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Freshly harvested rhodiola root, full of dirt, in someone's hand

Rhodiola rosea root. Photo courtesy of Chris Kilham


Rhodiola Harvest in the ‘Mountains of Heaven’: The Uighur Traders of Xinjiang
By Chris Kilham

Rhodiola root, which grows in the cold and high-altitude regions of Europe, Asia, and North America, has been used traditionally in Russia and Scandinavia as a strengthening tonic. Xianjiang, China, home to the Uighur ethnic group, is the epicenter of rhodiola trade in China and the Uighurs have also used rhodiola in their traditional medicine practice. However, tensions between the indigenous Uighurs and Han Chinese have existed since the autonomous region was annexed into China, and the treatment of this largely Muslim group has since made international headlines as a modern-day genocide. Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham recounts an expedition to Xianjiang in 2009 as he sought to document the condition of the Uighurs and status of the rhodiola trade in the region. Read more >>


Screenshot of the opening scene from the ABC Celebration video showing the Case Mill Homestead


American Botanical Council Presents Botanical Excellence Awards at 16th Annual Celebration Ceremony
By ABC Staff

The American Botanical Council (ABC) presented six awards during its 16th annual Celebration and Botanical Excellence Awards Ceremony on May 25, 2021, which was held virtually for the first time. This year’s event celebrated the accomplishments of the nonprofit education organization in its 33rd year and honored the recipients of six Botanical Excellence Awards, who were chosen based on their outstanding contributions to the herbal and botanical communities. The virtual ceremony is available to watch on demand on ABC’s YouTube channel. Read more >>


Aloe vera ©2021 Steven Foster

Aloe vera ©2021 Steven Foster


ABC’s Stefan Gafner and Colleagues Give Lecture on Botanical Ingredient Safety Evaluation for Pharmacy Students in Malawi
By ABC Staff

In April 2021, ABC Chief Science Officer Stefan Gafner, PhD, and colleagues took part in a virtual lecture series on botanical ingredient safety, which was attended by approximately 30 pharmacy students and faculty members of the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine in Blantyre, Malawi. The lecture series was held under the auspices of the Botanical Safety Consortium and the nonprofit Health and Environmental Sciences Institute. The lectures were given as part of the college’s pharmacognosy module, which teaches students about the efficacy and safety of medicinal plants and other natural ingredients. Read more >>


Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program News:

Botanical Adulterants Prevention Monitor #22 is now available! The latest issue contains updates on bilberry analysis, HPTLC authentication of various Tilia species, regulatory alerts, and more.

Bulletin on Adulteration of Pomegranate Products Published by ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program. June 7, 2021.

Sustainable Herbs Program News:

Webinar Co-hosted with Union for Ethical Biotrade. May 21, 2021.

Living Income in the Botanical Industry. May 20, 2021.

Cover of HG130, a botanical illustration of autumn crocus by Pierre-Joseph Redoute  

Radiant Redouté

ABC News:
ABC Weathers Winter Storm

Organization News:
Research Collection Seeks New Home

Research Review:
Ginger Systematic Review

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

Featured Book
Cover of the book "Cherry" featuring a branch of delicate pink cherry blossoms  
Cherry was written by Constance L. Kirker and Mary Newman and published by Reaktion Books in 2021. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, introduction, and a selection from Chapter 5, “Literature, Legend and Lore.”

Cherry fruits have been consumed since prehistoric times and over the centuries, they have come to symbolize such divergent concepts as fertility, innocence, and seductiveness. Cherries inspired Dutch still-life paintings, Freudian theory, contemporary pop artists, and one of the first food emojis. In Japan and other Asian cultures, the short-lived but beautiful cherry blossoms are important elements throughout art and literature. In this intriguing natural and cultural history, Constance L. Kirker and Mary Newman recount the origins, legends, celebrations, production, and health benefits of this beloved tree, from bark to wood to fruit to blossom.

Cherry can be purchased from the publisher. Use offer code PR20CHERRY at checkout for 20% off the cloth edition from the University of Chicago Press. ©2021 Reaktion Books. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch
Atmospheric CO2 Just Hit a Peak Not Seen on Earth in Four Million Years. Science Alert. June 9, 2021. Newly released measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels show that concentrations of the heat-trapping chemical have surged to record levels not seen by scientists in the era of modern readings.

Knowledge of Medicinal Plants at Risk as Languages Die Out. The Guardian. June 8, 2021. A new study warns that knowledge of medicinal plants is at risk of disappearing as human languages become extinct — as an estimated 30% of the world’s 7,400 are expected to do by the end of the century.

New Trinity College Dublin Centre Seeks to Unlock New Bioactives for Next-Gen Nutraceuticals. NutraIngredients. May 27, 2021. Trinity College Dublin will dedicate facilities to identify new bioactives from macro and microalgae, cereals, bioactive herbs, and plant sources to create supplements and cosmetic applications.

Foods and Botanicals for Inflammation: Expert Recommendations. Nutritional Outlook. May 21, 2021. A balanced diet and herbal supplementation can help support the body’s anti-inflammatory responses for joint, skin, and gut health.

Five of the Many Modalities of Naturopathic Medicine. Bastyr University. May 18, 2021. Naturopathic doctors practice a number of different modalities to help their patients maintain health and wellness, including nutrition, botanical medicine, and more.

Six Potential Benefits of Berberine You Should Know About. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. May 14, 2021. Typically used in traditional Chinese medicine, berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem barks of many plant species and has recently gained attention for its potential health benefits.

Better Together: Using Nutraceuticals to Reduce Prescription Drug Side Effects. Nutritional Outlook. May 5, 2021. Evidence shows that an integrative approach that pairs some common drugs and natural products can benefit patients.

Higher Mushroom Consumption Is Associated with a Lower Risk of Cancer. ScienceDaily. April 21, 2021. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis examined 17 cancer studies and analyzed data from more than 19,500 cancer patients, to explore the relationship between mushroom consumption and cancer risk.

HerbalMediaWatch-Small.jpgRead more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.
Community and Industry Releases

AOAC Announces Six Test Kits Approved for Enumeration of Yeast and Molds in Cannabis. AOAC International. June 4, 2021.

House Lawmakers Reintroduce Legislation Repealing Federal Marijuana Prohibition. NORML. June 3, 2021.

Review: Data Is ‘Promising’ Regarding Use of Cannabinoids for Autism. NORML. June 3, 2021.

Current Library Exhibitions: Redouté’s Plantarum Succulentarum Historia. Botanical Research Institute of Texas. June 2021.

World’s Leading Environmental Event Opens in 100 Days. International Union for the Conservation of Nature. May 27, 2021.

FDA, FTC Warn Five Companies Illegally Selling Dietary Supplements Claiming to Treat Infertility. US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). May 26, 2021.

AHPA Releases 2021 Update to Free Primer on Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). May 25, 2021.

AHPA Updates GACP-GMP Guidance to Include New Appendix on Prevention of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Contamination. AHPA. May 25, 2021.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Commits to Become Climate Positive by 2030. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. May 25, 2021.

Research Team Led by NYBG Scientist Identifies the Likely Original Relative of Many Food Crops, a Resource That Could Make Them More Environmentally Resilient. New York Botanical Garden. May 24, 2021.

FDA Announces Seizure of Adulterated Dietary Supplements Containing Kratom. FDA. May 21, 2021.

NPA Continues to Call for Safe Level of Consumption for CBD Products. Natural Products Association. May 20, 2021.

Colorado Surpasses $10 Billion in Retail Cannabis Sales. NORML. May 20, 2021.

Study: Terpenes and Cannabinoids Produce Additive Therapeutic Effects. NORML. May 20, 2021.

AHPA Releases Five Updated Entries to Botanical Safety Handbook Ahead of AHPA Botanical Congress. AHPA. May 13, 2021.

AHPA Requests CITES Exemption for Cultivated American Ginseng. AHPA. May 10, 2021.

Featured Event

15th International Herb Symposium. Online. June 10-13, 2021. This event seeks to gather all members of the herbalist community to participate in activities that will celebrate the diverse and varied traditions of herbalism through networking, classes, plant walks, and more. More information.


FairWild Week Webinar: Wild Plants Are Our Business. Online. June 21, 2021.

2021 Virtual Cannabis Research Conference. Online. August 3-5, 2021.

14th World Congress on Polyphenols Applications. Online. September 22-24, 2021.

Phytopharm 2021. St. Petersburg, Russia. September 28-29, 2021.

32nd Annual American Herbalists Guild Symposium. Online. October 15-17, 2021.

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

Herbal IQ

This quintessential North American herb blooms beautifully all summer and is a popular immune booster. Got a guess? Check your answer here!