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US Sales of Herbal Supplements Increase by 9.7% in 2021
By Tyler Smith, Haleigh Resetar, and Claire Morton
Pandemic wellness concerns, including immune and digestive health, mood support, and energy, continued to drive near-record retail sales growth in the herbal supplement industry in 2021. According to data from Nutrition Business Journal and the market research firm SPINS, direct sales of herbal supplements saw the strongest growth. Some popular botanicals such as elder berry and ashwagandha maintained their high market share from 2020. Others, like CBD from hemp, saw double-digit declines. Read more >>

Mamaki stem
Pipturus albidus
Photo courtesy of Forest and Kim Starr


Māmaki — Past and Present
By Thomas Brendler, PhD
Four species in the genus Pipturus (Urticaceae), known collectively as “māmaki,” are endemic to Hawai‘i and have been used traditionally as food and medicine. However, little research has been conducted on māmaki to corroborate these traditional uses, which include both internal and topical applications for urinary disorders, skin diseases, oral thrush, and more. In this article, ethnobotanist and ABC Advisory Board member Thomas Brendler explores māmaki’s tangled nomenclature, traditional uses, current market status, and potential future uses. Read more >>


Aloysia citriodora
Aloysia citriodora
©2022 Steven Foster Group


Lemon Verbena Extract Shown to Reduce Anxiety and Improve Sleep Quality
By Shari Henson
A standardized proprietary lemon verbena extract was associated with reduced stress scores in adults who reported moderate levels of stress and poor sleep quality. Botanical support for stress and anxiety is a growing market sector as patients seek safe and effective products with fewer side effects than common pharmaceutical interventions, and lemon verbena contains polyphenols with demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities. Read more >>


HG135 cover

BAPP News:
Boswellia Lab Guidance Document

World News:
Brazil’s National Policy on Medicinal Plants

Research Review:
Echinacea for Anxiety

In Memoriam:
Benjamin Zaricor: 1947–2022

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

Featured Book
The Business of Botanicals cover  
The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry was written by Ann Armbrecht, PhD, and published by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2021. The excerpt includes a selection from Chapter 4: “Complex Standards for a Complex Industry.”
Armbrecht first explored the tension between plant healing traditions and the modern herb trade in her documentary Numen. Now, as the director of the Sustainable Herbs Program, she recounts her experiences traveling the world and following the creation of herbal products “from seed to shelf” in The Business of Botanicals. With the goal of connecting consumers with the products on store shelves, Armbrecht reveals the inner workings of a complex industry and raises questions about ethical standards and ecological issues that may imperil the plants and those who harvest them.
The Business of Botanicals can be ordered from the publisher. ©2022 Chelsea Green Publishing. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch
Researchers Solve Hundred-Year-Old Botanical Mystery That Was Key to the Spread of Plant Life on Land. EurekAlert! November 14, 2022. The change in the vascular system of plant life that allowed it to spread into more arid habitats as observed in the fossil record has been elucidated by a team of researchers at Yale University.

Tracing the Origin of Kampo, Japan’s Traditional Medicine. ScienceDaily. November 11, 2022. Research suggests that the practice of kampo began in Japan in approximately the 8th century as the result of intellectual exchange with China.

Colorado Voters Legalize Psilocybin and Psychedelic Therapy. The Denver Post. November 8, 2022. The success of Proposition 122 legalizes psilocybin and psilocin for use in therapeutic settings and allows the establishment of healing centers where adults can use the substances under a physician’s supervision.

The Best Houseplants for Your Health. Forbes. November 8, 2022. Some popular houseplants can filter harmful compounds, including formaldehyde, cigarette smoke, and benzene, from the air.

Aloe Vera Is Trending Again. What Do We Know About This Versatile Plant? Nutritional Outlook. November 2, 2022. Aloe, once used in the beauty regimens of ancient Egyptians, is surging in popularity on social media, but there are some misconceptions about its applications and safety profile.

Climate Change Requires Proactive Approach to Supply Chain. Natural Products Insider. October 24, 2022. Climate-related disruption to ingredient supply chains has both short- and long-term impacts that will require companies to consider fundamental changes in the future.

Exploring Integrative Medicine and Nutrition for PTSD. Psychiatric Times. October 21, 2022. Approximately 40% of adults in the United States use complementary or alternative therapies, including herbal medicine, and this use is especially prevalent in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Collaborative Team Discovers New Natural Products, to Be Used as Sources of Antibiotics, at Unprecedented Speed. October 18, 2022. A new laboratory automation system has been developed that can evaluate and assemble multiple gene pathways from hundreds of genes at once, accelerating the search for natural sources of antibiotics.

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Community and Industry Releases
NJ Should Not Prohibit Young People from Having Access to Safe and Healthy Nutritional Supplements and Natural Products. Natural Products Association. November 14, 2022.

CRN Responds to FDA Letter Announcing β-NMN Is Not a Dietary Supplement. Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). November 11, 2022.

NYBG Celebrates Native American Heritage Month with On-Site Programming and Digital Offerings Highlighting Plant-based Traditions. New York Botanical Garden. November 10, 2022.

Election Day Wrap-Up: Voters in Several States, Cities Decide in Favor of Adult-Use Legalization. NORML. November 10, 2022.

Exhibit Grand Opening: The Ohio Herbal Elders Project. United Plant Savers. November 7, 2022.

CRN Responds to Cholesterol Study Wrongly Comparing Supplements to Prescription Drug Rosuvastatin. CRN. November 6, 2022.

How Congressional Leadership Changes Could Impact Supplement Industry. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). November 3, 2022.

Dr. Raj Chopra Receives UNPA 2022 Lifetime Service and Achievement Award. United Natural Products Alliance. November 2, 2022.

AHPA Publishes Good Stewardship Harvesting Brochure for Goldenseal. AHPA. October 28, 2022.

ND Developed Educational Platform Validated by Survey. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. October 27, 2022.

Attention Herb Growers: Appalachian Sustainable Development and UGA Need Your Input. AHPA. October 27, 2022.

Sentencing Commission Identifies Over 6,500 Americans Eligible to Receive Pardons Under POTUS’ Marijuana Directive. NORML. October 27, 2022.

AOAC Research Institute Grants First Reviewed and Recognized Certification for Cannabis Potency Testing. AOAC International. October 26, 2022.

Addressing the Coffee Supply Chain Disruptions. Rainforest Alliance. October 20, 2022.

Major League Baseball, Pioneering CBD Brand Charlotte’s Web Strike Groundbreaking Deal. NSF International. October 2022.

Featured Event
Integrative Healthcare Symposium logo

Integrative Healthcare Symposium. New York, NY. February 23–25, 2023. This event will bring together practitioners from both the traditional and conventional medicine sectors to learn from evidence-based, clinically relevant presentations about alternative and complementary approaches to health care. Register here.

What We Do and Do Not Know About Botanical Production and Why It Matters. Online. December 15, 2022.

Mexican Healthy Products Summit. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. January 26–28, 2023.

Ninth Biennial Berry Health Benefits Symposium. Tampa Bay, Florida. January 31 – February 2, 2023.

Vitafoods India. New Delhi, India. February 16–17, 2023.

World Tea Conference and Expo. Las Vegas, Nevada. March 27–29, 2023.

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

Herbal IQ
Immune support? Check. Protein source? Check. Carotenoids for eye health? Triple check. A beautiful color is an added bonus. No need to fish for the answer — learn more here.