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Kilham and ayahuasca vine seedlings
©2018 Chris Kilham


Field Report: Ayahuasca Vine Cultivation and Harvesting in the Peruvian Amazon

By Chris Kilham, Medicine Hunter
Ayahuasca, which is both a plant in the Malpighiaceae family and the name of the psychedelic brew made from the vine, is highly popular in Peru and throughout the Amazonian region of Brazil. As interest in the healing ayahuasca ceremony grows, however, the potential for negative impacts on the plant’s growing area and cultivation grows. Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham traveled to multiple sites in early 2018 to interview shamans, farmers, and ayahuasca suppliers to gain a better understanding of the plant’s future. Read more >>



Pistacia vera


Food as Medicine: Pistachio (Pistacia vera, Anacardiaceae)

By Hannah Bauman and Erika Martinez
Think beyond ice cream: Pistachio nut has an excellent vitamin and mineral profile for everyday health as well as an array of phytochemicals that have been shown to be beneficial for chronic degenerative conditions. With potential benefits for cardiovascular disease, as a source of complete protein for vegan diets, and even as sunscreen, pistachio nuts should be a staple of one’s vow to eat more “greens.” Read more >>


New Botanical Adulterants Monitor Available! Read about speedwell substitution in herbal teas, provenance and quality testing of lavender essential oil, and more in issue #13.


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

Featured Book
Introduction to Systematic Reviews cover  
An Introduction to Systematic Reviews, 2nd edition, was edited by David Gough, Sandy Oliver, and James Thomas and published in 2017 by Sage Publishing. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, foreword by Ann Oakley, and Chapter 1: Introducing Systematic Reviews

Written in a concise, accessible style, this text provides clear, step-by-step advice on the logic and processes of systematic reviews as a method for research. Updated from the first publication in 2012, the new edition includes a chapter on statistical synthesis, an expanded section on data management, and a revised chapter on quality appraisal in terms of evidence claims made by a review. The art and science of both the creation and interpretation of systematic reviews allows scientists from multiple disciplines to synthesize available data and reach conclusions and recommendations for policy and practice.

An Introduction to Systematic Reviews can be purchased from the publisher’s website. ©2018 Sage Publishing. All material is used with permission from the publisher and may not be replicated for any other use.
Media Watch

Researchers Combat FDA Stance on Kratom, Favor its Regulation as SupplementNatural Products INSIDER. March 13, 2018. Noting that kratom is used to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms and manage pain, a group of researchers is pushing back against the US Food and Drug Administration’s recent classification of kratom compounds as opioids.

After Chinese Cough Syrup Takes New York by Storm, What Will Be Next Ancient Remedy To Find Favour in West? South China Morning Post. March 10, 2018. As a sign of traditional Chinese medicine’s increased recognition in the West, New Yorkers have embraced a Chinese herbal cough remedy during this year’s flu season.

America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry. Bloomberg Businessweek. March 7, 2018. Strict limits on cannabis research in the United States may allow other countries, such as Canada and Israel, to take the lead in the booming global medicinal marijuana industry.

Adaptogenic Mushroom Blend Improves Endurance Performance in New StudyNutritional Outlook. March 2, 2018. Subjects taking a mushroom supplement had significantly improved markers of aerobic fitness after one month compared to those taking a placebo.

Testing Experts Say Study’s Null Result on Diet/Gene Interplay Just Another Step in Road to Understanding How DNA Affects Nutrition. NutraIngredients-USA. March 1, 2018. A recent study found no significant weight-loss benefits for subjects following diets personalized to their genetic makeup, but experts say that more research is needed.

Beetroot Juice Supplements May Help Certain Heart Failure Patients. Science Daily. February 22, 2018. Preliminary research suggests that beetroot juice supplementation may improve exercise endurance in subjects with heart failure.

Study: Botanical Blend May Reduce Number of Bathroom Breaks Due to Urinary Tract Symptoms NutraIngredients-USA. February 22, 2018. A multi-herb formula significantly reduced urination frequency compared to placebo, according to a recent study of 150 participants with urinary incontinence and overactive bladder.

The Botany in Obama’s Official Portrait Represents His HistoryPopular Science. February 19, 2018. Barack Obama’s official presidential portrait features three colorful botanicals, some of which have medicinal uses, “each representing a part of the former president’s history.”


5th Annual NoCo Hemp Expo. April 6-7, 2018. Loveland, Colorado.

SupplySide East. April 10-11, 2018. Seacaucus, New Jersey.

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

Plant Lover’s Journey to Italy. May 26 – June 6, 2018. Italy.

8th World Convention on Stevia. June 4-5, 2018. Berlin, Germany.

Doula Training. July 24-31, 2018. Manzanillo, Costa Rica.

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

Herbal IQ

A good night’s sleep can put a spring in your step. Do you know what common herb may aid sleep and short-term memory? Refresh yourself here!