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Withania somnifera
Withania somnifera
©2020 Steven Foster


In It for the Long Haul: Herbal Companies Reflect on Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis
By Karen Raterman
Since the spread of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, the herbal and dietary supplement industries have experienced challenges and changes on an international scale. In this follow-up article to her previous report on supply chain disruptions during COVID-19, contributing author Karen Raterman has revisited some of the industry’s largest suppliers and manufacturers to see, eight months in, how they have evolved to meet these challenges, what they perceive as permanent changes in the industry, and even some points of resilience to celebrate. Read more >>



Multihued prickly pear fruits
Opuntia ficus-indica
©2020 Steven Foster


Prickly Pear Predicament: Cactus Moth Arrives in Texas
By Connor Yearsley
The recent arrival of the “voracious,” invasive cactus moth in Texas spells trouble for native, iconic prickly pear cacti, which are ecologically and economically important species. The moth’s larvae devour the cactus pads from the inside out and can leave entire cactus stands in rotting masses. To control the moth in Texas and prevent or slow its spread to Mexico, scientists at the University of Texas at Austin are planning to introduce a parasitoid wasp species, which is a natural enemy of the moth. But time is critical. Read more >>



Egon Stahl Award in Gold
Egon Stahl Award in Gold


Professor A. Douglas Kinghorn Receives Egon Stahl Award in Gold from the Society of Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research
By Stefan Gafner, PhD
In November 2020, Professor A. Douglas Kinghorn, PhD, received the Egon Stahl Award in Gold from the Society of Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research, the organization’s highest honor. Kinghorn is a renowned natural products researcher and the Jack L. Beal Chair at the Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy’s Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy. He served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Natural Products for more than two decades. Read more >>


Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program News

Milk Thistle Extract Adulteration Bulletin Released by Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program. October 19, 2020.

Sustainable Herbs Program News

Five Lessons: Why Sustainability Is Good for Business. November 14, 2020.

What Makes a Good Leader? November 11, 2020.

Herb Profile:

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

Featured Book



Spice Apothecary: Blending and Using Common Spices for Everyday Health was written by Bevin Clare, RH (AHG), LDN, and published by Storey Publishing in 2020. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, preface, and a selection from Chapter 2: How Medicinal Spices Work.

American Herbalists Guild President Bevin Clare embraces the ordinary in Spice Apothecary. Featuring 19 spices that are widely available and may already be in readers’ pantries, Clare explains the properties and traditional uses of these spices, how they can be used to support specific health goals, and how they can be incorporated in therapeutic amounts in delicious recipes. Hobby herbalists and beginners can turn their kitchens into home apothecaries and create their own blends to support kidney health, immunity, digestion, and more.

Spice Apothecary is available for purchase from a variety of retailers. Excerpted from Spice Apothecary, ©2020 Bevin Clare. Photography ©2020 Michael Piazza. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Media Watch

The Sorghum Solution? The Salk Institute’s Plant-based Research to Battle Climate Change Gets a Boost. The San Diego Union-Tribune. November 10, 2020. The Salk Institute recently received a grant for a project to develop varieties of six crop plants, including sorghum, with an improved ability to capture and sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Better Health — for People and the Planet — Grows on Trees. EurekAlert! November 5, 2020. An increased focus on tree-sourced foods could help food insecurity, malnourishment, and climate change indicators around the world, according to a recent paper.

Change Species Names to Honor Indigenous Peoples, Not Colonizers, Researchers Say. Scientific American. November 3, 2020. Though scientists are working closely with indigenous communities while documenting species, a professor in New Zealand argues that the outreach should go further and include changes to existing species names.

Bacterial Metabolism of Dietary Soy May Lower Risk Factor for Dementia. ScienceDaily. October 22, 2020. A metabolite produced following consumption of dietary soy may decrease a key risk factor for dementia — with the help of the right bacteria.

Ashwagandha Supports Sleep Quality, Says Recent Study. Nutritional Outlook. October 20, 2020. A recent double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study found that supplementation with ashwagandha supports sleep quality in subjects with and without insomnia.

FDA, Consumer Groups in Favor of Mandatory Listing of Dietary Supplement Products. Natural Products Insider. October 12, 2020. An FDA proposal that would require manufacturers of dietary supplements list their products with the agency has gained support among several consumer advocacy groups and industry associations.

Exploring Fig Trees’ Chemical Tricks and Reviving Ancient Date Palms. Chemical and Engineering News. October 10, 2020. The speedy photosynthesis in Ficus leaves and the resurrection of an ancient date palm from 2,000-year-old seeds exemplify the amazing internal chemistry of plants.

Sage Advice: The Ecological and Ethical Problems of ‘Smudging.’ High Country News. October 1, 2020. The popularity of white sage commonly used in “smudge sticks” is beginning to strain wild populations, and its commodification tends to erase its roots in indigenous cultures.


Herbal MediaWatchRead more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.

Featured Events

SupplySide365SupplySide365. Free trial through March 31, 2021. More information.

Paths to Regenerative Farming in the Botanical Industry: Lessons Learned from Gaia Herbs, HerbPharm, and MegaFood. December 3, 2020. Online.

Mental Health: Maintaining Stability on a Rocky Road. December 8, 2020. Online.

European Congress for Integrative Medicine. February 26-28, 2021. London, UK.

Ethnopharmacology 2021. April 18-21, 2021. Thessaloniki, Greece.

Integrative Healthcare Symposium. May 2-4, 2021. New York, New York.

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

Herbal IQ

Don’t let the name of this shrub from the same family as mango and pistachio put you off — it’s not poisonous and its antioxidant content can promote balanced blood sugar levels and muscle recovery after exercise. Learn more about this Mediterranean staple here!