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ABC Announces Peruvian Amazon and Andes Ethnobotany Ecotour

April 28-30: SupplySide East. Secaucus, NJ.
Manufacturers, marketers and formulators of dietary supplements, foods and cosmeceuticals come to SupplySide East to source healthy ingredients and manufacturing services, learn about the latest ingredient innovation and supporting science, and stay ahead of healthy-product trends. ABC's Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal will present a speech titled "Issues and Trends in the Herbal Marketplace," which will provide information concerning new challanges, costs, and opportunities in the changing herbal market. For more information please visit the SSE Web site:

May 30-June 1: World Tea Expo.  Las Vegas, NV.
Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, will present "The Impact of Stevia and Alternatives to Flavoring/Sweetening" as part of the expo's Executive and Technical Series. The presentation provides an understanding of the role of Stevia as a functional tea ingredient, its properties, and some of the regulatory challenges surrounding its use. The World Tea Expo is the largest trade-only conference in the world showcasing tea and related products. The goal is to add value to the rapidly growing tea industry by providing a true global marketplace for commerce and education. For more information and registration, and for exhibit space reservation, please visit

As you begin to plan trips for summer vacation, the American Botanical Council invites you to stop by our headquarters in Austin, Texas to take a short tour of our herb gardens. While we have a virtual tour online of the gardens, it pales in comparison to viewing each plant up-close. We enjoy hearing from and meeting our members whenever possible.

Speaking of travel, ABC has announced its annual ethnobotany ecotour to the Peruvian Amazon and Andes, including the ancient mountaintop city of Machu Picchu, from September 26 to October 5. This promises to be a great learning experience and we encourage our members to make their reservations early! Please see story below.

This month's HerbalEGram contains an update concerning the Food and Drug Administration's procedures for notification of New Dietary Ingredients. Also, a new study has found that the risk of herb and drug interactions is low. You can read more about these stories below.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the American Botanical Council and its nonprofit educational mission.


The Staff of the American Botanical Council


HerbalGram 78 will be available after May 1st. Below are titles of feature stories in the new issue:

Doctrine of Signatures through Two Millennia
By Bradley C. Bennett, PhD

According to the widely-cited and somewhat controversial theory of Doctrine of Signatures, certain physical attributes of plants may serve as signs of how they can be used medicinally. This article describes the history of the Doctrine of Signatures theory, including its major historic proponents and critics. The author suggests that there may be some value in reevaluating the Doctrine of Signatures theory, particularly in light of its usefulness as a mnemonic device of past cultures.

Kampo: From Old Wisdom Comes New Knowledge
By Gregory A. Plotnikoff with Kenji Watanabe and Fumiko Yashiro

Japan’s herbal medicine tradition, known as Kampo, includes over 100 multi-herb formulas regulated by the government as pharmaceutical preparations. Such herbal formulas are usually prescribed by conventional physicians, following physical examination procedures unique to Asian medicine or Kampo practice. This article explores the history and foundations of Kampo, its current practice and research in Japan, and its burgeoning recognition and initial acceptance in the United States and other Western countries.

Additional articles from previous issues are available at the online HerbalGram Issue List.

Media Watch

We tested the links of the articles below just prior to publication to ensure that they were still live. However, various publications disable links at different times and we are not responsible for the longevity of links for these articles.

Potential for Harm in Dietary Supplements
Adverse reactions to herbal drugs or supplements are rarely researched by consumers and infrequently reported. A few Letters to the Editor criticizing the author’s statements about the safety and regulation of supplements and homeopathic remedies were published on April 15, 2008, in addition to a correction to a factual error about the main ingredient of COLD-fX, which appeared on April 14.
Brody, Jane E. Potential for Harm in Dietary Supplements. New York Times. April 8, 2008.

‘Happy Tree’ Yields a Cancer-Fighting Drug
After successful trials on mice, researchers are ready to start human trials for a drug made from the Chinese ‘happy tree’ (Camptotheca), which may treat cancer.
Fayerman, Pamela. ‘Happy Tree” Yields a Cancer-Fighting Drug. Vancouver Sun. March 5, 2008.

Winter’s Cheerleader, Yelling for Spring
Different varieties of witch hazel are as beautiful in their early winter bloom as they are useful for skin ailments.
Raver, Anne. Winter’s Cheerleader, Yelling for Spring. New York Times. February 14, 2008.

A Spoonful of Immunity?
Restaurants are starting to label foods on their menus which may have beneficial nutrients or may boost immunity.
Steinhauer, Jennifer. A Spoonful of Immunity?. New York Times. February 17, 2008.

Ahhh, the Seductive Fragrance of Molecules Under Patent
Patented scents bring olfactory bliss and reduce the effects on the environment by requiring less water, soil depreciation, and plant material.
Burr, Chandler. Ahhh, the Seductive Fragrance of Molecules Under Patent. New York Times. February 23, 2008.

Since ’01, Guarding Species is Harder
A lapse in regulation and stricter classification laws has made it difficult to list new plants and animals on the endangered species list in the US.
Eilperin, Juliet. Since ’01, Guarding Species is Harder. Washington Post. March 23, 2008.

East or West, Yao’s Fans Split on What’s Best
In order to speed up his recovery to play in the Beijing Olympics, Houston Rockets player Yao Ming used Traditional Chinese medicine as well as Western medicine, which worries some American fans who beilieve that TCM is “witchery.”
Jun, Ye and Zhao Rui. East or West, Yao’s Fans Split on What’s Best. China Daily. March 21, 2008.

Travelers in Search of Mexico’s Magic Find Town of Witches and Warlocks
Herbs are used in rituals to cleanse the soul, seek revenge, or cure ailments. 
McKinley, James C. Jr. Travelers in Search of Mexico’s Magic Find Town of Witches and Warlocks. New York Times. March 28, 2008.

Chinese Remedies Can Take Away Pain
An acupuncturist turned herbalist in the UK uses traditional Chinese medicine to treat skin conditions and creates specialized treatments for each individual.  
Stelfox, Hilarie. Chinese Remedies Can Take Away Pain. Huddersfield Daily Examiner. March 19, 2008.

Life Without Sugar
The natural sugar substitute Stevia is gaining in popularity, but still has its detractors. A list of other natural sweeteners with descriptions of their nutritional benefits is also included. 
Deardorff, Julie. Life Without Sugar. Chicago Tribune. March 9, 2008.

Free Tests on Mercury in Herbal Medicines
Residents of Taipei, Taiwan can have their herbal medicines tested for mercury and heavy metals for free by the Department of Health for a limited time.
Free Tests on Mercury in Herbal Medicines. China Post. March 18, 2008.

Uganda: Health Tourism, the Latest Craze
Facing rising costs in insurance and declining faith in “modern” medicine, tourists seek trips that provide cheaper health benefits.
Annat, Mariam. Uganda: Health Tourism, the Latest Craze. March 17, 2008.

The Fur and Feathers Medicine Cabinet!
Research shows that many animals, from chimpanzees to porcupines, self-medicate using clay, plant roots and leaves to rid themselves of intestinal parasites as well as diseases such as malaria.
Balachandran, Kamala. The Fur and Feathers Medicine Cabinet! Deccan Herald. March 14, 2008.

Negros Oriental Revives Herbal Medicine Project
A government-funded organic herbal garden project will be revived in the Philippines after a ten-year absence.
Nessia, Rachelle. Negros Oriental Revives Herbal Medicine Project. Philippine Information Agency. March 14, 2008.

SFDA Exposes 25 Illegal Drug Selling Websites
The Chinese State Food and Drug Administration has identified 25 websites that have sold or provided information for fake over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies.
SFDA Exposes 25 Illegal Drug Selling Websites. China Tech News. March 20, 2008.

Mayan Human Sacrifices Were Painted Blue
The last ingredient in a Maya blue die used for human sacrifices, pottery and medicinal reasons has been identified as copal, a tree resin.
Mayan Human Sacrifices Were Painted Blue. Vancouver Sun. February 28, 2008.

This Green Fairy Has a Magical Touch
In addition to traditional wormwood, new absinthe producers are including hyssop, lemon balm, fennel, anise, star anise, and petite wormwood in their recipes.
Sasvari, Joanne. This Green Fairy Has a Magical Touch. Vancouver Sun. February 28, 2008.

Amazon’s ‘Forest Peoples’ Seek a Role in Striking Global Climate Agreements
People from 11 countries with a vested interest in the Amazon discussed ways that indigenous groups and others might be paid to safeguard the rainforest by wealthier nations.
Barrionuevo, Alexei. Amazon’s ‘Forest Peoples’ Seek a Role in Striking Global Climate Agreements. New York Times. April 6, 2008.


The following are just a few of the upcoming events that you will find listed on ABC’s Event Calendar.

April 16-19: The 31st Annual Conference of the Society for Ethnobiology. Fayetteville, AR.

April 17: Nutrition Capital Network Investor Meeting. New York, NY.

April 20-24: The 10th International Symposium on Flower Bulbs and Herbaceous Perennials. Lisse, Netherlands.

April 26-27: Weaving Herbs into Your Nursing PracticeTM. East Meredith, NY.

April 28-30: SupplySide East. Secaucus, NJ.

May 6-8: DCAT’s Nutrition & Health Forum 2008: Working in Today’s Regulatory Environment. Palm Springs, CA.

May 6-8: Vitafoods International 2008. Geneva Palexop, Switzerland.

May 8: The Workshop: CRN’s Day of Science. Arlington, VA.

May 9-10: Natural Therapies & Natural Health Expo. Auckland, New Zealand.

May 30-June 1: World Tea Expo.  Las Vegas, NV.


The current HerbClip bin was released on April 15, 2008. Two samples have been made available online to all members:

Clinical Trials Include a Number of Plant-Derived Compounds

Intravenous Infusion of Ginkgo Extract Increases Blood Flow to the Heart

ABC members at the Academic level and higher can access all 15 HerbClips just released by visiting the HerbClip Homepage.

ABC's Individual members can upgrade membership to the Academic level to access all HerbClips.

The HerbClip Educational Mailing Service is published twice monthly and provides printed copies of reviews/summaries along with the original articles (in most cases). This unique educational benefit is available at the Sponsor Member level and for HerbClip Service members. For more information, please contact ABC’s Membership Department by email or by phone at 512-926-4900.