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He Huan Hua 2
He Huan Hua (Albizia julibrissin), an herb
commonly used in TCM, which is experiencing a
global rise in herb prices. ©2011 Thomas Tsay

Though responsible for numerous innovations, the pharmaceutical industry's longstanding profit-centered business model has placed inadequate focus on the global disease burden. An article in this issue of HerbalEGram profiles the efforts of plant-based nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies that are doing their part to change this and improve worldwide public health.

An additional article in this issue discusses the rising prices of herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the various reasons behind these price increases, and what can be expected of TCM herb prices in the future.

Another e-publication of the American Botanical Council, HerbClip, has recently published a review of the largest Echinacea trial to date. ABC has made this article available for free to all its website visitors.


The Staff of the American Botanical Council


HerbalGram 88 includes an overview of HG88 covermany botanical essential oils' potential to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections. The issue also features a rundown on the growing market for Fair Trade botanicals and organizations that provide certification. Additionally, HerbalGram 88 provides a detailed report on the burgeoning community supported herbal medicine movement, as well as a profile of 17th US poet laureate W.S. Merwin and his Hawaiian palm conservancy.

Featured Book
Herbal Contraindications
©2011 Eclectic Medical Publications

February’s selected book excerpt comes from Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions, plus Herbal Adjuncts with Medicines, written by Francis Brinker, ND, and published in 2010 by Eclectic Medical Publications. This 4th edition continues the trend of the book’s classic first edition (1997) with its extensively detailed and informative discourse on various herbal interactions (both negative and positive) with drugs. An excerpt includes the book’s title page, table of contents, preface, and Appendices E1-E3. All are available here.

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.

Herbal Supplement Sales to Hit $93.15 Billion by 2015. 1-13-11. A new report by Global Industry Analysts estimates that sales of herbal supplements will reach almost $10 billion within 4 years due to increased consumer confidence.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine on the Rise. WebMD. 2-1-11. According to a recently published study, the number of Americans using CAM increased by 14% throughout the last decade.

300% Medical Marijuana Tax. Tucson Citizen. 1-27-11. Unlike efforts in Arizona to have medical marijuana taxed reasonably to bring the state revenue, a recent attempt to tax it by 300% would put the substance out of reach for many patients.

Cancer Center Partners with Acupuncture College. LA Weekly. 1-26-11. One of the country's oldest acupuncture schools will soon be offering patients at the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center alternative treatments like acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Swiss Recognize Alternative Medicine. New Scientist. 1-25-11. After a 2009 referendum, Switzerland's government recently announced that federally-supported health insurance must cover 5 kinds of complementary and alternative medicine, including herbal treatments.

Peppermint Oil for Irritable Bowel. New York Times. 1-21-11. Peppermint oil has been shown to reduce symptoms of IBS more than a placebo, and NCCAM recommends that consumers take the herb in coated-capsule form.

Canadian Herbal Remedy Wants to be Approved for Kids. Time. 1-18-11. The manufacturer of COLD-FX is currently recruiting 500 child participants for a study on the North American ginseng product's efficacy in persons younger than 12 years.

Shop Infuses Into Coffee the Herbs You'd Get in Tea. Democrat and Chronicle. 1-18-11. A local New York coffee shop offers coffee made from beans encrusted in Chinese herbs that are said to balance coffee's effects on the body.


March 4-6: Acupuncture Southwest Symposium. Austin, TX.

March 10-13: Natural Products Expo West. Anaheim, CA.

April 2-3: Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine. Tempe, AZ.

More event listings are available here.

Recent News
Opium Poppy
Opium Poppy (Papaver
somniferum). ©2011 Donald
Danforth Plant Science Center.

Global Prices of Traditional Chinese Herbs Rising. As a result of several factors, such as the worldwide economic recession, foreign influences, weather events, and changing Chinese market conditions, the prices of herbs used in TCM are steadily rising and show no signs of slowing down.

A Botanical Look at the Changing Face of Drug Discovery and Development. Nonprofit and for-profit companies focused on plant-based drugs are working to address the global disease burden.

Scientists Gain New Insight Into How Opium Poppies Produce Morphine. Information gained from recent research could pave the way for scientists to engineer opium poppies that produce more (or less) morphine.

ABC by the Numbers in 2010. Last year the American Botanical Council realized a number of achievements in its mission to spread science-based herbal medicine information around the world.