Get Involved
About Us
Our Members
Features And News


©2021 Steven Foster


Thailand Approves Asian Herb Andrographis to Treat COVID-19
By Connor Yearsley
In December 2020, the government of Thailand approved the Asian herb andrographis (Andrographis paniculata, Acanthaceae), also called "the king of bitters," to treat COVID-19. It will be available at some hospitals in Thailand, on a voluntary basis, and will be administered within 72 hours of symptom onset. The plant has benefits for other respiratory infections and reportedly improved COVID-19 symptoms in preliminary human trials in Thailand. Read more >>


©2021 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine: Pomegranate (Punica granatum, Lythraceae)
By Jenny Perez
Pomegranate fruit has a millennia-old history in folklore, mythology, art, and medicine. Often considered a cure-all in the traditional medicine systems of Greece, Rome, and Asia, including India, the ruby red pomegranate seeds were equally revered for their sweet-tart flavor in both sweet and savory cooking applications. Currently, pomegranate juice and extracts are being researched for their efficacy in a variety of conditions, including metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and others. Read more >>


Image courtesy of cottonbro


The Top 10 HerbalEGram Stories of 2020
By ABC Staff
Once more, the editorial staff has compiled a list of the top 10 most popular HerbalEGram stories of 2020, as determined by individual link clicks. Stories that interested ABC members included a wide variety of topics, including global issues, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Food as Medicine entries about some popular and trending food items. Revisit 2020 in headlines and see which articles made the list. Read more >>



2020: American Botanical Council’s Year in Review
By ABC Staff
The American Botanical Council’s (ABC’s) accomplishments in 2020 would have been remarkable in any year but they are especially notable given the challenges and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Science-based information took on a new importance in 2020, and ABC continued to disseminate reliable, research-based information to members around the world, through both the nonprofit’s usual channels and new publications and offerings, including a new series of free webinars, the Sustainable Herbs Program toolkit, and a re-imagined intern experience. Read more >>

Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program News

Botanical Adulterants Monitor #21 is now available! This issue includes regulatory alerts on amla fruit and reviews of rhodiola root authentication methods, commercial passionfruit extracts, and more.


Cactus Moth Arrives in Texas

World News:
Kiss the Ground Documentary Review

Research Review:
Eshnan and Recurrent Cystitis

In Memoriam:
Tony Hayes: 1955-2020

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

Featured Book


Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants of the Midwest, 3rd ed., was written by Matthew Alfs and published by Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2020. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, preface, and a selection from “Health, Medicine, and Weeds.”

Part field guide and part scientific reference, the third edition of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants of the Midwest draws on author, educator, and master herbalist Matthew Alfs’s extensive experience foraging in the varied landscapes of the Midwestern United States. The bulk of the book contains plant profiles that include color photos for ease of identification and several pages of information including the plant’s use as a food product and medicinal ingredient as well as chemical constituents. Other features of the book include a beginner’s guide to medicine-making, extensive safety tips for enjoyable foraging, and a bibliography of more than 1,000 references for further study.

Excerpted with permission from Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants of the Midwest by Matthew Alfs, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose. For more information about the author, visit Midwest School of Herbal Studies.



Media Watch

Research Suggests Seaweed Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine Could Protect Against COVID-19. News Medical. January 18, 2021. An in vitro investigation found that a polysaccharide from Ecklonia kurome seaweed completely blocked the activity of an enzyme found in coronaviruses called 3C-like protease, which is essential for viral transcription and replication.

Researchers Show Irish Soil Can Offer More Hope in Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance. EurekAlert! January 14, 2021. In the search for more effective antibiotics, an unusual source may offer the next breakthrough: soil from the West Fermanagh Scarplands, an ingredient in ancient Irish folk medicine.

USDA Nears Completion of Final Rule for US Hemp Production. Natural Products Insider. January 13, 2021. The USDA is in the final stages of rulemaking for domestic hemp production, which would supplant the controversial interim final rule implemented in 2019.

Review Backs Role of Grape Polyphenols in Sports Performance. NutraIngredients. January 11, 2021. A recent review suggests that polyphenols in grape products, including juice and supplements made with grape extracts, can be beneficial in managing the oxidative stress associated with long-term, high-intensity exercise.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The Science and Trends. Nutritional Outlook. December 29, 2020. The market for apple cider vinegar is expected to grow considerably in 2021, but which health benefits are supported by science?

Keep Calm and Carry on with Herbal Remedies This Winter. Times Union. December 20, 2021. Teas, herbs, and tinctures can support the immune system and promote well-being during an anxious time.

Higher Levels of Omega-3s Associated with Better Heart Rate Recovery, Says New Study. Nutritional Outlook. December 15, 2020. A new study sheds some light on how omega-3 fatty acids may support heart health in healthy adults.

Chemists Re-engineer a Psychedelic to Treat Depression and Addiction in Rodents. Science. December 9, 2020. Researchers report that they have created a nontoxic and non-hallucinogenic chemical cousin of the phytochemical ibogaine that combats depression and addictive behaviors in rodents.

HerbalMediaWatch-Small.jpg Read more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.

Community and Industry Releases

NSF Awards $1.9 Million to Support Plant Exploration. Botanical Research Institute of Texas. January 19, 2021.

Study: Marijuana Use Not Associated with Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. NORML. January 14, 2021.

Overdoses from Contaminated Poppy Seeds Suggest Need for Action by FDA, DEA. Center for Science in the Public Interest. January 12, 2021.

CRN Announces New Chairman, 2021 Board of Directors. Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). January 12, 2021.

New FDA Announcement on CBD Signals Continued Agency Inaction. CRN. January 8, 2021.

Study: Medical Cannabis Associated with Prolonged Reductions in Opioid Use. NORML. January 7, 2021.

NPA Welcomes New Members of Congress, Expresses Concern Over CBD Regulations and Import Alerts. Natural Products Association. January 4, 2021.

CRN Launches ‘4 Things to Know’ Video Series. CRN. January 2021.

Dr. Glen Nagel Is ACHS’ New Herbal Medicine Program Chair. American College of Healthcare Sciences. December 29, 2020.

2020 Year in Review: NORML’s Top Ten Events in Marijuana Policy. NORML. December 28, 2020.

Indigenous Women Achieve ‘Mamakunapa’ Civil Society Nature ReserveAmazon Conservation Team. December 22, 2020.

FDA Warns Companies Illegally Selling CBD ProductsUS Food & Drug Administration. December 22, 2020.

Can Cannabis Help Ease the Mind in the Age of COVID-19? The University of New Mexico. December 21, 2020.

The Ugliest Orchid in the World Tops Kew’s 2020 New Species ListRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew. December 17, 2020.

Maryland University of Integrative Health Announces Educational Partnership with Uniformed Services University of the Health SciencesMaryland University of Integrative Health. December 17, 2020.

Call for Member Contributions to the Journal of Medicinal Plant Conservation. United Plant Savers. December 17, 2020.

2021 Food as Medicine Symposium. Online. February 19-21, 2021.

Nutraceuticals Europe. Barcelona, Spain. February 24-25, 2021.

Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine 2021. Online. March 26-28, 2021.

Environmental Health Symposium 2021. Tucson, Arizona. April 14-17, 2021.

20th International Congress of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology. Thessaloniki, Greece. April 18-21, 2021.

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

Herbal IQ

New year, new microbes. This popular food is correlated with a cornucopia of health benefits, but a recent study adds a new one: improving gut health. Green with envy? Find out more here!