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JAMA Article on Conventional Drugs Marketed as Dietary Supplements Attracts New Attention to Decades-Old Issue

By Stefan Gafner, PhD, Michael Levin, and Mark Blumenthal
An October 2018 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association provided a summary and discussion on data from the US Food and Drug Administration regarding products that contained undisclosed active pharmaceutical ingredients and were illegally marketed as dietary supplements. Despite the sensationalist media attention the article attracted, the JAMA paper provides little new information but a more in-depth summary of this ongoing problem. Read more >>








Cicer arietinum
©2018 AlixSaz


Food as Medicine Update: Chickpea (Cicer arietinum, Fabaceae)

By Hannah Bauman and Mallory Houck
Originally domesticated in the Fertile Crescent about 7,500 years ago, the chickpea has become an important protein staple crop around the world. The mineral, phytochemical, and dietary fiber contents in chickpea seed have made it a popular functional food for centuries, and modern research is finally catching up to the legume’s benefits for chronic conditions, weight management, and gut microflora. Read more >>






Herb Profile:
Grape Seed

ABC News:
Featured Book
Southern Folk Medicine cover  
Southern Folk Medicine: Healing Traditions from the Appalachian Fields and Forests was written by Phyllis D. Light and published in 2018 by North Atlantic Books. The excerpt includes the table of contents, foreword by Rosemary Gladstar, and a selection from Chapter 1: “What Is Folk Medicine?”

This book describes in great detail the history, folklore, practices, and traditional remedies of Southern and Appalachian folk medicine. Heavily based on ancient Greek and European practices and melded with Native American, Christian, and African influences, this system offers us a uniquely American way to look at disease and wellness. Herbal practitioner Phyllis Light has worked within this system for more than 30 years, and relates to readers the traditions passed down through the generations by healers who cared for their communities with the plants and tools that surrounded them.

Southern Folk Medicine can be purchased from the publisher’s website. Excerpt from Southern Folk Medicine by Phyllis D. Light, published by North Atlantic Books, ©2018 by Phyllis D. Light. Reprinted by permission of publisher.
Media Watch
HHS Recommended that the DEA Make Kratom a Schedule I Drug, Like LSD or Heroin. STAT. November 9, 2018. The US Department of Health and Human Services recently recommended that the Southeast Asian plant kratom and its alkaloids be classified as Schedule I substances, which would be a significant barrier to those who use the plant medicinally or study it for potential beneficial uses.

Five Major Crops in the Crosshairs of Climate Change. NPR. October 25, 2018. Due to factors such as growth altitude, water needs, and other growing conditions impacted by a changing climate, these five crops could suffer in the future.

Eating Organic Foods Linked to Lower Cancer Risk. Newsweek. October 23, 2018. A large-scale study has found a link between a diet based on organic food and a reduced risk of cancer.

Extracts of Mangosteen Rind and Indian Bay Leaf May Enhance Muscle Strength, Endurance. NutraIngredients-USA. October 23, 2018. Results from two recents studies suggest that supplementation with mangosteen and Indian bay leaf extracts may enhance muscle strength.

Cannabis Improves Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease Despite Having No Effect on Gut Inflammation. EurekAlert! October 22, 2018. Contrary to previous medical thinking, the improvement of Crohn’s disease symptoms after treatment with cannabis oil was not due to decreasing gut inflammation.

Reference Standards for Dietary Supplements Are More Important than Ever to Combat Adulteration and Fraud. Nutritional Outlook. October 19, 2018. Quality assurance procedures for dietary supplements rely on accurate and authoritative reference standards to produce an effective product for consumers.

Extreme Botany: The Precarious Science of Endangered Rare Plants. YaleEnvironment360. October 18, 2018. University of Hawaii’s “extreme botanist” Steve Perlman has scaled sea cliffs, kayaked in the ocean, and traveled to remote ecosystems in order to preserve plants on the brink of extinction.

Guayusa: Ceremonial Energy Tea from Ecuador to Begin European Charge. NutraIngredients. October 17, 2018. The caffeine-rich guayusa leaf was recently granted EU novel foods approval.


Find more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.

Adulteration and Fraud of Botanical and Natural Health Ingredients: Issues, Challenges and Prevention Tools for the Industry. November 29-30, 2018. Frankfurt, Germany.

16th Annual Natural Supplements Conference. January 9-13, 2019. San Diego, California.

Integrative Healthcare Symposium. February 20-23, 2019. New York, New York.

3rd World Congress on Nutrition, Dietetics and Nutraceuticals. February 25-26, 2019. Prague, Czech Republic.

Dietary Supplement Good Manufacturing Practices Compliance Seminar. April 2-3, 2019. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

SupplySide East. April 9-10, 2019. Secaucus, New Jersey.
International Garlic Symposium. May 28-30, 2019. Hiroshima, Japan.

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

Herbal IQ

Supplementation with this traditional Indian kitchen spice may ease dyspepsia-related symptoms. Can you name the herb? Check your answer here!