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The American Botanical Council recently partnered with the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and the University of Mississippi's National Center for Natural Products Research to address the problem of botanical ingredient adulteration. An article in this issue of HerbalEGram discusses why the program is needed, as well as its activities and goals.

Amidst discouraging results from several recent dietary supplement studies and their exaggerated coverage by national media outlets, an article in this issue takes a closer look at the details of the research and features input from nutrition and science experts in the dietary supplements industry. Another article in this issue presents the Medicinal Plant Names Index, a new and important project from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

On Tuesday, ABC entered its 24th year as an educational nonprofit providing the public with information on medicinal plants. HerbalEGram readers are invited to read ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal's reflection on ABC's history and future directions. In late October, Blumenthal spoke on the integrity of botanical research at the Natural Health Research Institute's 6th Annual Scientific Symposium, which Natural Products Insider discussed in a recent story.



The American Botanical Council


HerbalGram 91, now available onlineHG91coverincludes a beautiful feature on the Medieval Arabic Manuscript, Paris Kitâb al-Diryâq—or Book of Theriac. This issue's second feature story discusses the reproducible safety and efficacy of of botanical ingredients meeting certain specifications. Additional articles include an analysis of the cannabis webpage recently added to the National Cancer Institute's website, as well as a guest editorial on the future state of the dietary supplements industry.

Featured Book

A Clinical Materia MedicaNovember’s featured book excerpt comes from A Clinical Materia Medica: 120 Herbs in Western Use, written by clinician and lecturer Jeremy Ross. Published by Greenfields Press in 2010, this is the second book of the author’s Combining Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine series. Ross integrates facts and techniques from Western herbalism, Chinese medicine, and modern pharmacology for each of the book’s 120 herb guides. The excerpt selected for readers of HerbalEGram includes the book’s table of contents, foreword, and chapter on the genus Plantago.

© Jeremy Ross.

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.

California Medical Association Wants Marijuana Legalized. ABC News. 10-16-11. Becoming the first statewide medical association to adopt such a policy, the CMA cited the federal regulatory atmosphere's stifling of valuable medical research.

Doctors Refuse to Authorize Pot Use. Postmedia News. 10-30-11. Calling for more research on safety and efficacy, many Canadian doctors will not sign the documentation necessary to grant patients legal access to cannabis.

Thyroid Support "Supplements" May Be Risky. WebMD Health News. 10-28-11. Mayo Clinic researchers tested 10 herbal and dietary supplements labeled as "thyroid support" and found that 9 contained prescription drug ingredients.

Steve Jobs and Alternative Cancer Care. CNN. 10-17-11. As the nation speculates that Apple's CEO used alternative medicine to treat his cancer, Dr. Andrew Weil provides science-based information on integrative strategies for cancer treatment.

Why Unilever Canned €20 Million Hoodia Project. NutraIngredients. 10-18-11. A new study shows that participants taking the South African succulent hoodia did not have increased weight loss, but did experience significant adverse events.

Ginger May Prove Hot Stuff for Weight Loss. Scotland on Sunday. 10-15-11. Scottish researchers found that mice who were fed ginger every day gained less weight than those who weren't, despite both groups' high-fat diets.

Spring Snowfall Took Toll on Wisconsin's Ginseng Roots. Green Bay Press Gazette. 10-11-11. Last spring's snowstorm in the state that produces 95% of the country's ginseng is causing shortages and higher prices.

Herbal Remedies Trump Pain Drugs for Osteoarthritis Relief. La Jolla Light. A recent study in India found that turmeric and boswellia were better at improving and eliminating participants' pain.


November 6-11: 12th Annual The Science and Clinical Application of Integrative Holistic Medicine. St. Petersburg, FL.

November 10-12: 8th International Society for Integrative Oncology Conference. Cleveland, OH.

November 30-December 2: Microscopic Identification of Botanicals. College Park, MD.

More event listings are available on ABC's website

Recent News

Nonprofit Collaboration Addresses Adulteration of Botanical Dietary Ingredients. A new partnership among the American Botanical Council, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and the University of Mississippi's National Center for Natural Products Research will serve as an authoritative source of information on botanical adulterants.

A Closer Look at Discouraging Results from Dietary Supplement Studies. The media coverage of results from recent research on dietary supplements exaggerates what some nutrition and scientific experts say is nothing to cause such sweeping concern.

The Medicinal Plant Names Index. A new project from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, seeks to map the common and accepted scientific names, as well as synonyms, of approximately 5,000 medicinal plants.