FDA Warns Companies Promoting Herbal 'Cures' for Ebola Virus
By Tyler Smith
The day after the first case of Ebola was confirmed in the United States, the World Health Organization reported that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now claimed more than 3,000 lives. Although there are no approved treatments for the virus, two American aid workers have received an experimental treatment known as ZMapp™, a biosynthetic drug produced in the leaves of a low-nicotine species of tobacco. Some companies have purported plant-based and non-herbal Ebola "cures," which led to recent action by the US Food and Drug Administration. Read more>>
American Society of Pharmacognosy Submits Public Comments
By Ash Lindstrom
Earlier this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued new guidance for determining patent eligibility. The 2014 guidance, intended to align with two recent Supreme Court decisions, specifies that products submitted for patent protection must be "markedly different" from what exists in nature, thereby restricting the patent eligibility of isolated natural product chemicals. Read more>>
By Hannah Bauman
Founded in 1864, the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) celebrates a long history of education, reform, and advocacy for the practice of herbal medicine in the United Kingdom. Throughout its existence, NIMH has championed fair legislation, faced dwindling numbers during two World Wars, and offered Europe's first four-year herbal medicine degree course. This October, NIMH marks its 150th anniversary during its annual conference in Nottingham, England. Read more>>
Cinnamon Supplementation in Women with PCOS
ABC Food as Medicine Program Introduces Interns to Natural Healing
Phytomedicine's New Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Oz Senate Hearing
Part foraging guide, part memoir, and part recipe book, The Wild Wisdom of Weeds examines 13 common “garden pests” found all over the world. Author Katrina Blair sees these weeds as gifts rather than annoyances and praises them for their health benefits, medicinal qualities, and hardiness.
Blair, the founder of Turtle Lake Refuge outside Durango, Colorado, opens the book by describing how her affinity for wild foods began. She recalls several months spent foraging in the woods as a teenager as well as the founding of Turtle Lake Refuge. In addition, she writes about the overlooked potential of common wild plants and gives tips for safe, responsible harvesting.
In the second part of the book, Blair celebrates the beauty and utility of the “Wild Thirteen”: amaranth, chickweed, clover, dandelion, dock, grass, knotweed, lambsquarter, mallow, mustard, plantain, purslane, and thistle. Each plant gets an entire chapter that includes detailed descriptions and color photos, a brief botanical history, edible uses, medicinal uses, and raw recipes for both the kitchen and the medicine cabinet.
The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is available for purchase from the publisher.
Demand for Ginseng Boosts Prices, Tempts Poachers. Wall Street Journal. 9-17-14. Increasing demand from China has raised the market price of American ginseng, making it a lucrative operation for both legal and illegal harvesters.
Wild Berry Extract May Strengthen Effectiveness of Pancreatic Cancer Drug. Science Daily. 9-17-14. An in vitro study shows that an extract of wild chokeberry in combination with a conventional pancreatic cancer treatment may increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy.
Baobab Holds Out Promise for Malawi’s Farmers and Forests. The Guardian. 9-17-14. With its high vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron content, the baobab fruit’s growing popularity brings a financial boost to communities in Malawi.
Making Plant Taxonomy Freely Accessible. The Guardian. 9-13-14. Kew Gardens in England has created eMonocot, a global online resource that catalogs the taxonomy of monocot plants, which comprise roughly one-fifth of all flowering plants.
New Look for Supplement Analytical Methods Site. Natural Products Insider. 9-26-14. The Office of Dietary Supplements has redesigned its Dietary Supplement Analytical Methods and Reference Materials website, including an enhanced search function.
Sorry Hipsters, That Organic Kale Is a Genetically Modified Food. Smithsonian. 9-10-14. Kale is just one example of how humans have been “genetically modifying” crops and livestock for millennia through selective breeding.
Growing the Next Generation of Botanical Pioneers. National Geographic. 9-30-14. As universities continue to eliminate botany programs, some worry that budding plant scientists won’t be adequately equipped for future challenges.
States Should Increase Regulation of Dietary Supplements, Temple Study Finds. Temple University News. 9-24-14. A study concludes that state governments should increase regulation of dietary supplements to protect consumers, particularly adolescents.
US Marshals Seize Botanical Substance Kratom from Southern California Facility. Press release from the US Food and Drug Administration. 9-25-14.
Study: Legal Marijuana Market Would Yield Over $3 Billion In Annual Tax Revenue. Press release from NORML. 9-25-14.
AHPA-ERB Foundation Forms The American Ginseng Advisory Panel. Article from Natural Products Insider. 9-18-14.
The ‘Hit List’ of Plants to Preserve Diversity for Future Generations. Press release from University of Oxford School of Geography and the Environment. 9-12-14.
AHPA Issues Cannabis Oversight Recommendations for Regulators. Press release from American Herbal Products Association. 9-10-14.
October 6-10: SupplySide West. Las Vegas, Nevada.
October 27-30: 11th International Symposium on Ginseng. Seoul, Korea.
November 6-10: American Herbalists Guild 25th Anniversary Symposium. Pine Mountain, Georgia.
November 17-21: International Congress of Ethnobotany. Cordoba, Spain.
More event listings can be found on ABC's website.