
    • Copious new data on the central nervous system;
    • All tables of studies and medications updated to the year 2002.

Correction: In the last issue of this e-newsletter, we inaccurately reported that 76% of ABC revenues go to programs. In fact, 82% of revenues go to programs.

As the end of the year approaches, please consider the following holiday gift ideas and suggestions for providing additional support to ABC:

For further information call Kim West at 800-373-7105 ext. 119, email the Development Department or go to our website

Have you checked out the Educational Links on ABC’s web site? It includes hundreds of links in 30 categories. We want it to be a valuable resource for our members and other visitors to the site so if you know of some site that should be added, or if we’ve missed removing a link to a site that is no longer active, let us know at the American Botanical Council.

We also provide links to commercial sites via our Sponsors page. If you are interested in having a link to your company’s web site on this page, contact ABC’s Membership Development Department at 800-373-7105 or the American Botanical Council.

Thank you for taking the time to read this issue of HerbalEGram, the American Botanical Council’s e-newsletter. We have received ongoing positive feedback from our members about this new service. As always, we want HerbalEGram to be useful and relevant to our members, so please send us your suggestions and comments to HerbalEGram. Thank you for your membership and continued support of the American Botanical Council.

With the winter holiday season approaching, we want to remind you that ABC receives a small commission on anything ordered from via this link It’s not a huge commission but it is on everything ordered, not just books. If you plan on ordering from this holiday season, or if you order from them at other times, please bookmark this link and it will benefit ABC each time you use it to make a purchase.


The current issue of HerbalGram (#64) will be mailed in late October. Click on the following links to view two of the feature articles from this issue. Once you are on the website, enter your user name and password to read any of the other members-only HerbalGram articles.

ABC provides guidance to consumers on purchasing dietary supplements.

Steven Foster photo essay on important Chinese herbs in American horticulture.

Correction: The article “Extract of Pelargonium sidoides: South African Herbal Remedy Successfully Treats Acute Bronchitis and Tonsillopharyngitis” from HerbalGram 63 (page 17 – 19) contains an error. The following sentence from that article is incorrect: “This statistically significant difference was observed as early as the first follow-up visit (day 3, 4, or 5) with a decrease of 4.8 ± 2.3 points in the EPs 7630 group compared with 6.2 ± 3.0 in the placebo group (p < 0.0001).” The sentence should have read, “This statistically significant difference was observed as early as the first follow-up visit (day 3, 4, and 5) with a BSS score of 4.8 ± 2.3 points in the EPs 7630 group compared with 6.2 ± 3.0 in the placebo group (p < 0.0001).” American Botanical Council regrets this error and apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.


The following are just a few of the upcoming events that you will find listed on ABC’s Event Calendar at

November 5, 2004: BRIT Distinguished Lecturer Series.

The Status of our Knowledge of Traditional Plant Use in the Forest Paradise of Papua New Guinea, Land of the Unexpected. Speaker: Teatulohi Matainaho, Ph.D., Head, Discipline of Pharmacology, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The University of Papua New Guinea. Reception at 6:30pm; lecture at 7:00pm. Free. Reservations not required but seating is limited. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Website:

November 7-10: Worldnutra 2004: 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Nutraceuticals and Funcional Foods.

San Fransisco. This event is a commercial and scientific forum for the latest information on nutraceuticals, dietary supplements and bio-actives and their function and utilization. CA. Ph: 979-846-1951. Email: Web site:

November 15: Dietary Supplements: Premarket Notification for New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) Notification; Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Public Meeting.

College Park, MD. The FDA is soliciting comments from industry, consumers, and other interested members of the public concerning the content and format requirements for NDI notifications made under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The agency intends to consider all comments received during the meeting to clarify the requirements of the act for NDIs. Ph: 301-436-2506. Fax 301-436-2639. Email:

February 12-13, 2005: The International Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Conference and Expo.

Grand Hyatt, New York City. A premier global event designed to bring information, products and services to the Complementary and Alternative Healthcare community. Program includes the latest research, clinical trials, and case studies, and the most cutting-edge approaches in the fields of complementary healthcare and alternative therapies. 
Exclusive offer to ABC members: 15% off registration fee - just enter priority code DM11 when registering.
Register by October 29, 2004 and receive an early bird discount of $100.
For more information: or To

ABC Director Participates in Pan-African Medicinal Plant Conference

ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal was one of the speakers at the 4th International Roundtable Conference on African Natural Plant Products in Dakar, Senegal from August 25-27, 2004. The conference was titled “Market Access and Competition of African Natural Plant Products” and was sponsored by ASNAPP (Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products), an organization funded in part by the United States Agency for International Development. View the full article.

ABC Executive Director Participates in CONSORT meeting in Toronto

In June 2004 ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal participated in the first meeting to develop guidelines for reporting controlled trials of botanical medicines. This meeting built upon existing guidelines for reports of controlled trials—the CONSORT guidelines. The internationally recognized CONSORT statement and checklist, developed through consensus methods, provides guidelines for authors of clinical trials and editors of medical journals to help ensure complete reporting of controlled clinical trials. The meeting was held in Toronto and was hosted by Claire Bombardier, MD, from the University of Toronto, Department of Health-Policy Management and Evaluation (HPME) and by Joel Gagnier, ND, whose participation in the meeting serves as part of his work toward completion of a Master of Science degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Health-Care Research, HPME, University of Toronto. The meeting was attended by 14 invited guests from Canada (11), the UK (3), the U.S. (3), and Germany (1). View the full article.


The current HerbClip bin was released on October 15. Two samples have been made available online to all members: Sweet Potato Variety Provides Successful Dietary Approach in Type 2 Diabetes Control in Clinical Trial and Sage Used to Treat Alzheimer's Disease.

Members of ABC at the Academic level and above have access to HerbClip Online, a searchable database of more than 2,400 summaries and critical reviews of contemporary literature. To find out more about HerbClip Online, to see what is in the current bin, or to view more than 50 free samples, visit HerbClip.

Latest News on ABC’s Web Site
Legal and Regulatory

Any ingredient not sold in the United States before October 14, 1994, is classified by DSHEA as a “new dietary ingredient” (NDI). For NDIs a seller must submit safety data to FDA at least 75 days prior to the introduction of the ingredient. The FDA has authority to accept the data, which allows the ingredient to enter the market, request more data from the seller, or reject the submission. FDA can reject the submission if it concludes that the data show the ingredient is unsafe or, as often appears to be the case, that there are insufficient data in the submission.

Unfortunately, most people in the media who report on herbal and dietary supplement safety issues appear to be unaware of the existence of the NDI provision in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), and the fact that the FDA has rejected about 70% of the botanical NDIs submitted.

For more information on the need for manufacturers to make NDI submissions and the level of evidence required to lawfully determine the safety of an NDI, read Patrick and Chris Noonan’s article from HerbalGram #63.