In keeping with its mission of providing education using science-based and traditional information on herbs and related ingredients, ABC has recently made available a new online database called Healthy Ingredients. The database currently has 130 overviews of plants and related natural materials that are used in dietary supplements and natural cosmetics. Additional overviews will be added to the database over time. Access to this database is a new benefit for members of ABC at all levels. A few of the overviews are available to the general public, including Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Sandalwood, and Wintergreen. The database can be viewed by clicking on the Healthy Ingredients link located on the left side of ABC's homepage at www.herbalgram.org.
Each overview provides a Standardized Common Name per the respective herb's listing in the American Herbal Products Association's Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition (when available), a Cosmetics, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) name (when available), plant family, full references, and a color photograph. The overviews begin with a short introduction that describes the plant or other ingredient, its native habitat, where it is currently grown, and what plant part or extract is used in commerce. This is followed by a section on the history and cultural significance of the ingredient, which includes internal and external uses, both historical and present, and any notable history (e.g., if it were traded on the Spice Road, used in ceremonies or rituals, or found in Egyptian tombs). Modern research is also included, but it is limited mainly to human clinical studies on the internal and external uses of the item. Occasionally, if there are no clinical studies, in vitro or in vivo studies are mentioned if they are especially significant. Frequently, at least with the ingredients completed thus far, no clinical studies have been located. ABC will check the scientific literature on a regular basis and update this section when warranted. The final section of each overview addresses the future outlook of the ingredient. This section attempts to synthesize the commercial production, market statistics, sustainable growth and harvesting, and any other factor that might influence the future of each item. For some of the ingredients, especially those that are relatively new to the market, little used, or obscure for some other reason, there is little or no information currently available regarding their future outlook. This section will also be updated as information becomes available.
Healthy Ingredients is available for licensing as Web site content. The information is written in consumer-friendly language and is appropriate for anyone interested in educating the public on herbal dietary supplements and natural cosmetic ingredients. This includes, but is not limited to manufacturers, distributors, multilevel companies, online commerce sites, and educational organizations. The overviews will be updated on a regular basis, and ABC expects to have expanded versions for most of the overviews online by the end of 2005.
Since there are many ingredients in commerce that are not included in the database at this time, for a small fee ABC can write overviews of specific ingredients for companies or individuals who request them. This is an opportunity for companies to get information about their ingredients published. For more information on licensing Healthy Ingredients as Web content or having an overview on a specific herb written, contact Wayne Silverman, PhD, at 512/926-4900 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 512/926-4900end_of_the_skype_highlighting ext. 120 or the Development Department.
— Gayle Engels