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TCM in Drawer

Ayurvedic and TCM products, such as Suan Zao Ren
above, are being affected by the EU THMPD. ©2011
Jasmine Oberste.

Much of the concern, criticism, and media attention surrounding the European Union's recently implemented Traditional Herbal Medicinal Product Directive (THMPD) has focused on its impact on Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. An article in this issue of HerbalEGram takes a closer look at the experiences of herbal companies, practitioners, and organizations specializing in these areas.

While most of the European herbal community is focused on the THMPD, India has just implemented its own quality certification plan for Indian traditional medicine products, the requirements of which are outlined in an article in this issue. Additional articles discuss recent research on genetically modified food and the larger GM debate, as well as a project that promotes the traditional collection and use of wild medicinal plants in Central Europe.


the American Botanical Council


HerbalGram 90 features an overview of 


pu-erh tea and its ancient journey along the Southwest Silk Road to Tibet, accompanied by gorgeous, full-color photographs. The issue also includes a review of adaptogenic herbs, from early research conducted in the former USSR to contemporary studies on these “stress vaccines.” In addition, this issue features an update on standard reference materials for the analysis of dietary supplements, as well as HerbalGram’s annual Herb Market Report.

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.

AHPA Says Synthetic Botanicals are Dietary Ingredients. Natural Products INSIDER. 7-29-11. President of the industry trade association said the support for this claim is based on the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act.

Japanese Herb for Hot Flashes Fails in US Trial. Reuters. 7-22-11. Despite wide usage and prescription drug status in Japan, this multi-botanical product improved hot flashes and other symptoms only as much as the placebo.

The Lure of Cocaine, Once Hailed as a Cure-All. New York Times. 7-19-11. A new book explores the interesting history of cocaine, discussing its appearance in a popular "tonic wine" and over-the-counter medicine, as well as Sigmund Freud's relationship with the drug.

Top Price Regulator Issues Ultimatum to Herb Hoarders. Xinhua. 7-18-11. As many speculators in China continue to stockpile herbs—causing the price of TCM products to surge—the government is ordering them to sell their supplies.

Acquiring Patents of Traditional Healing Techniques for Andaman Tribes. The Times of India. 7-16-11. A research center in India is applying for several patents for island native groups in order to preserve their traditions and ensure benefit sharing.

Desert Plants Hold Medicinal Remedies. The National. 7-14-11. Toothpaste containing Salvadora persica has a long history of use within traditional Arabic medicine.

Pepper Plant Compound Targets Cancer Cells. Boston Globe. 7-13-11. Researchers in Boston have found that piperlongumine, which is derived from an Asian pepper plant, blocked tumor growth in mice more than a type of chemotherapy.

University of Tennessee Lab Exploring Nanoparticles. Knoxville News Sentinel. 7-10-11. Researchers are investigating organic nanoparticles for potential uses in sunscreens, cancer screening, and more.

Recent News

THMPD Effects on Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. While the recently implemented EU legislation is affecting some products from traditional systems of medicine, involved parties' views on the causes and extent of impact vary.

Traditional and Wild Collection

Traditional collection of wild plants in
Hungary.©E. Bernath, Corvinus University.
Project implemented through CENTRAL
EUROPE Programme co-financed by ERDF.

India's Quality Certification Plan for AYUSH Products. These extensive regulatory guidelines outline the process that AYUSH manufacturers and companies must follow in order for their products to be certified as safe and unadulterated.

Insecticide from Genetically Modified Corn Found in Fetal Blood Samples. Recent research conducted in Canada contradicts claims that insecticides produced by some GM foods are broken down in the stomach.

Traditional and Wild Medicinal Plant Harvesting Program in Czech Republic and the Republics of Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia. A new project supported by the European Regional Development Fund aims to reduce social and economic disparities through the collection and use of wild plants.