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Ginkgo biloba ©2023 Steven Foster Group


A Healthy Future for Natural Medicine: Empowered by Specific Evidence
By Nigel Pollard
In this article, guest contributor Nigel Pollard shares his vision for the next era of the natural health industry as built on solid, evidence-based foundations. Barriers to identifying “specific evidence” products, including the chemical complexity of plants and the regulatory complexity of the global market, are examined. Pollard presents a pathway to link published clinical evidence to products on the market and names products that have been independently assessed through this pathway. He also describes further changes, including the creation of a new product-specific evidence database, that will provide increased transparency, support informed choice, and underpin a sustainable future for the natural health industry. Read more >>

Majyun, Nepal
Majyun, Nepal ©2023 Ann Armbrecht


Reflections from Nepal
By Ann Armbrecht, PhD
In the fall of 2022, Sustainable Herbs Program Director Ann Armbrecht and filmmaker Terrance Youk traveled to Nepal to observe and document the trade of jatamansi and ginger and the impacts of the medicinal herb trade on rural livelihoods, conservation, and soil health. In this article, Armbrecht writes about what she observed, including the challenges and questions that remain for harvesters and suppliers in the botanical value chain. Read more >>

Hydrangea serrata
Hydrangea serrata
Photo courtesy of Qwerty1234


Hydrangea Extract Shown to Be Beneficial in Decreasing Body Weight, Hip Circumference, and Abdominal Fat
By Dani Hoots
Hydrangea leaves are consumed as an herbal tea in Korea and Japan, and hydrangea extract has shown potential to reduce body weight and body fat. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, researchers observed the outcome of hydrangea extract supplementation on healthy participants who were overweight or obese compared to placebo. Read more >>


Issue 136 cover

Herb Market Report

Research Review:
Chamomile and Rhinitis

Book Review:
The Essential Guide to Western Botanical Medicine

In Memoriam:
Lyle Craker: 1941–2022

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

Featured Book
Held by the Land cover
Held by the Land: A Guide to Indigenous Plants for Wellness was written by Leigh Joseph and will be published by Wellfleet Press in March 2023. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, and Chapter 1: “Building Botanical Relationships.”
Held by the Land shares some plant traditions of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Author Leigh Joseph, an ethnobotanist and member of the Squamish Nation, gives readers an introduction to the use of herbs and other plants for food, medicine, and forging a connection to nature with recipes, stories, and her own traditions. The text includes illustrated plant profiles, guides on identifying and responsibly harvesting plants, and how to use them as sources of food and medicine.
Held by the Land can be purchased from the publisher. ©2023 Wellfleet Press. This material is used with permission and may not be reprinted for any other purpose
Media Watch
Ninh Thuan Province Focuses on Farming of Medicinal Plants. Vietnam+. February 14, 2023. The province in south-central Vietnam plans to develop more cultivation of medicinal and economically important herbs to ease the demands of wild harvesting on native populations.

Seaweed and Onion Skins: British Companies Look to Natural Products to Replace Plastic. Marketplace. February 13, 2023. Following the British government’s announcement of a ban on single-use plastic, companies are investigating alternative packaging sourced from sustainable natural sources.

Mosquitos Bugging You? Ole Miss Researchers Working on Repellant. Here’s What We Know. Clarion Ledger. February 10, 2023. The National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi has identified a flower that could be used to make mosquito repellant, which has implications for the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses including malaria, West Nile virus, and others.

The Zombie Fungus that Inspired ‘The Last of Us’ Is Actually Edible — And Super Common. Bon Appétit. February 1, 2023. In the story of the popular video game and television show, the Cordyceps fungus has evolved to infect the human brain, but these parasitic fungi only attach to insects, and have been consumed by humans for thousands of years.

Coffee with Milk May Have an Anti-Inflammatory Effect. ScienceDaily. January 30, 2023. The interaction between polyphenols and proteins, such as the addition of milk to coffee, increased the ability of immune cells to fight inflammation.

FDA Concludes that CBD Needs Its Own Regulatory Pathway Separate from Dietary Supplements and Food. Nutritional Outlook. January 26, 2023. According to a statement, the agency has reached the conclusion that “a new regulatory pathway for CBD is needed that balances individuals’ desire for access to CBD products with the regulatory oversight needed to manage risks.”

What Science Says About the Potential Healing Effects of Essential Oils. Discover. January 19, 2023. As essential oils increase in popularity, it is important for consumers to be aware of their actions, safety, and evidence of efficacy.

NMI Releases 2023 Sustainability Report. WholeFoods Magazine. January 17, 2023. The Natural Marketing Institute’s research shows that consumers continue to hold strong attitudes toward environmental protection and are taking small, progressive steps toward more environmentally friendly behaviors.

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

Community and Industry Releases
Manufacturing Herbal Supplements for a Demanding Market. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). February 13, 2023.

Our Certification Program in 2023 — Innovation and Constant Improvement. Rainforest Alliance. February 9, 2023.

New AOAC Strategic Plan 2023–2025. AOAC International. February 8, 2023.

Trade Associations Commend Senators Lee and Sinema for Highlighting Dietary Supplements and Establishing Natural Products Industry Week. Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). February 8, 2023.

AOAC INTERNATIONAL’S New Edition of Official Methods of Analysis Published on Oxford Academic. AOAC International. February 7, 2023.

Outstanding Conservationists Honoured by IUCN. International Union for Conservation of Nature. February 6, 2023.

Statement: Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies Allowed in Australia Through Special Access Scheme. MAPS. February 3, 2023.

NYBG’s 2023 Black History Month Celebration Explores the Enduring Botanical Legacy of the African Diaspora and the Contributions of Contemporary Advocates. New York Botanical Garden. February 3, 2023.

Khan Recognized for Contributions to Safety, Effectiveness of Botanical Dietary Supplements. United Natural Products Alliance. February 3, 2023.

State Medical Cannabis Laws Graded by Patient Advocates in New Report. Americans for Safe Access. February 2, 2023.

Lloyd Library Celebrates Women’s History Month with a Focus on Trees. Lloyd Library. February 1, 2023.

AHPA Updates CITES Primer to Include New Botanical Species Listings. AHPA. January 30, 2023.

FDA Response on CBD Fails Consumers and Industry and Highlights Agency’s Four Years of Inaction. CRN. January 26, 2023.

FDA’s Dereliction of Duty on CBD Regulation Continues. Natural Products Association. January 26, 2023.

FDA Concludes that Existing Regulatory Frameworks for Foods and Supplements Are Not Appropriate for Cannabidiol, Will Work with Congress on a New Way Forward. US Food & Drug Administration. January 26, 2023.

How New Cosmetic Laws Will Affect Herbal Products. AHPA. January 25, 2023.

AHPA Seeks Removal of Chinese Herb Tariffs in US Trade Representative Review. AHPA. January 24, 2023.

Dr. Smith Publishes New Textbook, Naturopathic Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide. National University of Health Sciences. January 24, 2023.

CRN Foundation’s Economic Report Shows the Potential of Certain Dietary Supplements to Reduce Medical Costs Associated with Coronary Artery Disease. CRN. January 23, 2023.

Analysis: Long-Term Cannabis Use Not Significantly Detrimental to Overall Health. NORML. January 19, 2023.

CRN Commemorates 50th Anniversary in 2023. CRN. January 18, 2023.

Featured Event

SHP Webinar: Sustainability Standards and Certifications as a Tool, Part 2. Online. February 23, 2023. Continuing the discussion from the webinar on January 26th, this webinar will cover certifications and sustainability standards from the perspectives of producer groups. Register here.

Natural Products Expo West. Anaheim, California. March 7–11, 2023. Visit ABC at Booth #3916!

Stress and Sleep: Finding the Balance. Online. April 25, 2023.

HerbDay at ABC. Austin, Texas. May 6, 2023.

2023 American Society of Pharmacognosy Annual Meeting. Bethesda, Maryland. July 22–26, 2023.

16th International Herb Symposium. Norton, Massachusetts, and Online. June 9–11, 2023.

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

Herbal IQ
Though the name of this botanical evokes love and excitement, it is actually known for its sedative and anxiolytic qualities. Learn more here.