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ABC’s Sustainable Herbs Program Launches Updated Sustainability and Regenerative Practices Toolkit 2.0
By ABC Staff
For companies that are committed to more sustainable operations, ensuring the long-term supply of the medicinal and aromatic plants on which they depend is crucial to their success. To aid in this goal, the American Botanical Council’s Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) has launched the SHP Sustainability and Regenerative Practices Toolkit 2.0, an updated, expansive collection of resources. The purpose of the toolkit is to generate awareness and engage leaders in the global botanical industry in implementing ecologically and socially responsible practices. The toolkit is user-friendly, freely accessible, and greatly expanded and revised from the initial version released in 2021. Read more >>


Peter Gorman at the US-Mexico border

Peter Gorman

Remembering Peter Gorman: 1951-2022
By Connor Yearsley
Peter Gorman, a prolific journalist, adventurer, psychonaut, and more, died in April 2022, shortly after his last trip to the Amazon. A longtime writer for High Times magazine, he is known for his work on psychoactive substances, including the Amazonian vine ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi, Malpighiaceae) and sapo, or the skin secretions of the giant monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor). In 1998, he began offering Amazonian jungle expeditions, which involved ayahuasca and which many of his guests described as transcendental. In this tribute, some of his friends and colleagues remember Gorman’s adventurousness, curiosity, and passion and his contributions to the psychedelic scene. Read more >>

Calendula and honey bee
Calendula and honey bee


Israeli Company Uses Novel Approach to Create Proprietary Herbal Honeys
By Karen Raterman
Honey has been used for medicinal purposes for approximately 8,000 years and has been studied since the 19th century for its antibacterial qualities. However, inspired by the unique antioxidant and antibacterial profile of manuka honey, Israeli company Zuf Globus is researching how to increase the medicinal qualities of honey with its proprietary MEL® line of honey supplements. MEL honeys are created by feeding bees a formulated nectar that contains extracts of medicinal plants with the idea that these beneficial compounds will be translated to the honey these bees produce. Early studies indicate that the immune and respiratory health formulas may be effective in improving quality of life during chemotherapy and reducing upper respiratory tract infections. Further research to confirm these results and elucidate a mechanism of action may herald an innovation in the ancient healing tradition of honey. Read more >>

Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program News

NEW Botanical Adulterants Prevention Monitor. March 16, 2023. Issue 27 contains updates on ginger authenticity, quality assessments of supplements sold online, a recall of cinnamon bark extract, and more.


Issue 136 cover

Māmaki Review

Herb Profile:

Research Review:
Cinnamon and Diabetes

In Memoriam:
Raymond Cooper: 1949–2022

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

Featured Book
CBD: What Does the Science Say? cover
CBD: What Does the Science Say? was written by Linda A. Parker, PhD, Erin M. Rock, PhD, and Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, and published by The MIT Press in 2022. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, and Chapter 2: “Chemical and Pharmacological Aspects.”

This book is a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, including preclinical and human clinical studies, on cannabidiol (CBD), a nonintoxicating compound in cannabis (Cannabis spp., Cannabaceae). The authors examine research about the chemical and pharmacological aspects of CBD and CBD’s interaction with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychotropic compound found in cannabis. They also review the current state of knowledge about CBD’s effectiveness for a variety of conditions including epilepsy, cancer, nausea, pain, anxiety, PTSD, depression, sleep disorders, psychosis, and addiction.

Excerpted from CBD: What Does the Science Say? by Linda A. Parker, Erin M. Rock, and Raphael Mechoulam. Reprinted with permission from The MIT Press. ©2022.
Media Watch
‘Father of Cannabis Science’ Raphael Mechoulam Dead at 92. High Times. March 10, 2023. The scientist was the first to synthesize and isolate cannabinoids including THC, CBD, and others, greatly advancing the study of the medicinal properties of cannabis.

Top Herbs in Sports Nutrition. Nutritional Outlook. March 14, 2023. These three popular herbs have promising clinical research to support their benefits for athletes, such as raising testosterone levels and increasing nitric oxide levels.

It’s Lawmakers vs. Veterans over Delta-8. Austin-American Statesman. March 13, 2023. As state officials argue for banning the hemp-derived compound, Texas veterans have vouched for it as a safer alternative to treatment with opioids.

East Asian Herb May Boost Physical and Mental Performance: RCT. NutraIngredients-USA. March 13, 2023. Daily supplementation with an extract from jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) may boost physical performance and reduce mental fatigue in healthy adults.

Keanu Reeves’s Latest Role? Fungus-Killing Bacterial Compound. The New York Times. March 8, 2023. Researchers in Germany were so impressed with a bacterial compound’s ability to fight fungal strains that devastate commercial crops that they named it in reference to the actor’s implacable character John Wick.

For Gardeners, Botanical Latin Is a Language Worth Learning. AP News. February 28, 2023. Learning the Latin binomials for plants can ensure that gardeners are receiving the correct species of plant they seek, as common names may cause confusion.

The Ancient Drink that Powers Indonesia. BBC. February 22, 2023. Jamu, a homemade herbal tincture whose recipe varies from person to person, originated in the royal courts of Java 1,300 years ago but remains popular in modern times.

Cocoa Flavanols Health Claims Approval Further Validates Rich Vein of Research. Natural Products Insider. February 22, 2023. The US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a cardiovascular disease-reduction claim for cocoa flavanols is a sign that the research on these ingredients is increasingly robust.

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

Community and Industry Releases
2023 AHPA Awards Honor Industry Leaders and Trailblazers. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). March 15, 2023.

Addressing the Coffee Supply Chain Disruptions. Rainforest Alliance. March 13, 2023.

Noah’s Ark for Plants Hits Important Milestone: 40,000 Different Plant Species Now Banked at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. March 10, 2023.

AHPA Welcomes New and Re-elected Board Trustees. AHPA. March 9, 2023.

The New York Botanical Garden Expands Celebrated Science Team with Appointments of Internationally Renowned Scholars as New Chief Science Officer, Inaugural Vice President for Urban Conservation Strategy. New York Botanical Garden. March 9, 2023.

Adult-Use Marijuana Legalization Legislation Advances in Three States. NORML. March 9, 2023.

The Forest Farmers Handbook — 2nd Edition (Free Download). United Plant Savers. March 7, 2023.

FDA Launches New Directory of Ingredients Used in Products Marketed as Dietary Supplements. US Food and Drug Administration. March 6, 2023.

CRN Foundation’s Economic Report Outlines Value of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in Reducing Medical Costs Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). February 24, 2023.

AHPA Submits Comments to FDA on Proposed Rule for ‘Healthy’ Claims. AHPA. February 23, 2023.

FDA’s Proposed Definition of ‘Healthy’ a Step Forward but Benefits to Consumers Will Be Limited. Center for Science in the Public Interest. February 16, 2023.

FDA ‘Healthy’ Claim Proposal Should Include Supplements and Functional Foods, Says CRN. CRN. February 16, 2023.

Analysis: Cannabis Use Associated with Lower Blood Pressure Levels. NORML. February 16, 2023.
Featured Event
SHP Webinar: Why Prescribing Sustainable Herbs Matters. Online. April 27, 2023. This conference for clinical practitioners includes a conversation with SHP Director Ann Armbrecht, PhD, and Sebastian Pole of Pukka Herbs. More information.

Ginseng: Myths, Facts, and Possibilities. Online. April 24, 2023.

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

Kootenay Herb Gathering. Salmo, BC, Canada. July 7-9, 2023.

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

Cannabis Conference. Las Vegas, Nevada. August 15-17, 2023.

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

Herbal IQ
This early sign of spring has been used to relieve seasonal allergies and arthritis and is full of beneficial vitamins and minerals — for the brave. Read more here.