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The March/April issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine features an editorial by ABC Executive Director Mark Blumenthal, in which he discusses evidence in systematic reviews and meta-analyses that supports the benefits of some herbal preparations. You can read the article here.

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Herbalist Michael Moore: A Personal Reflection

May 30-June 1, 2009: ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal will be attending Medicines From the Earth Symposium in Black Mountain, NC to speak about herbal tea benefits and herbal medicine trends.

The recent international outbreaks of H1N1 flu virus (“swine flu”) have elevated health to a leading global priority, and some consumers may be seeking natural treatment options for combating the virus. However, a dietary supplement industry coalition has stated that no scientific data currently supports the use of dietary supplements for the treatment of this disease. Anyone concerned that he or she may have contracted the illness should contact a health professional.

In other news, the US Food and Drug Administration has advised consumers to stop using select Hydroxycut weight loss supplements, which have been associated with reports of liver injury. The United States Pharmacopeia, meanwhile, has canceled the proposed caution statment for its powdered decaffeinated green tea extract monograph.  


The Staff of the American Botanical Council

Media Watch

We have tested the links of the following articles prior to publication; however, some news organizations remove stories and disable links at various times.

Hydroxycut Diet Aids Recalled After Warning. New York Times. 5-1-09. The US FDA claims to have received 23 reports of significant adverse health effects in people who used the popular weight-loss supplement Hydroxycut, which has led the manufacturer to voluntarily recall 14 of the products.

Law on Streamlining Herbal Trade Debated. Khaleej Times. 4-30-09. A United Arab Emirates law would prevent herb stores from developing drugs without governmental approval as well as prevent them from advertising their products as medicines.

Alternative Medicine Regulations Proposed in South Africa. Independent Online. 4-9-09. South African health authorities are proposing to require alternative health providers and products to meet the same requirements as Western traditional medicine, including registering health claims for some common grocery store items.

Swiss Health Insurance Could Cover Alternative Medicine. Swissinfo. 4-9-09. Citizens of Switzerland will soon vote on whether to allow health insurance coverage for alternative medicine, but these services would still have to meet certain requirements before being included on the list of paid-for services.

Researchers Study Green Tea Extract's Effect on Cancers. Tucson Citizen. 4-8-09. Three human clinical trials are being conducted to determine if Polyphenon E, a green tea extract, has a preventative effect on cervical and prostate cancer, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a precursor to lung cancer.

House Dust Yields Clue to Asthma: Roaches. New York Times. 4-6-09. Researchers have discovered that roaches are a major source of asthma for many children, and are now using similar lab models to investigate the effects of various asthma treatments, including a Chinese herbal formula.

As Economy Is Down, Vitamin Sales Are Up. New York Times. 4-4-09. Sales of vitamins and supplements have surged in recent months as sales of some over-the-counter medicines have fallen, suggesting an increased interest in consumer-directed healthcare. 

Parents Ignore Cough Medicine Warnings. HealthNews. 4-4-09. A new study shows that many parents continue to purchase over-the-counter children’s cough and cold medicines despite warnings that they may be unsafe, while a separate study shows that parents are increasingly treating their children with complementary and alternative medicine.


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

May 12-15, 2009: North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Minneapolis, MN.

May 14-15, 2009: Stevia World 2009. Shanghai, China.

July 22-24, 2009: 12th Annual NBJ Summit - "Transformational Partnering in Challenging Times: Orchestrating a Profitable Future." Dana Point, CA. *ABC members receive $200 off: Enter ABC09 when you register.*

Featured Book Excerpt

Mabberley Cover 2

Winner of ABC's 2009 James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award

May's selected book excerpt comes from Mabberley's Plant Book: A Portable Dictionary of Plants, Their Classification and Uses, 3rd ed. by David J. Mabberley, published in 2008. This excerpt contains the first 10 pages of the book, as well as the title page, introduction, book-use instruction, and table of contents. All are available here 

©2009 Cambridge University Press


The current HerbClip bin was released on May 1, 2009. The following samples have been made available online to all members:

Antihypertensive Effects of Sour Tea (Hibiscus) in Patients with Type II Diabetes

Herbal Formula with Butterbur Extract Improves Psychological Outcomes in Somatoform Disorders

ABC members at the Academic level and higher can access all 15 HerbClips just released by visiting the HerbClip homepage. (Be sure to log in.) If you are an Individual Member, gain access to all HerbClips and the HerbMedPro database by upgrading your membership