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Dragon's Blood

Late last month, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first orally administered botanical drug under its botanical drug review process. Crofelemer, purified and isolated from the blood-red latex of the sangre de drago tree, will be sold as a prescription drug to treat HIV-associated diarrhea. An updated and expanded story in this issue of HerbalEGram discusses the details and impact of the approval. This and additional stories are available in the Recent News section below.

Readers, please stay tuned for the next issue of HerbalEGram — to be published online in early February — which will premiere a fresh, new design and interactive content. As ABC continues to improve its educational services in 2013, be sure to read all about our 2012 accomplishments and milestones!


Featured Book

Greco Arabic

Greco-Arab and Islamic Herbal Medicine: Traditional System, Ethics, Safety, Efficacy, and Regulatory Issues by Bashar Saad and Omar Said, published in 2011 by Wiley. The featured excerpt includes the book’s title page, table of contents, foreword, preface, and Appendix A, “Plant Naming.”

Using their original ethnopharmacological studies of the Mediterranean area, authors Saad and Said delve into the lesser-discussed field of Arab-Islamic herbal medicine. The book presents a historical background of prominent Arab physicians and their Western influences, as well as a thorough review of drug discovery and methodology, clinical trials, and medical ethics.

Available for purchase at the publisher’s website. Read the upcoming review in HerbalGram 97.

Media Watch

We have tested the links of the following articles prior to publication; however, some news organizations remove stories and disable links at various times.

Herbalife Fires Back at Hedge Fund Giant. Los Angeles Times. Nutrition company Herbalife reassured investors after being accused of operating as a pyramid scheme.

More Emergency Visits Linked to Energy Drinks. New York Times. Annual hospital visits related to energy drinks have doubled, prompting further questions of the products’ safety.

Dr. Oz Recommends Red Palm Oil. Dr. Oz’s latest advice for fighting aging is the carotene- and vitamin E-rich red palm oil.

Manhunt on for £8m Garlic Smugglers. The Independent. Swedish authorities have accused two Britons of illegally importing 10,000 tons of Chinese garlic.

Chewing Khat Offers Ritual and Repose. Los Angeles Times. Concerns over this lucrative crop’s effects on health and productivity is prompting backlash in Yemen.

Rev Up Your Health Resolutions for 2013. Fox News. Medicine hunter Chris Kilham discusses rhodiola for a concentration boost and tulsi tea for quality sleep.

Hemp Could Ignite Farm, Manufacturing Economy. Post Independent. A Colorado hemp business is touting the economic possibilities of this versatile crop.

In Hopes of Healthier Chickens, Farms Turn to Oregano. New York Times. With consumer concerns over antibiotic-fed livestock, a farmer in Pennsylvania has turned to the antibacterial properties of oregano.



January 25-27: Challenges and Controversies in Women's Health and Clinical Practice. Portland, OR.

January 30-February 2: 10th Anniversary Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Update. San Diego, CA.

February 5, 2:00 PM: Adverse Event Reporting for the Dietary Supplements Industry. Online.

More event listings are available on ABC's website.

Recent News

FDA Approves Crofelemer as First Oral Botanical Drug. By Lindsay Stafford Mader, HEG Staff. FDA's approval of this drug, isolated and purified from the latex of the sangre de drago tree, is based on positive results of a large Phase III clinical trial.

Aloe VeraAHP Releases Quality Control Standards Monograph for Aloe Vera. By Tyler Smith, HEG Staff. The recently published aloe vera monograph provides important scientific and regulatory information and guidance.

TRAFFIC and Partners Pilot Sustainable Medicinal Plants Project in Vietnam. By Lindsay Stafford Mader, HEG Staff. As the conservation organization's first project in Vietnam, this effort seeks to educate harvesters on sustainable collection techniques and improved market strategies.

2012: A Year of Progress and Growth at ABC. Looking back on the past year, ABC's Denise Meikel gives an overview of our organization's many accomplishments and provides a brief preview of what 2013 — ABC's 25th year — will bring!