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Sambucus nigra
Sambucus nigra
©2021 Steven Foster


Tales from the Elder: Adulteration Issues of Elder Berry
By Stefan Gafner, PhD

In 2020, sales of elder berry dietary supplements increased significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers increasingly sought out herbal ingredients with claimed immune benefits. This sharp rise in demand, coupled with pandemic-related disruptions in the supply chain, led to concerns about potentially low-quality or adulterated elder berry ingredients entering the market. In this article, ABC Chief Science Officer and BAPP Technical Director Stefan Gafner, PhD, and colleagues review analytical evidence of adulteration of elder berry ingredients in the international market. Read more >>



ABC logo. Text reads "American Botanical Council: Since 1988"


ABC Weathers Winter Storm Uri with Some Damage to Greenhouse and Gardens
By Hannah Bauman

In the middle of February, the Austin area experienced record-breaking cold temperatures for almost a week. Ill-equipped to deal with these extremes in temperature, the state’s power grid almost collapsed and millions of people in Texas lived without power and water in sub-freezing temperatures. As the weather warms and winter turns to spring, ABC’s Austin-based staff are surveying the damage to their headquarters and recovering from their experiences. Read more >>



A florescence of perilla leaves, dark green with reddish-purple veins

Perilla frutescens
©2021 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine: Perilla (Perilla frutescens var. crispa, Lamiaceae)
By Jenny Perez

Perilla leaf has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine and cuisine, but is relatively unknown in the west. However, the perilla plant is of renewed interest to researchers, who see in its impressive phytochemical profile possible treatments for food poisoning, allergic reactions, and cognitive decline. Meet this colorful, spicy herb that has flavorful, vitamin-packed leaves and oil-rich seeds that contain more omega-3 fatty acids per serving than flax. Read more >>


Sustainable Herbs Program News

Holistic Health. March 14, 2021.

In Conversation: Rosemary Gladstar and Ann Armbrecht. March 2, 2021.

HerbalGram Issue 129 cover  
Herb Profile:
Yerba Maté

Organization News:

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

Featured Book
Askenazi Herbalism cover  
Ashkenazi Herbalism: Rediscovering the Herbal Traditions of Eastern European Jews was written by Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel and will be published by North Atlantic Books in April 2021. This pre-publication sneak peek includes the title page and table of contents and a selection from Part 1, “A History of Ashkenazi Folk Healers.”

Ashkenazi Herbalism rediscovers the forgotten legacy of the Jewish medicinal plant healers who thrived in Eastern Europe, from their beginnings in the Middle Ages through the modern era. Including a materia medica of 25 plants and herbs essential to Ashkenazi folk medicine, with names given in Yiddish, English, and Latin, this guide sheds light on the preparations, medicinal profiles, and applications of a rich but little-known herbal tradition. It also provides information on comparative medicinal practices and illuminates the important historical and cultural contexts that gave rise to Eastern European Jewish herbalism.

Ashkenazi Herbalism can be preordered from the publisher. All material ©2021 North Atlantic Books. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.


Media Watch

Dutch Authorities Highlight St. John’s Wort Supplements and Tea on Drug Action. NutraIngredients. March 17, 2021. Dutch authorities are advising consumers to exercise caution when consuming dietary supplements and tea containing St. John’s wort due to adverse effects observed in combination with medicines.

Less Inflammation with a Traditional Tanzanian Diet Than with a Western Diet. Science Daily. March 4, 2021. Urban Tanzanians who consume a typical Western-style diet have more activated immune systems compared to their rural counterparts, which researchers believe contributes to the rapid spread of communicable diseases in urban African areas.

Bitter Receptor Involved in Anti-inflammatory Effect of Resveratrol? EurekAlert! March 2, 2021. A recent study suggests that the bitter receptor TAS2R50 may play a role in resveratrol’s observed anti-inflammatory action.

New Bill in California Would Restrict the Sale of Weight Management Products. Nutritional Outlook. March 2, 2021. New state legislation introduced in California could prohibit the sale of weight management dietary supplements to consumers under the age of 18.

How Natural Ingredients Can Aid in Healthy Aging. Nutrition Industry Executive. March 1, 2021. An aging population is increasingly turning to natural products in an effort to live better and emphasize overall wellness.

Sage Extract Shown to Support Working Memory in Recent Study. Nutritional Outlook. March 1, 2021. Subjects given a proprietary extract containing polyphenols from two Salvia species performed signficantly better on working memory tasks compared to placebo.

Hemp CBD Oversupply Has Farmers Questioning Their 2021 Strategy. Natural Products Insider. February 22, 2021. A disconnect between the hemp growing boom and the amount actually needed to create CBD products has farmers recalculating how much, if any, they will grow in 2021.

Green Tea Compound Aids P53, ‘Guardian of the Genome’ and Tumor Suppressor. Science Daily. February 12, 2021. An antioxidant found in green tea may increase levels of p53, a natural anti-cancer protein, known as the “guardian of the genome” for its ability to repair DNA damage or destroy cancerous cells.

HerbalMediaWatch-Small.jpgRead more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.

Community and Industry Releases

COVID-19 Fallout Undermining Nature Conservation Efforts. International Union for Conservation of Nature. March 11, 2021.

Maryland University of Integrative Health Adds Pathway for Registered Dietitians into Doctor of Clinical Nutrition Program. Maryland University of Integrative Health. March 11, 2021.

2021 AHPA Awards Recognize Excellence in the Herbal Products Industry. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). March 10, 2021.

Goldenseal Summit 2020 – Full Replay. United Plant Savers. March 9, 2021.

Call for Methods: Mycotoxin Screening Technique in Cannabis Plant Materials and Cannabis Derivatives. AOAC International. March 8, 2021.

Honoring Diversity: National University of Health Sciences Creates New Naturopathic Medicine Scholarship. National University of Health Sciences. March 8, 2021.

$1.8 Million NCI Grant Enables Exploration of Cancer-Fighting Compound Isolated from Moroccan Fungus. Augusta University. March 4, 2021.

CRN Launches New ‘Supplement OWL’ Website, Increasing Industry Transparency. Council for Responsible Nutrition. March 4, 2021.

Study: Cannabis Use Mitigates Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy. NORML. March 4, 2021.

Announcing the Passing of Robert Broadwell, ND, OMD, LAc. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. March 3, 2021.

AHPA Submits Comments to FDA Proposed Rule on Traceability for ‘Certain Foods’. AHPA. March 1, 2021.

CSIRO Secures Licence to Develop Medicinal Cannabis. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. February 25, 2021.

NPA Puts Biden Nominees on the Record. Natural Products Association. February 25, 2021.

Plant Responses to Climate Are Lagged. German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research. February 22, 2021.

Gaia Herbs Earns Global Recognition as a 2020 SEAL Business Sustainability Award Winner. Gaia Herbs. February 18, 2021.

Featured Event

ABC-SHP-logo-FINAL.jpgWebinar: Caring for the Whole Ecosystem 2: Regenerative Practices on Family-Owned Farms. Online. April 1, 2021. In this webinar SHP Director Ann Armbrecht, PhD, will speak with four farmers growing medicinal plants in different regions of the United States about their vision for farming, some specific practices they follow, and the unique challenges they face to create a more equitable system and more resilient models. More information.


Mexican Healthy Products Summit. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. April 22-24, 2021.

Become a Bilophile. Online. April 27, 2021.

SupplySide East. Secaucus, New Jersey. NEW DATE: August 24-25, 2021.

Southern Hemp Expo. Nashville, Tennessee. September 2-4, 2021.

14th World Congress on Polyphenol Applications. Valencia, Spain. September 23-24, 2021.

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

Herbal IQ

No need for luck — this botanical can support lymphatic function, the immune system, and healthy skin! Graze on some more information here.