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By Stefan Gafner, PhD
One of the most popular and researched botanicals, Ginkgo biloba is in high demand around the world. Unfortunately, this demand is driving the unethical production of sub-standard or adulterated extracts. ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program Technical Director Stefan Gafner, PhD, reviews investigations and studies of this trend over the past decade. Read more>>

By Guido F. Pauli, PhD, and colleagues
The second article in this series by scientists from the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research continues to explore various aspects of the concept of “botanical integrity.” In addition to current analytical techniques, new approaches focusing on the fields of botany and chemistry have become available to characterize plant-derived materials in supplements. Read more>>

By Hannah Bauman and Mindy Green
In vino veritas — and a good dose of healthy antioxidants and polyphenols. Grapes have been the subject of numerous studies focused on their bioactive compounds including anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and stilbenes such as resveratrol. The “French paradox” may not be such a mystery after all. Read more>>

By Connor Yearsley
This is the third installment of the new HerbalEGram series that explores the careers and accomplishments of ABC's Advisory Board members. A self-described "old-school, classical pharmacognosist," Joseph Betz, PhD, is the director of the Dietary Supplement Analytical Methods and Reference Materials program at NIH's Office of Dietary Supplements. 
Read more>>

Botanical Integrity model

Joseph Betz, PhD

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Featured Book

Natural Treatments for Lyme Coinfections: Anaplasma, Babesia, and Ehrlichia was written by Stephen Harrod Buhner and published by Inner Traditions in 2015. The excerpt includes the title page; table of contents; introduction, “How to Use This Book and Who It Is For”; and Chapter 1, “Emerging Diseases and Coinfections: The New Epidemics.”

A continuation of Buhner’s 2013 work, Healing Lyme Disease Coinfections, this text reviews the latest scientific research on three Lyme disease coinfections and examines the complex interactions among them. The book was written with both patients and practitioners in mind, and Buhner offers guidelines for natural, holistic treatment methods centered on herbs and herbal supplements, including ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis), and white peony root (Paeonia lactiflora).

The overall message of the book is one of empowerment and education. Buhner sets the tone by writing directly to the patient in one of the “Tiny Rants” that pop up periodically in the text: “I do not agree with those clinicians who think you are too stupid to orchestrate your own journey to wellness, that you are too unintelligent or uneducated to understand these books.... In fact, I disagree with that kind of condescending attitude quite strongly.”

Natural Treatments for Lyme Coinfections is available for purchase at the publisher’s website.

Natural Treatments for Lyme Coinfections by Stephen Harrod Buhner ©2015 Healing Arts Press. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. (

Media Watch

Marijuana Madness: Hopped-Up Weed May Pose Risks for Users. Scientific American. December 7, 2015. Increasingly potent strains of marijuana have scientists questioning the potential damage they may cause to the brain.

Should You Steep Before Sleep? Slate. November 30, 2015. What is the evidence supporting the popular herbs in many national brands of “sleepy tea”?

Harvesting Cranberries for Their Healing Properties. Fox News. November 25, 2015. “Medicine Hunter” Chris Kilham explains that cranberry’s deep red color hints at the potent health benefits inside.

Deforestation May Threaten Majority of Amazon Tree Species, Study Finds. New York Times. November 20, 2015. A new study suggests that deforestation threatens more than half of all tree species in the Amazon, including the Brazil nut, cacao, and açaí palm.

Beautiful Circuits: The Dawn of the Cyborg Rose. Christian Science Monitor. November 20, 2015. Swedish researchers have succeeded in merging electronic circuitry with a rose’s vascular system, which could potentially reveal new sources of energy.

Moderate Coffee Drinking May Lower Risk of Premature Death. EurekAlert! November 16, 2015. Drinkers of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee saw benefits, including a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, type 2 diabetes, and suicide.

Scientists Looking at Nature, Not the Lab, for New Cancer Treatments. Healthline. November 18, 2015. Scientists are looking to the natural world for plant-derived compounds, many that are found in food, which may serve as important treatments for cancers.

January 21-24: International Spice Conference. Goa, India.
February 18-21: Hawaii Doc Talks. Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA.
February 24-27: Integrative Healthcare Symposium Annual Conference. New York, New York, USA.
July 24-47: 9th Joint Natural Products Conference 2016. Copenhagen, Denmark.

More event listings can be found on ABC's website.
Herbal IQ

Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb traditionally used to enhance cognitive function, may have a strong new benefit according to a recent study. Find out here!