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Cypripedium acaule ©2021 Steven Foster

Cypripedium acaule. ©2021 Steven Foster


Lady’s Slippers: Once a Commercial Conundrum, Now a Conservation Success Story
By Steven Foster

Showy, colorful orchids in the genus Cypripedium have enamored botanical enthusiasts for centuries. The roots of the lady’s slipper orchid were once a staple of the 19th century botanical trade for use as a nervine. However, the delicate flower is slow to regenerate, and demand for the roots soon meant that the flowers were gathered nearly to extinction. In the 1980s, herb trade associations sounded the alarm and worked with medicinal herb providers to prioritize other nervines in trade, and lady’s slipper populations began to recover. The story of the North American lady’s slippers is the story of a responsible herb industry saving a plant on the brink of extinction. Read more >>



Ananas comosus ©2021 Steven Foster

Ananas comosus. ©2021 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine: Pineapple (Ananas comosus, Bromeliaceae)
By Jenny Perez

The pineapple fruit became a luxurious status symbol outside of its native South America and a prized commercial commodity throughout the Pacific Islands. It also has a long history of use in traditional medicine systems throughout South America. All parts of the pineapple plant, including the fruit, have been used to regulate blood sugar, as a diuretic, and more. In modern times, the uses of pineapple have expanded as clinical research investigates bromelain, an enzyme present in many parts of the plant with possible benefits for osteoarthritis, periodontitis, and cardiovascular disease. Read more >>



Ilex chinensis. Courtesy of KENPEI via Wikimedia Commons

Ilex chinensis. Courtesy of KENPEI


Letter to the Editor: Yerba Maté Herb Profile
By Subhuti Dharmananda, PhD

In HerbalGram issue 129, Josef Brinckmann and Thomas Brendler wrote an herb profile on yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) and focused specifically on Ilex species in South and Central America. Subhuti Dharmananda, director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine, wrote in to expand upon the information presented in the herb profile by comparing the South and Central American uses of Ilex species with species native to the Asian continent, many of which have overlapping uses and similar cultural histories. Read more >>


Sustainable Herbs Program News:

How Fair is Fair Trade? June 25, 2021.

In Case You Missed It:

ABC’s 16th Annual Botanical Excellence Awards Celebration On-Demand [video]. May 25, 2021.

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

Radiant Redouté

BAPP News:
Elder Berry Adulteration

Research Review:
Ginger Systematic Review

Book Review:
300 Herbs: Their Indications and Contraindications

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

Featured Book
Functional Herbal Therapy (cover)  
Functional Herbal Therapy: A Modern Paradigm for Physicians was written by Kerry Bone, FNIMH, and published by Aeon Books in 2021. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, foreword by Christopher J. Etheridge, PhD, preface, and Chapter 1: “An Introduction to FHT.”

Professor and medical herbalist Kerry Bone presents his holistic and multidisciplinary model of functional herbal therapy (FHT) in this text. The FHT model combines the modern concept of functional medicine with traditional herbal wisdom and is designed to equip herbalists to understand and formulate treatment strategies to tackle the complexity of different disease states. Functional Herbal Therapy introduces the seven key attributes of FHT and offers an in-depth look at some of the core treatment strategies. Finally, the book examines how the key approaches and treatment strategies discussed can be successfully applied to the modern herbalist’s practice.

Functional Herbal Therapy can be purchased from the publisher. ©2021 Aeon Books. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch

How Should We Do Drugs Now? The New York Times. July 9, 2021. Following the publication of his latest book This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan shares his opinion on how to proceed with a drug policy in the United States that accounts for plant-derived drugs that can both help and harm.

66% of Americans Want Health Insurance Companies to Cover Alternative Medicine. ValuePenguin. July 8, 2021. As younger Americans turn increasingly to alternative medicine, including herbal medicine, a recent survey found that a majority want these complementary treatments covered by health insurance.

Eriocitrin’s Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory Benefits Explored in Animal Studies. Nutritional Outlook. July 2, 2021. Eriocitrin, a flavonoid extracted from citrus fruits like lemons, may play a positive role in supporting healthy blood sugar levels, cardiovascular health, and more.

Natural Ways to Help Regulate Blood Glucose. Natural Products Insider. June 29, 2021. Some supplements, including herbs and isolated compounds from botanicals, may help consumers manage their blood glucose as cases of type 2 diabetes continue to rise in the United States.

Appeal to Identify ‘La Botaniste’ Who Slipped from History. BBC News. June 27, 2021. A discovery of 19th-century botanical drawings and specimens belonging to Isabella A. Allen has the Royal Horticultural Society asking for information anyone has about this previously unknown talent.

RCT Supports Black Seed Oil’s Blood Sugar Benefits. NutraIngredients-USA. June 22, 2021. Supplements containing oil from black cumin may help manage blood sugar and improve cardiometabolic measures in patients with type 2 diabetes, says a new study.

New Research Examines the Science Behind Superfoods. EurekAlert! June 7, 2021. New studies highlight the potential benefits of conventional “superfoods” including mangos and turmeric.

Food Scientists Aim to Make Plant-Based Protein Tastier and Healthier. ScienceDaily. June 4, 2021. Plant-based proteins that mimic meat are growing in popularity as the general population seeks ethical and healthier alternatives, and food scientists are following the trend.

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

Community and Industry Releases

AHPA Encourages FDA to Study ‘Healthy’ Claim Symbol in Herbs, Spices and Teas. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). July 13, 2021.

How We Protect Trillium. United Plant Savers. July 13, 2021.

Guidance on Allergens in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). AHPA. July 12, 2021.

AHPA Board of Trustees Approves Two New Guidance Resources for the Hemp Industry. AHPA. July 9, 2021.

House Appropriations Report Ignores Strong Safety Record of Nutritional Supplements. Natural Products Association. July 8, 2021.

American College of Healthcare Sciences Appoints Tracey Abell as College President. American College of Healthcare Sciences. July 1, 2021.

Dr. Melanie Henriksen Appointed President of National University of Natural Medicine. National University of Natural Medicine. July 1, 2021.

Mexico: Court Moves to Abolish Laws Prohibiting Personal Use of Marijuana. NORML. July 1, 2021.

Study: CBD-Rich Cannabis Products Associated with Improvements in Pain, Anxiety, and Depression in Patients with More Severe Symptoms. NORML. July 1, 2021.

Supreme Court Justice Questions Whether Federal Marijuana Ban Should Remain in Place. NORML. July 1, 2021.

Medicinal Plant Conservation Award 2021. United Plant Savers. June 29, 2021.

Consultation: Proposed Regulations Amending the Natural Health Products Regulations — Improving Labelling for Natural Health Products. Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate. June 25, 2021.

Dr. Devin Byrd Appointed Sixth President of Bastyr University. Bastyr University. June 22, 2021.

Texas Legislature Designates State Mushroom. Botanical Research Institute of Texas. June 21, 2021.

The New York Botanical Garden Names Jennifer Bernstein as CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President. New York Botanical Garden. June 16, 2021.

AHPA Guidance: Federal Labeling Requirements for Herbal Dietary Supplements. AHPA. June 14, 2021.

Featured Event
AHG logo

American Herbalists Guild’s 32nd Annual Symposium. Online. October 15-17, 2021. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Recovery, Resistance, Resilience: Trauma-Informed Herbal Healthcare.” Early Bird registration opens July 15, 2021. More information.


2021 MOSES Organic Field Day. North Freedom, Wisconsin. August 7, 2021.

12th International Vaccinium Symposium. Online. August 30 – September 1, 2021.

Natural Products Expo East. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. September 22-25, 2021.

SupplySide West 2021. Las Vegas, Nevada. October 25-28, 2021.

13th European Congress for Integrative Medicine. London, United Kingdom. November 5-7, 2021.

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

Herbal IQ

This ingredient in traditional remedies for upper respiratory infections is high in vitamin C and, although associated with Christmas, is available to gather year-round. Learn more here.