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Autumn crocus
Böhringer Friedrich


The Autumn Crocus and Its Constituent Colchicine: The Story of a Late Bloomer
By Stefan Gafner, PhD

In January 2021, researchers published the initial results of a large clinical trial that assessed the potential benefits of colchicine, an alkaloid from the autumn crocus, in patients with COVID-19. The study, which has not been peer reviewed, reported promising, significant reductions in hospitalization and death rates. ABC Chief Science Office Stefan Gafner describes the current state of research on colchicine for COVID-19 and explores the historical uses of this “late bloomer.” Read more >>




The Evolution of the American Botanical Council Website: 1995-2021
By Gayle Engels
The American Botanical Council launched a revised and redesigned version of its website in January 2021. The new website provides an updated, mobile-friendly website with improved navigation, modern design, enhanced graphics, additional development capabilities, and a more intuitive user experience for visitors. It has been 25 years since ABC introduced its first website, and the process of improving the site will continue for years to come as the digital landscape continues to evolve. Read more >>



Jean Beaufort


Dark Chocolate Improves Verbal Episodic Memory Compared to White Chocolate in Healthy Young Adults
By Shari Henson

The flavonoids present in cacao reportedly benefit cardiovascular health and cognitive function, possibly by improving blood flow. A study of healthy adults sought to compare the effect of dark chocolate, which contains cocoa flavonoids, with white chocolate, which contains no flavonoids, on episodic memory and subjective mood. Consumption of dark chocolate was associated with greater recall than white chocolate, so go ahead and indulge in some Valentine’s Day flavonoids. Read more >>


Sustainable Herbs Program News

Ethnobotany as Reciprocity. February 10, 2021.


Herb Profile:
Tart Cherry

ABC News:
Maca and Andrographis Adoptions Support ABC

Organization News:
Four Elements Receives USDA Grant

In Memoriam:
Cyrus Thomas Hyde: 1930-2020

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

Featured Book
Lotus and the Bud cover  

The Lotus and the Bud: Cannabis, Consciousness, and Yoga Practice was written by Christopher S. Kilham and published by Park Street Press in 2021. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, foreword by Robyn Griggs Lawrence, and a selection from Chapter 3, the section “Cannabis as Medicine.”

Psychoactive expert and yogi Chris Kilham explores the synergistic benefits of thoughtfully combining medicinal cannabis use and yoga practice in his latest book. Beginning with a historical overview of the use of cannabis and practice of yoga, Kilham balances scientific vigor with his personal experiences and perspectives on combining the two. Mindful of varying international laws regarding the use of cannabis, Kilham also specifies the differences between nonintoxicating hemp and intoxicating cannabis. The Lotus and the Bud describes how yoga practice can benefit the human nervous system and how, through the endocannabinoid system, cannabis harmonizes a multitude of functions, from respiration to pain control, in ways that enhance yoga. At the end, Kilham instructs readers on breathwork, meditation, and proper postures, and provides an illustrated example of a cannabis-enhanced yoga session.

The Lotus and the Bud can be purchased from the publisher. All material ©2021, Inner Traditions. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.


Media Watch
Yaupon: The Rebirth of America’s Forgotten Tea. BBC. February 24, 2021. Yaupon, a member of the holly family and the only known native caffeinated plant in North America, has a long history of use by native tribes and now, its popularity is growing.

Why Is Everyone So Obsessed with Mushrooms Right Now? Real Simple. February 22, 2021. Growing consumer awareness of medicinal mushrooms has created a booming market share for fungi, which have culinary and medicinal value in addition to a favorable environmental footprint.

Aspirin, Morphine, and Chemotherapy: The Essential Medicines Powered by Plants. Natural History Museum. February 19, 2021. Eleven percent of drugs deemed “basic” and “essential” by the World Health Organization are derived from flowering plants, and scientists still turn to the natural world as a potential source for the next medicinal breakthrough.

Study: Curcumin Extract Combats the One-Two Punch of Gut Discomfort and Anxiety. February 18, 2021. A new study has investigated curcumin extract’s effect on stress-related digestive problems.

Essential Oils and Eczema: Effectiveness, Side Effects, and More. Medical News Today. February 17, 2021. Though clinical evidence regarding the use of essential oils for eczema is lacking, some oils have anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial effects that may ease symptoms.
What the Psychedelic Renaissance Could Learn from Amazonian Shamans. Lucid News. February 9, 2021. As Western science undertakes more research into the medicinal possibilities of psychedelic plants, ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin advises scientists to listen to shamans, who have used these plants for thousands of years.

What’s Next for the Dietary Supplement Industry? Drug Store News. February 8, 2021. As the dietary supplement industry enjoys continued growth, discussions around issues such as government regulation, consumer confidence, and industry transparency will continue to be both contentious and vital.

Use of Goldenseal May Compromise Glucose Control in Diabetics on Metformin. EurekAlert! February 8, 2021. A study on goldenseal and potential drug interactions found that participants with diabetes and taking metformin had approximately 25% less metformin in their system while also taking goldenseal.

HerbalMediaWatch-Small.jpgRead more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.
Featured Event

ABC-SHP-logo-FINAL.jpgWebinar: Rapid Change in Himalaya Ethnobotany. Online. March 4, 2021. In this webinar, Ann Armbrecht will speak with ethnobotanists Jan Salick, PhD, and Robbie Hart, PhD, about their research on the impacts of climate change on alpine plants in the Himalayas. More information.


SupplySide365. Online. Free trial through August 31, 2021.

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

The National Symposium on Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine. Coolangatta, Australia. May 1-2, 2021.

Medicines from the Earth Symposium 2021. Online. June 4-7, 2021.

ISEO 2021 51st International Symposium on Essential Oils. Nicosia, Northern Cyprus. August 29 – September 1, 2021.

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

Herbal IQ

In the language of flowers, a bouquet of these means “love.” In the annals of history, it has been used as a skin conditioner, throat soother, and mood enhancer. Show some love to the body and soul and learn more here.