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gardenia fruit
Fruit of gardenia spp., commonly used in traditional Chinese herbal formulas.
©2011 Jasmine Oberste.

An article in this month's issue of HerbalEGram discusses the UK government's recent announcement that herbal practitioners will be licensed, a decision that will ensure that herbal practitioners can continue to dispense traditional herbal medicines to their patients.

An additional article in this issue discusses a recent report documenting one poisoning death related to an unknown dietary supplement, which experts say reflects supplements' general safety. Remaining articles cover Phytopharm's recent transfer of rights on Hoodia gordonii and NCCAM's newly released Strategic Plan.

ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal will be delivering the key note address at Garlic Congress 2011 on April 10 in Kyoto, Japan. He will also be speaking at the 10th Annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals, held from April 11-14 in Oxford, MS. Additionally, ABC will be hosting an upcoming fundraiser for the Meaning of Tea project at its headquarters in Austin, TX (date and time TBA).


The Staff of the American Botanical Council


HerbalGram 89 includes a safety review of HG89 coverbitter orange, which Consumer Reports recently dubbed a “dietary supplement to avoid.” The issue also features an overview of Ligusticum species indigenous to North America, with emphasis on ethnobotanical uses and proposed sustainable wild-harvesting practices. Additionally, HerbalGram 89 presents articles on The Plant List—the first comprehensive inventory of most known plant species—and on ancient cancer-fighting herbal beverages.


Featured Book


March’s selected book excerpt comes from African Herbal Pharmacopoeia, written by the Association for African Medicinal Plants Standards (AAMPS), edited by Thomas Brendler, Kobus Eloff, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, and Denzil Phillips, and published in 2010 by Graphic Press LTD. This book is the first successful attempt at composing an African herbal pharmacopeia. The excerpt includes the book’s title page, table of contents, foreword, and a detailed monograph on gum Arabic tree (Acacia senegal). All are available here.

©2011 Graphic Press Ltd.

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.

Study Finds Black Cohosh Safe For Liver. Reuters. 1-18-11. Researchers analyzing 5 clinical trials on a major brand of black cohosh have concluded that the product did not harm women's livers.

Seed Bank Victim of Egyptian Unrest. Care2. 2-10-11. During the looting and protesting of Egypt's largely peaceful revolution, an important seed bank housing medicinal plants was damaged.

Efforts in California to Have Acupuncture Covered by Insurance. Xinhua. 2-26-11. A new bill in the state legislature aims to require health insurance companies to cover patients' acupuncture costs.

Digging Up Proof of Slaves' Botanical Experiments. The Diamondback. 2-24-11. Anthropologists recently uncovered evidence at a former plantation greenhouse that shows slaves cultivated medicinal plants.

$3 Million to Study Broccoli and Breast Cancer. Arizona Cancer Center. 2-23-11. A large NIH grant will enable researchers to investigate if a broccoli compound can enhance a common breast cancer drug.

Synthetic Geranium Raising Industry Red Flags. NutraIngredients. 2-22-11. Natural and synthetic herbal extracts are illegally being used as substitutes for banned synthetic geranium.

Naturopath Licensing Worries Some Alternative Healers. Daily Camera. 2-20-11. Many practitioners say a bill to license naturopathic doctors in Colorado will increase public safety, but some remain worried about the legislation.

Biopiracy Leaves Natives Out in the Cold. Inter Press Service. 2-9-11. Researchers extracting taxol from fungi sources in Venezuela reportedly did not follow international intellectual property requirements.



April 11-14: 10th Annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals. Oxford, MS.

April 13-15: CIPAM 2011: The International Congress on Aromatic and Medicinal Plants. Cagliari, Italy.

May 2-4: SupplySide East. Secaucus, NJ. *ABC members can save $50 on registration by using the code ABCw

More event listings are available here.

Recent News

UK Herbalists to be Licensed. Guest columnists discuss the recent announcement that UK herbalists will be statutorily regulated, as well as the development's interesting history.

National Poison Control Center Database Annual Report Reflects Safety of Dietary Supplements. According to some experts, this report's one documented death related to an unknown dietary supplement or homeopathic agent reflects a need for a revised reporting system, as well as the general safety of dietary supplements.

hoodia gordonii
Hoodia gordonii. ©2011 Mathias Schmidt.

Phytopharm Returns Hoodia Gordonii Rights to South African R&D Company
. UK-based Phytopharm recently dropped the South African succulent Hoodia gordonii from its research portfolio after signing a cooperation agreement with the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

NCCAM's New 5-Year Plan: A Real-World Approach to Integration and Health Promotion. NCCAM's new Strategic Plan focuses on symptom management, efficacy and outcomes research, and understanding mechanisms of action.