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Maple syrup
©2020 Cindy Creighton


Is Maple Tapping Out?

By Connor Yearsley
Maple trees and their syrup are iconic parts of the history and culture of northern North America. The syrup, which often is used as a breakfast topping, is now enjoyed in almost 60 countries around the world. Because of improved technology and harvesting methods, sugar makers are now harvesting more sap per tree than ever before. Due to climate change, however, that may not continue. In fact, some studies project that syrup yields may decrease across much of sugar maple’s range by the end of the century, which means that sugar makers face an uncertain future. Read more >>




©2020 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine Update: Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus ssp. scolymus, Asteraceae) and Cardoon (C. cardunculus var. altilis)

By Jenny Perez and Amanda Reat
The history of the use and cultivation of the genus Cynara dates back to the fourth century BCE. These Mediterranean plants spread quickly throughout Europe, and those who braved the spiny leaves and prickly bracts were rewarded with a delicious, somewhat bitter vegetable with potent gastrointestinal benefits. The high fiber content of the artichoke and cardoon is associated with cardioprotective, choleretic, and hepatoprotective properties, and make it an invaluable addition to the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Read more >>




Devil's club
©2020 Steven Foster


American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Publishes Devil’s Club Monograph and Therapeutic Compendium

By Hannah Bauman
In May 2020, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia announced the publication of a monograph and therapeutic compendium on devil’s club. This native North American species, while not popular in global commerce, has a long history of use among Native Americans and First Nations peoples in medicine and rituals. While emphasizing sustainable harvesting practices, AHP President Roy Upton and monograph co-author Eric Yarnell believe that devil’s club should have a space in modern herbal practice. Read more >>



Sustainable Herbs Program News:

What Can Herb Companies Do? May 21, 2020.

Why Does Forest Farming Matter? May 20, 2020.

A Declaration of Dependence. April 21, 2020.

HG126 cover  

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

Featured Book
Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, 3rd ed, cover  
Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, 3rd edition, was written by Lewis S. Nelson, MD, and Michael J. Balick, PhD, and published in 2020 by Springer and New York Botanical Garden. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, foreword by Richard D. Shih, MD, introduction by Andrew W. Weil, MD, and a selection of plant profiles.

This comprehensive resource is designed to assist clinicians in response to patients who have been exposed to a toxic plant. The plants discussed in this book are often used in a medicinal context, and the authors draw from pharmacognosy and medical literature to make the sometimes-fine distinction between a toxin and a curative. The text contains numerous full-color photos of hundreds of potentially toxic plants as well as profiles that include basic information such as name, distribution, and description, and more precise details such as clinical references, specific toxins contained in the plant, and which plant parts contain these compounds. The detailed information in the plant profiles can also serve as an excellent resource for hikers, gardeners, and outdoor enthusiasts who seek to avoid exposure to these plants.

Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants can be purchased from the publisher. ©2020 Springer International. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch
Outrage as Guatemalan Maya Spiritual Guide Is Tortured and Burned Alive. The Guardian. June 10, 2020. Respected indigenous spiritual guide Domingo Choc Che, who worked with researchers from University College London to preserve native plant knowledge, died in an alleged genocidal hate crime.

Gaia Herbs Offers Grants to Organizations Expanding Herbal Access for Underserved Populations in the United States. Yahoo! Finance. June 1, 2020. Natural products brand Gaia Herbs will accept applications through July 31, 2020, for four grants through its social impact program from social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, or individual herbalists and naturopaths.

IP Shield for Medicines in the Works. Bangkok Post. May 29, 2020. In Thailand, the Intellectual Property Department has teamed up with the Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine Department to prevent profiteering and patent registrations on traditional medicine formulas.

Hydrangea Leaf Extract May Boost Skin Health from Within: RCT. NutraIngredients-USA. May 29, 2020. Oral consumption of an extract of Hydrangea serrata leaves may improve wrinkles, hydration, skin elasticity, and skin texture, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

New Report Discusses Coffee’s Effect on Digestion and Digestive Disorders. EurekAlert! May 28, 2020. Research suggests that drinking coffee may help to reduce the risk of certain digestive disorders, including gallstone disease and pancreatitis, and benefit some elements of the digestive process, such as gut motility.

Not Enough Info about Effects of Cannabis Use, Parkinson’s Foundation States. Parkinson’s News Today. May 27, 2020. The Parkinson’s Foundation, a leading patient advocacy and educational organization, released a statement calling for more research on the effects of medical cannabis for the treatment of Parkinson’s, as the current literature lacks reliable, meaningful data.

Taking Kampo Global: Researchers Call for Continued Research into Japanese Herbal Medicine and Frailty. NutraIngredients. May 26, 2020. Kampo, a system of Japanese traditional medicine, could be an untapped source of relief for Japan’s aging seniors, and researchers are urging further study into its formulas.

Good News for Menopausal Women Taking Hop Supplements: Tests Show No Drug Interactions. EurekAlert! May 18, 2020. Hops dietary supplements did not produce any clinically relevant interactions with four common drugs and compounds in a study of 16 patients.

HerbalMediaWatch-Small.jpg Read more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.
Community And Industry Releases
New York Botanical Garden Scientist Co-Authors New Edition of a Comprehensive and Richly Illustrated Guide to Toxic Plants, Including Symptoms and Treatments. New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). June 8, 2020.

Free Primer on Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). June 4, 2020.

CSPI Urges Federal Enforcement Action Against Supplement Manufacturers Making Illegal Antiviral Claims. Center for Science in the Public Interest. June 4, 2020.

FTC Sends Letters Warning 35 More Marketers to Stop Making Unsupported Claims That Their Products and Therapies Can Effectively Prevent or Treat COVID-19. Federal Trade Commission. June 4, 2020.

Over-the-Counter CBD Products Typically Less Potent than Advertised. NORML. June 4, 2020.

Analysis: Pine Rosin Identified as Possible E-Liquid Adulterant. NORML. June 4, 2020.

UK, ArtemiLife Partner to Test for Anti-Cancer Activity of Artemisia annua Extracts. University of Kentucky College of Medicine. June 3, 2020.

Request for Proposals: Slippery Elm Sustainable Wild Harvest Study. AHPA. June 1, 2020.

NPA Calls for FDA Action on Imported Adulterated Dietary Supplement Ingredients. Natural Products Association. June 1, 2020.

Learn from Home: From the Garden to the Kitchen, NYBG’s Online Adult Education Classes in June Offer Opportunities for All Plant-lovers to Grow Their Knowledge. NYBG. May 29, 2020.

Clinical Trial: Cannabinoid Administration Via a Metered-Dose Inhaler Is Safe and Effective for Chronic Pain Patients. NORML. May 28, 2020.

The Herbal Medicine Conference 2020 Goes Digital. National Institute of Medical Herbalists. May 18, 2020.

WHO Supports Scientifically Proven Traditional Medicine. World Health Organization. May 4, 2020.
Featured Events

NPEENatural Products Expo East. September 23-26, 2020. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. More information.


Vitafoods Europe. September 7-11, 2020. Online.
Integrative Dermatology Symposium. October 23 - November 1, 2020. Online.

SupplySide West. October 27-30, 2020. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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

Herbal IQ
This dependable herb can cleanse your space and so much more: with antioxidants and antimicrobial actions, it can also ease digestive complaints, boost cognition, and aid in menopause. Discover the benefits of or reacquaint yourself with this herb here.