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Kratom leaf
©2018 Ahmad Fuad Morad


FDA Intensifies Warnings against Kratom with Inconclusive, Circumstantial Data, Possibly Preluding a Federal Ban

By Connor Yearsley
To support its position against the Southeast Asian tree kratom, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points to a collection of deaths associated with kratom-containing products, but various factors obscure the significance of these data. In addition, FDA has declared that kratom is “an opioid” while apparently disregarding published scientific studies that identify important differences between kratom compounds and classical opioids. Read more >>



Jim Duke
©2018 Steven Foster


Moments from the Celebration of the Life of James A. Duke

By ABC Staff
On June 16, 2018, friends, family, and students gathered at the Maryland farm of the late James A. Duke, PhD, to celebrate his memory. With refreshments, entertainment, and fond reminiscences, about 100 guests as diverse as Duke’s career shared their favorite memories of the preeminent economic botanist, who died in December 2017. This article commemorates the event with pictures of some of the guests, speakers, and proceedings. Read more >>



Urtica dioica leaf
©2018 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine: Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica, Urticaceae)

By Jenny Perez
Tame the sting and discover the gentleness hidden deep within nettle. Fresh and green as spring, nettle has been used for thousands of years as a fiber plant, wild food, and medicine. Some of the most promising areas of modern research include clinical trials on nettle aerial parts for osteoarthritis and nettle root for lower urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH. Read more >>



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

Featured Book
ESPD50 front cover  
Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs, Vols. I and II, were edited by Dennis McKenna, PhD, and published in 2018 by Synergetic Press. The excerpt from Volume II includes the title page, table of contents, foreword by Sir Ghillean Prance, and a paper on kratom by Christopher R. McCurdy, PhD.

Volume I of this series covers the proceedings of the 1967 Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs (ESPD) symposium, and Volume II contains the proceedings for the 50th anniversary of the event in 2017. The interdisciplinary experts who contributed their knowledge and years of study to both events came from all over the world to discuss the use of psychoactive plants in indigenous societies and the possibilities open to modern medicine as a result. The result of 50 years of advancements in the fields of medicine, psychology, anthropology, and pharmacology yield a vital resource for the past, present, and future of psychoactive plants.

Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs is currently on backorder, but may be pre-purchased from the publisher’s website pending a new print run in August 2018. ©2018, Synergetic Press. This work has been reprinted with permission and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch

Britain Moves Closer to Legalizing Medicinal Use of Cannabis. Reuters. July 3, 2018. The British government currently is reviewing the rules to allow drugs derived from cannabis after a new report concluded that there are potential medicinal benefits.

Supplemental Antioxidants May Reduce Exacerbations in Cystic Fibrosis. Science Daily. July 2, 2018. An antioxidant blend including beta-carotene, CoQ-10, vitamin E, and lutein reduced the risk of exacerbation by 50% in some individuals with cystic fibrosis, a disease characterized by chronic inflammation and antioxidant deficiencies.

Pediatric Study Analyzes Dietary Supplement Trends among Children with Down Syndrome. EurekAlert! June 29, 2018. New research reveals that 49% of parents surveyed have given their child with Down syndrome supplements in an effort to improve health outcomes.

Senate Passes Farm Bill That Includes Hemp Legislation. Natural Products INSIDER. June 29, 2018. After approving a farm bill that includes hemp legalization, senators must work with representatives to ensure that the House version of the bill also contains this language to see the measure become law.

Cannabis Research Effort Will Provide Baseline Data for CBD Products, Exec Says. NutraIngredients-USA. June 27, 2018. A new research partnership between Canadian contract research organization Nutrasource and a Florida medical clinic will aid the formulators of CBD products by providing baseline data that at the moment is lacking, an executive said.

Deep Below Rockefeller Center Lies a Legendary Botanical GardenThe New York Times. June 25, 2018. How did medicine evolve in the newly formed United States? Physician David Hosack saw the potential in America’s plant life and founded the country’s first botanical garden, the remains of which lie under the modern-day Rockefeller Center.

Snake Bites and Chocolate: Costa Rican Women Teach Tourists Jungle Secrets. Voice of America. June 25, 2018. Hoping to benefit from ecotourism to the region, indigenous women are introducing outsiders to the culture of medicine derived from the lush Costa Rican jungle.

A Plant That BurnsThe Washington Post. June 20, 2018. Initially grown for decorative purposes, the invasive wild hogweed is making inroads further south in the United States, and anyone attempting to remove it must beware its sap: it causes painful burns and blisters upon contact.


HBOT 2018 Conference and Expo. August 10-12, 2018. Denver, Colorado.

Botanica 2018. August 31 - September 3, 2018. Brighton, England.

Natural Products Expo East. September 12-15, 2018. Baltimore, Maryland.

The Apothecarist: Herbs and Mycology. October 12-14, 2018. San Antonio, Texas.

29th Annual American Herbalists Guild Symposium. October 25-29, 2018. Helen, Georgia.

SupplySide West. November 6-10, 2018. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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

Herbal IQ

Evidence grows that a popular fruit’s polyphenols and vitamin C content provides benefits to those with chronic inflammatory diseases such as gout. Have you guessed this summer treat?