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Acerola fruits

Acerola fruits. Image courtesy of BDieu.


Food as Medicine: Acerola (Malpighia emarginata and M. glabra, Malpighiaceae)
By Hannah Bauman
Also known as “Barbados cherry” and “West Indian cherry,” acerola is native to Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. Acerola fruit is among the highest natural sources of vitamin C which, combined with other antioxidant compounds, has made it a prized ingredient in both traditional medicine and modern dietary supplements. Though little research has been conducted on acerola as a single ingredient, it is often found in combination formulas for skin conditioning, immune support, and more. Read more >>



Charles Champion

Charles Champion

Remembering Charles Allen Champion: 1930–2023
By Hannah Bauman
Charles Champion, founder and owner of Champion’s Pharmacy and Herb Shop, died in January 2023 at age 92. Champion’s pharmacy, which remains family-owned and operated, is a neighborhood institution that evolved to serve the unique needs of residents in southwest Memphis, Tennessee. Champion was the first Black pharmacist to serve in a city hospital in Memphis and hoped to lead by example and inspire more people to study pharmacy. Read more >>

Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program News

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.


HG137 cover

Herb Profile:
Japanese Sophora

ABC News:
Josef Brinckmann Named Board President

Book Review:
Medicinal Herbs in Primary Care

In Memoriam:
Ezra Bejar: 1958–2022

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

Featured Book
African American Herbalism cover

African American Herbalism: A Practical Guide to Healing Plants and Folk Traditions was written by Lucretia VanDyke and published by Ulysses Press in 2022. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, introduction, and Chapter 3: “The Plant World.”

African American herbal practices meld traditions from ancient Egypt, the African tropics, the Caribbean, and Native American tribes following the many paths of African people. African American Herbalism traces these paths and tells the stories of African American healers that continued this practice into modern times. The text also includes an illustrated guide to many common herbs, including aloe, lavender, sage, and sassafras; recipes for herbal tinctures and other forms of medicine; and rituals for sacred bathing and skin care.

African American Herbalism can be purchased from the publisher. ©2023 Ulysses Press. This material is used with permission and may not be reprinted for any other purpose.

Media Watch
Cardiff Scientists Look at Honey as Drug Alternative. BBC News. April 11, 2023. Following concerns about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a research team is examining honey to discover a connection between its antibiotic nature and the plants visited by bees.

This Bill Would Legalize Kratom in RI. What Is It and Why Is It Illegal Now? The Providence Journal. April 11, 2023. Two state lawmakers in Rhode Island have proposed a bill to legalize the Southeast Asian herb kratom after it was banned in 2017 due to the announcement of a federal ban that never moved forward.

The Smithsonian’s Only Botanical Illustrator Transforms Science into Stunning Works of Art. Smithsonian Magazine. April 11, 2023. As the first and only botanical illustrator at the National Museum of Natural History, Alice Tangerini has spent more than 50 years recreating 1000 plants, and her eye for detail has led to the discovery of new species.

Good Medicine Exhibit Is a Look into Indigenous Healers and Medicine. Alaska’s News Source. April 10, 2023. The Anchorage Museum is hosting an exhibit that shares multiple aspects of traditional healing from the Indigenous people of the area, including spiritual practices, herbal medicine, and community connection.

Ancient Humans Had Drug-Fuelled ‘Cave Raves’ 3,000 Years Ago. The Telegraph. April 6, 2023. Analysis of strands of human hair show the first evidence of plant-based hallucinogen use in Europe, as tests indicated the presence of the alkaloids atropine, scopolamine and ephedrine.

Here's Why ‘Natural’ Matters in Functional Food and Bev. Supermarket News. April 5, 2023. Increasingly savvy consumers are paying closer attention to product labels and increasingly seek out botanical and plant-based ingredients for their functional benefits.

Pet Owners Increasingly Look to CBD as an Alternative to Traditional Medicine. March 30, 2023. Monterey County Now. With the stigma around cannabinoids decreasing and the market for pet supplements increasing, pet owners are sharing anecdotal evidence about the benefits of CBD use for their animals.

500-Year-Old Medicine Container Has Been Revealed to Contain Herbal Medicines. Heritage Daily. February 19, 2023. Chemical analysis of a cattle horn container discovered in a rock shelter in the Langkloof mountains of South Africa indicated that the horn likely held medicinal plants valued by the Khoi and San peoples.

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Community and Industry Releases
Literature Review: CBD Beneficial for Treating Insomnia. NORML. April 6, 2023.

New Video Guide to Help Users Search OMA. AOAC International. April 5, 2023.

Rainforest Alliance Tools for Deforestation-free Supply Chains. Rainforest Alliance. April 5, 2023.

AHPA Updates 10 Entries to the Online Botanical Safety Handbook 2nd Ed. in First 2023 Release. American Herbal Products Association. April 3, 2023.

Award-Winning Architects to Lead Major Cincinnati-based Project. Lloyd Library. April 3, 2023.

FDA Must Prioritize Supplements, Facilitate Stronger Collaboration and Improved Communication. Council for Responsible Nutrition. March 31, 2023.

17th Young Researchers’ Workshop 2023. Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research. March 31, 2023.

Utah: Governor Signs Bill Establishing State-Sponsored Cannabis Research Program. NORML. March 30, 2023.

Professor Suzanne Simard Awarded Kew International Medal for ‘Invaluable Work and Devotion’ Championing Biodiversity in Forests. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. March 30, 2023.

AOAC Seeks Editorial Board Members. AOAC International. March 29, 2023.

NYBG Scientists and International Partners Document How Plants Are Used in Centuries-old ‘Weather Magic’ Practices on Islands in the Southwestern Pacific Nation of Vanuatu. New York Botanical Garden. March 29, 2023.

Looking Back at 2022: AANP Year in Review. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. March 27, 2023.

Herb Hub Expansion Will Support Agroforestry Producers. Rural Action. March 27, 2023.

FDA Works to Further Improve Nutrition, Reduce Diet-Related Chronic Disease with Dietary Guidance Statements on Food Labels. US Food and Drug Administration. March 24, 2023.

NPA Succeeds in Stopping Colorado Legislative Proposal Restricting Access to Supplements. Natural Products Association. March 23, 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.
SupplySide East. Secaucus, New Jersey. April 18–19, 2023.

International Conference on the Science of Botanicals. Oxford, Mississippi. April 24–27, 2023.

9th International Mediterranean Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Ankara, Turkey. May 3–5, 2023.

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

Vitafoods Europe. Geneva, Switzerland and Online. May 9–11, 2023.

More event listings can be found on ABC’s website.
Herbal IQ
In Ayurvedic practice, this botanical was revered by the goddess Lakshmi and frequently is prescribed for age-related conditions and is thought to reduce stress and increase vitality. Learn more here.