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Scientific Journals Increasingly Skeptical of Antioxidant Research

By Stefan Gafner, PhD
In its December 2017 issue, The Journal of Food Composition and Analysis published an editorial in which it announced that the journal “will no longer accept papers for review that employ antioxidant and total phenolic assays.” This follows a recent trend started by other scientific journals that focus on natural products. ABC Chief Science Officer Stefan Gafner explains the debate surrounding the usefulness of these isolated assays to the scientific community. Read more >>



Arctium lappa
©2017 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine: Burdock (Arctium lappa, Asteraceae)

By Hannah Bauman and Bethany Diaz
Though common in sushi restaurants, burdock root is considered an invasive weed in North America. However, its high fiber content and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals may make people think twice before clearing it out of the yard. Modern research has investigated burdock root extract for internal and topical applications, and preliminary studies have uncovered exciting possibilities for patients with type 2 diabetes and liver damage. Read more >>




The Top 10 HerbalEGram Stories of 2017

By ABC Staff
The HerbalEGram staff takes a look back at the top stories of 2017, as determined by the readers. The number-one story’s topic will surprise no one who has read HerbalGram’s market report, while other stories cover global interests. Read on to discover what interested ABC members last year. Read more >>



Did you know? Herbal Gram is available in three digital formats: PDF, page-flip, and HTML. Check them out!

Featured Book
Wild Drinks and Cocktails: Handcrafted Squashes, Shrubs, Switchels, Tonics, and Infusions to Mix at Home was written by Emily Han and published in 2016 by Fair Winds Press. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, introduction, and a selection of recipes.

Author Emily Han draws from her experience in wildcrafting to compile a collection of recipes that explore the tasty and beneficial qualities of many different herbs, spices, nuts, and fruits. With a repertoire that ranges from shrubs to liqueurs to fermented sodas, Han encourages readers to experiment with local ingredients. Many of the botanicals used in the text have historical medicinal uses, which she explores in the recipe notes. Han’s concoctions offer a delicious introduction to the world of medicinal beverages.

Wild Drinks and Cocktails can be purchased from the publisher’s website. All material is used with permission from the publisher and may not be replicated for any other use.
Media Watch

New Rapid Authentication Test for Chinese Medicines. Analysis & Separations. January 10, 2018. Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University have developed a new analytical method that allows for the rapid authentication of certain Chinese herbs and fungi, such as reishi and gastrodia.

Orangutans, Like People, Use Medicinal Plants to Treat Joint and Muscle Inflammation. January 10, 2018. Scientists have observed wild orangutans in Borneo applying a lather of Dracaena cantleyi leaves, which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Food Trends to Know in 2018Consumer Reports. January 9, 2018. Consumer Reports predicts the rise of certain foods in 2018, including edible flowers, functional mushrooms, and “unusual herbs,” such as chervil, lovage, and papalo.

After Devastating Cyclone, Fiji Farmers Plant For A Changed Climate. NPR. January 9, 2018. After the widespread devastation caused by Cyclone Winston in 2016, farmers in Fiji are turning to “climate-resilient” agriculture techniques, such as crop diversification, seed banking, and terrace farming.

Salvia Leads Chemists on a Psychedelic Existential JourneyWIRED. January 8, 2018. An organic chemist recently synthesized a modified version of salvinorin A, a hallucinogenic compound in the salvia plant, which some have suggested may lead to a “potential non-addictive alternative to opiates.”

Obscure Vomiting Illness Linked to Long-Term Pot UseScientific American. January 5, 2018. First documented in 2004, a rare but serious condition known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome has been linked to frequent, long-term cannabis use.

China Trial Reveals Ginkgo biloba’s Cognitive Benefits for Stroke Survivors. NutraIngredients-USA. January 4, 2018. A six-month trial of nearly 350 stroke survivors found that subjects taking a combination of ginkgo and aspirin experienced greater cognitive benefits than those taking only aspirin.

8 Ingredient Sales Surprises of 2017Nutritional Outlook. January 4, 2018. According to data from the market research firm SPINS, multi-plant proteins, bee pollen, and nigella seed experienced notable sales growth in 2017.


15th Annual Natural Supplements – Scripps. February 8-11, 2018. San Diego, California.

Natural Products Training Laboratory. February 12-16, 2018. Oxford, Mississippi.

Integrative Healthcare Symposium Annual Conference. February 22-24, 2018. New York, New York.

9th International Conference on Alternative Medicine. February 26-28, 2018. London, UK.

Natural Products Expo West. March 7-11, 2018. Anaheim, California. Find ABC at booth #4330!

Inaugural Inova Integrative & Functional Medicine Conference. April 14, 2018. Fairfax, Virginia.

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

Herbal IQ

If you overindulged during the holidays, which tisane should you reach for to bounce back? Find out here!