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kava rhizome and root Rhizome and underground root of kava
(Piper methysticum). ©2011 Mathias Schmidt

Bans on the once popular anti-anxiety herb kava have persisted for almost a decade. As discussed in an article in this month's issue of HerbalEGram, leading kava experts recently called for its safe reintroduction into the global market, and international parties are responding to the experts' recommendations.

An additional article in this issue discusses a recent announcement by NSF International that it will be establishing the "first American national standard" for natural personal care products, and includes reaction from the Natural Products Association, which established its own standard years ago. This issue's remaining article covers the traditions and phenomena surrounding possible lunar effects on plants.

ABC recently held its annual Celebration ceremony, during which it presented its Excellence Awards to 3 very deserving recipients. Two weeks later, ABC hosted a screening of the documentary The Meaning of Tea at its headquarters in Austin, TX.


The Staff of the American Botanical Council


HerbalGram 83 features a review of the harvest and use of the medicinal fungusHG83 cover cordyceps. This issue also covers some of the events being held throughout 2009 at the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in honor of its 250th anniversary. ABC’s own gardens are profiled as well, particularly ABC’s environmentally-friendly gardening practices and garden-related community outreach programs. Additionally, this issue contains an article on the history of Greco-Arabic medicine and efforts underway to revitalize traditional herbal medicine in the Middle East.

Featured Book

Romm Book Cover

April’s selected book excerpt comes from the winner of ABC's 2011 James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award: Botanical Medicine for Women's Health, written by Aviva Romm, MD, and published in 2010 by Churchill Livingstone. The excerpt includes the book’s title page, foreword, preface, table of contents, and sections on chronic pelvic pain and urinary complaints. All are available here.


©2011 Churchill Livingstone

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.

An Herbal Alternative to Creams for Pale Skin. New York Times. 3-28-11. Researchers in Taiwan have found that a Chinese herb appears to be effective and safer than harsh skin lightening creams.

Where Marijuana Gets You Higher EducationTIME. 3-28-11. The "first cannabis college" in the United States is teaching thousands of students about contributing to a professional, profit generating medical marijuana industry.

Putting Traditional Chinese Medicine to the Test. Wall Street Journal. 3-28-11. Using a program based on bioinformatics, researchers in Australia are investigating the efficacy of hundreds of TCM herbs and aim to compile a database for healthcare providers.

New Test for Black Cohosh Quality Helpful. NutraIngredients. 3-21-11. Researchers report that their recently published test method for identifying adulterants in black cohosh products could help ensure quality.

China Moves to Control Quality of Raw Materials for Dietary Supplements. Xinhua. 3-18-11. The Chinese government recently informed manufacturers that it soon will be enforcing tighter regulations on the qualifications of suppliers and supplier production.

Solving a TCM Mystery. e!Science News. 3-3-11. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered the action mechanisms of the herb thunder god vine, a breakthrough that they say might enable the development of new anti-cancer drugs.

Gardening Without Fences. Los Angeles Times. 3-2-11. An innovative project at a Southern California hospital features sections based on 4 pillars of health and includes a medicinal herb garden enjoyed by the surrounding neighborhood.

Zimbabweans Turn to Indigenous Medicine. Inter Press Service. 2-28-11. As Zimbabwe's government admits it is running out of medicines like morphine, local people are increasingly depending on traditional herbal remedies.


November 11-13, 2009: SupplySide West. Las Vegas, NV 

November 18, 2009: SteviaWorld Europe. Frankfurt, Germany.

February 25-27, 2010: Integrative Healthcare Symposium. New York, NY. Register before November 20 to receive a $100 discount. ABC members can enter 100131 when registering for an additional 15% off.


Recent News

Global Response to Kava Reintroduction Proposal. Various international parties are responding to leading kava experts' call to reintroduce the anti-anxiety herb into the global market, as well as the experts' recommendations for how to do so.

Full Moon
Full moon behind European spruce
(Picea abies). ©2011 E. Zürcher

NSF and NPA in Conflict over Standards for Natural Personal Care Products. Nonprofit NSF International recently announced that it is creating the "first American national standard" for natural personal care products, 3 years after the Natural Products Association established its own standard and seal.

Plants and the Moon: Traditions and Phenomena. As a supplement to last year's HerbalGram article discussing the moon's possible influence on botanicals, this piece examines the traditional practices and modern research surrounding this interesting force. 

ABC Announces Recipients of Annual Duke, Farnsworth, and Tyler Excellence Awards. At its annual Celebration ceremony in March, ABC presented its 3 awards to Aviva Romm, MD, Professor A. Douglas Kinghorn, PhD, and New Chapter Inc.