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Hildebert Wagner

Hildebert Wagner


Remembering Hildebert Wagner: 1929–2021
By Hannah Bauman

Pharmacognosist Hildebert Wagner died on November 5, 2021. A pioneer in his field, Wagner devoted his life to the study and promotion of medicinal plants and natural products. His influence spread far beyond his native Germany, with international accolades and students who are among the leaders of natural products research. Among his many career achievements, Wagner published prolifically, edited numerous scientific journals, and co-founded the journal Phytomedicine. Read more >>

The Green Farmacy Garden in bloom

Green Farmacy Garden
Courtesy of Helen Lowe Metzman


New Ownership Sought for Jim and Peggy Duke’s Maryland Property and ‘Green Farmacy Garden’
By Connor Yearsley

The Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) is seeking a buyer for the former property of renowned ethnobotanist James “Jim” Alan Duke, PhD, and his wife, Peggy. The six-acre property in Fulton, Maryland, between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, includes a house and an extensive garden called the “Green Farmacy Garden.” MUIH assumed ownership of the property when Peggy died in April 2021 but now wants to transfer the property to an individual or organization that will hopefully maintain the property, including the garden, which has been visited by and inspired many people since it was established in 1997. Read more >>



Vaccinium macrocarpon
©2021 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine: Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon, Ericaceae)
By Hannah Bauman

The cranberry, native to northeastern North America, has been cultivated and harvested for at least 12,000 years. This rich history of use continues to the present day, and cranberry dietary supplements are a popular over-the-counter option to support urinary tract health and inflammatory conditions due to the fruit’s high proanthocyanidin content. Modern research is investigating the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of cranberry, further justifying its inclusion on many holiday tables. Read more >>



Withania somnifera
©2021 Steven Foster


Clinical Trial Shows Ashwagandha Root Extract Improves Sleep Quality and Manages Insomnia
By Gavin Van De Walle

Sleep disorders can interfere with quality of life, and pharmacological treatments often have undesirable side effects. Ashwagandha root is considered an adaptogen and contains alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins, which may help support healthy sleep patterns. A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that included healthy patients and patients with insomnia examined the safety and efficacy of a proprietary ashwagandha root extract for insomnia and anxiety. Read more >>


American Botanical Council News:

HerbalGram Publishes Seminal Article on Saw Palmetto. December 15, 2021.

Sustainable Herbs Program News:

Partnerships in Sourcing Australian Sandalwood. November 15, 2021.

How Sourcing Botanicals Impacts Product Quality. November 25, 2021.


HerbalGram 132

Herb Profile:
Asian Holly Oak Gall

Research Reviews:
Book Review:
Siri Sylvia Patricia von Reis: 1931-2021

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

Featured Book
The Plant Hunter  
The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines was written by Cassandra Leah Quave, PhD, and published by Viking in 2021. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, and a selection from Chapter 2: Welcome to the Jungle.

Medical ethnobotanist Cassandra Leah Quave writes a narrative overview of her groundbreaking research studying plants that may help mitigate antibiotic resistance in The Plant Hunter. This memoir reveals the personal nature of her journey, which has taken her across the globe to conduct field research from the Amazon to Eastern Europe to southern Florida. Throughout many personal and professional setbacks, Quave has never wavered from her belief that traditional plant knowledge can hold the next medical breakthrough.

The Plant Hunter can be purchased from the publisher ©2021 Viking. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch

An Indigenous Community in India’s Meghalaya State Offers Lessons in Climate Resilience. Mongabay. December 13, 2021. The traditional food production system of the Khasi community is supported by land management practices including shifting cultivation while discouraging the use of synthetic chemicals, which creates a resilient food system.

2,400-Year-Old Tea Residue Found in China. SciNews. December 13, 2021. The discovery could add another facet to the long, storied history of tea consumption in China.

Osage Orange Tree Yields Mysterious Prehistoric Fruit. KUAF. December 6, 2021. An interview with Steven Foster describes the extraordinary osage orange tree, an ancient species that is little-known today.

Ancient Aboriginal Bush Medicine Could Improve Modern Day Cancer Treatment. EurekAlert! November 22, 2021. A natural substance isolated from plants in the genus Eremophila has shown the ability to inhibit cancer cells’ resistance to chemotherapy treatment.

The Godmother of ‘Plant-Based’ Living. The New York Times. November 20, 2021. Fifty years after the publication of Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet, her message of climate change and the impact of diet still resonates.

Coffee and Tea Drinking May Be Associated with Reduced Rates of Stroke and Dementia. ScienceDaily. November 16, 2021. Drinking 4-6 cups daily of coffee or tea may be associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia, while drinking coffee was also associated with a lower risk of post-stroke dementia.

Plants of the Past, Research of the Future. Science Line. November 16, 2021. The herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden is both a historical record and a resource for scientists looking for new ways to study plants.

Alcohol and the Endocannabinoid System. Project CBD. November 10, 2021. The endocannabinoid system is a crucial component of the brain’s protection system that can be affected by alcohol use.

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

Community and Industry Releases
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.

Partnerships in Sourcing Australian Sandalwood: A Conversation with Clinton Farmer and Keith Drage. Online. January 6, 2022.

Cross-cultural Understanding of Local Herbal Knowledge and Chinese Traditional Daodi Materia Medica. Online. January 20, 2022.

Natural Products Expo West. Anaheim, California. March 8-12, 2022.

2022 Heal Con. San Diego, California. April 21-24, 2022.

2022 Spring Herb Seminar. Online. May 12-14, 2022.

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

Herbal IQ
The importance of a robust immune system has never been more important, so stock up on this traditional Chinese herb that can help boost white blood cell count and fight viral infections. Learn more about this mystery herb here.