Get Involved
About Us
Our Members
Features And News

Frankincense resin

“Mushaad” frankincense resin. ©2021 Sue Canney Davison


Frankincense: Understanding the Plant’s Diversity Is Key to Its Future
By Sue Canney Davison, PhD; Frans Bongers, PhD; and Denzil Phillips, MSc

Frankincense and myrrh are ancient phytomedicinal resins that have woven their way throughout human history for millennia. As their modern popularity increases, unanswered questions regarding the resins and the plants that produce them could have significant impacts on the future supply and the health of wild populations. Focusing on frankincense, but also applicable to the plants that produce myrrh, this article describes the current efforts to record and identify the differences between species to improve ongoing conservation projects and the quality of marketed materials. Read more >>

The Earth

Climate-Conscious Consumers Prioritize Sustainable Herbal Products
By Karen Raterman

Events of the past two years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-related extreme weather, have accelerated consumer awareness and concern about sustainability. Sustainability is a core mandate for many herbal products companies, and some of these companies are seeking deeper relationships with both consumers and suppliers for a more sustainable future. In this article, guest contributor Karen Raterman provides new insights into sustainability-related consumer trends based on recently published data from two leading consumer and market research organizations: the Natural Marketing Institute and The Hartman Group. Read more >>>


Book Review: The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry
By Mark Blumenthal

In The Business of Botanicals, the development of the modern US herbal medicine industry is placed in the context of healing traditions that span the globe. The book covers myriad subjects, from the herbal medicine practices followed by individuals and small groups to global conglomerate suppliers and manufacturers, as well as value chains that start in remote villages in India, for example, and end on retail store shelves in the United States. Author Ann Armbrecht, PhD, weaves these stories together to create a larger picture of the global herbal products industry. Read more >>>

Siri von Reis

Siri von Reis. Photo courtesy of Arthur Altschul Jr.


Remembering Siri Sylvia Patricia von Reis: 1931–2021
By Connor Yearsley

Siri von Reis, PhD, a Harvard-educated ethnobotanist, author, poet, and fashion model, died on August 3, 2021, at age 90. She was a student of Richard Evans Schultes, PhD, the “Father of Ethnobotany,” and produced a comprehensive work on hallucinogenic plants in the genus Anadenanthera, which native peoples of the Caribbean and South America have used for millennia. Siri also recognized the value of information from herbarium specimens and compiled two significant volumes that cataloged the uses of thousands of these plants and were both published by Harvard University Press. This was a noteworthy undertaking before the widespread use of the internet. In this article, Siri is remembered as an important figure in the field of ethnobotany. Read more >>>

Sustainable Herbs Program News:

An Invitation. October 18, 2021.

Cover of HerbalGram 131 featuring a yellow lady's slipper orchid  

Uighur Rhodiola Trade in China

Herb Profile:

Research Review:
Ginkgo and Cognitive Function

Book Review:
Plants, People, and Places

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

Featured Book
Energetic Herbalism cover  
Energetic Herbalism: A Guide to Sacred Plant Traditions Integrating Elements of Vitalism, Ayurveda, and Chinese Medicine was written by Kat Maier, and published by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2021. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, and a selection from Chapter 1: The Language of Energetics.

Energetic Herbalism is a practical guide to family and community care with a holistic framework of health. Throughout, author Kat Maier invites readers to explore their personal relationships with plants and their environment through diverse models of healing. The modalities described include Ayurveda, Indigenous practices, traditional Chinese medicine, and Western Vitalism, among others.
Through the herbal tradition of storytelling, Maier blends theory and practice with her experience-tested herbal remedies and healing protocols. She also stresses the critical message of how to address the challenge of threatened medicinal plant populations, offering methods for ensuring their survival and a practical materia medica of plants that are easily grown in most climates.

Energetic Herbalism can be purchased from the publisher. ©2021 Chelsea Green Publishing. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch

Plant of the Month: Elderberry. JSTOR Daily. November 17, 2021. The modern popularity of black elder berry can be traced to both a growing consumer interest in immune support as well as a desire to engage with Indigenous knowledge of this ancient remedy.

Ashwagandha Extract Shows Promise for Immune Support. WholeFoods Magazine. November 16, 2021. A small, controlled study showed that supplementation with a proprietary ashwagandha extract significantly increased markers of immune health in healthy subjects.

[A] Tempe Lab Is Turning to Nature to Search for Treatments to Fight Diseases. 12News. November 11, 2021. Researchers are teaming up with Arizona State University to analyze plants for compounds to help combat conditions including the flu and Zika viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

Herb Discovered to Have Activity against the SARS-CoV-2 Virus. Natural Products Insider. November 10, 2021. Artemisinin, already a widely used antimalarial compound, has also shown in vitro inhibitory activity against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Matcha Boosts Cognition in Healthy Young Subjects, Study Shows. NutraIngredients. November 5, 2021. A new study showed that “ceremonial grade” matcha, a type of green tea, enhanced cognition and reaction times in healthy young adults.

Plant-Based Jet Fuel Could Reduce Carbon Emissions by 68 Percent. October 15, 2021. A new study predicts that jet engine fuel made with Brassica carinata seed could reduce carbon emissions once reliable supply and manufacturing facilities are available.

Mushroom Consumption May Lower Risk of Depression. ScienceDaily. October 12, 2021. Increased dietary intake of antioxidants and amino acids like those found in mushrooms was correlated with a reduction in depression symptoms.

‘Mystery Plant’ from the Amazon Declared a New Species after Nearly 50 Years of Flummoxing Scientists. EurekAlert! October 6, 2021. DNA sequencing revealed a surprising taxonomic result for a Peruvian plant that has confused experts since a sample was collected in 1973.

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

Community and Industry Releases

AHPA Board of Trustees Adopts Trade Requirement for ‘Organic’ Supplements to Comply with the National Organic Program. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). November 15, 2021.

Analysis: Grey Market Delta-8 Products Frequently Mislabeled. NORML. November 11, 2021.

Report: Legal Cannabis Among Nation’s Most Valuable Crops. NORML. November 11, 2021.

Amazon Updates Dietary Supplement Compliance Program. AHPA. November 10, 2021.

NSF Celebrates DSHEA Anniversary with Open Access to Dietary Supplement cGMP eLearning. NSF International. October 2021.

Endangered Plants and Women’s Health: Fertility Herbs at Risk. United Plant Savers (UpS). October 29, 2021.

Analysis: Indica, Sativa Labels ‘Poorly’ Reflect Variations Between Cannabis Plants. NORML. October 28, 2021.

Oldest Major Botanical Garden in Texas Launches Master Planning Effort. Fort Worth Botanic Garden. October 26, 2021.

CRN Reveals Initial Data from 2021 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. Council for Responsible Nutrition. October 21, 2021.

Call for Articles and Member Contributions to the 2022 Journal of Medicinal Plant Conservation. UpS. October 20, 2021.

Federal Judge Enters Consent Decree with Utah-based Dietary Supplement Manufacturer. US Food & Drug Administration. October 20, 2021.

AHPA Expresses Support for WADA Scientific Review of Cannabis in Sports. AHPA. October 18, 2021.

Intellectual Property Protection Key to Consumer Safety and Innovation for Natural Products Industry, Says NPA. Natural Products Association. October 18, 2021.

Murdock Grant Provides Technological Boost to NUNM’s Year-One Online Naturopathic Program. National University of Natural Medicine. September 30, 2021.

Featured Event

Integrative Healthcare Symposium. New York, NY. February 17-19, 2022. This international conference will bring together practitioners from all disciplines of both traditional and conventional medicine to learn about subjects including the evolution of integrative medicine, culinary medicine, post-COVID-19 syndrome, and more. Register here.


Middle East Organic and Natural Products Expo Dubai. Dubai, UAE. December 6-8, 2021.

Cannabis Business Summit and Expo. San Francisco, CA. December 15-17, 2021.

Nutraceuticals Europe. Barcelona, Spain. February 2-3, 2022.

International Spice Conference. Kochi, India, and Online. March 2-4, 2022.

World Tea Conference and Expo. Las Vegas, NV. March 21-23, 2022.

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

Herbal IQ

Learn to love the peel of this tropical fruit, because it may have excellent benefits for your gut. If you’re feeling fuzzy on the subject, learn more here.