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By Mathias Schmidt, PhD
On June 11, 2014, the market status of German kava-containing products was restored after an administrative court ruled that the 2002 "ban" by the German drug regulatory body BfArM was unfounded. Medicinal plant specialist Dr. Mathias Schmidt offers a comprehensive overview of past and present legal and regulatory actions for kava products in Germany, including BfArM's recent appeal of the court's decision. Read more>>

By Tyler Smith
Mehmet Oz, MD, was criticized for his role in promoting weight-loss products with limited safety and/or efficacy data at a recent Senate hearing on deceptive weight-loss ads. Natural products industry representatives also served as witnesses, including Council for Responsible Nutrition President and CEO Steve Mister, who called for increased federal enforcement of existing regulations and voluntary support of industry self-regulatory programs. Read more>>

By ABC Staff
In June, the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program published the first issue of its "Botanical Adulterants Monitor" newsletter, which will provide free-access information on the prevention and detection of accidental and/or intentional product adulteration. Read more>>

By Hannah Bauman
As part of ABC's internship program with local universities, education coordinator Jenny Perez guides dietetic and pharmacy students through their rotations, instilling in them an appreciation for plant-based medicine and natural healing; interns then incorporate this knowledge into their final "Food as Medicine" or "Garden Apothecary" presentations. Read more>>

Piper methysticum

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Food as Medicine handout

Featured Book
Return to the Brain of Eden: Restoring the Connection Between Neurochemistry and Consciousness was written by Tony Wright and Graham Gynn and published in 2014 by Inner Traditions. The featured excerpt includes the book’s table of contents, foreword, and a section titled “Chemicals in Plants.”

Presenting their unique perspective on the co-evolution of humans and the environment, the authors of Return to the Brain of Eden take 20 years of brain research and draw conclusions on the influence of the prehistoric human diet on modern consciousness. The book contains numerous illustrated figures, and chapter topics include how people use their minds today, how they may have used them in the past, and the role plant biochemistry plays in human brain expansion. The authors seek to reestablish humanity’s connection with the world of plants and explain the benefits of restoring a “brain of Eden” to a population that has lost touch with what the brain can achieve.

In his foreword to the book, Dennis McKenna, PhD, briefly summarizes the complex hypothesis put forward by the authors. Changes in the dietary patterns … put an end to the rapid evolution of the human brain and triggered its devolution,” he explains, “ultimately resulting in the damaged human neural architecture that we suffer from today and the myriad mental and physical deficits that are the legacy of our biological ‘fall from grace.’

Available for purchase on the publisher’s website.
Media Watch

We have tested the following article links prior to publication; however, some news organizations remove stories and disable links at various times. ABC sends links to these articles as an educational service, but cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in them.

France Adopts 60% of BELFRIT List for Safe Botanicals. NutraIngredients. 7-7-14. In a step toward regulation harmonization, French officials will approve approximately 600 botanicals shown to be safe and effective based on the BELFRIT List.

China Redrafting Regulatory Process for Dietary Supplements
. Nutritional Outlook. 7-7-14. A proposed update to China’s Food Safety Law aims to simplify the current dietary supplement regulatory environment and attract international investors.

Scientists Find How Magic Mushrooms Alter the Mind
. Reuters. 7-3-14. The psychoactive compound psilocybin, which is currently being studied as a treatment for severe depression, has been shown to activate the brain’s emotion and memory centers.

Rambutan: The Next Popular Super Fruit?
 Fox News. 7-2-14. Traditionally used to treat dysentery, the Southeast Asian fruit rambutan has shown promising anti-cancer and anti-obesity effects in preliminary studies.

Got Milkweed? One Man’s Research Efforts into Plant Biodiversity
. Washington Post. 7-2-14. Former Missouri Botanical Garden President Peter Raven has begun cataloging cultivated US plants: a monumental task with “untold scientific and horticultural value.”

Black Tea Shows Cholesterol-Busting Potential: Meta-Analysis
. NutraIngredients-USA. 6-18-14. A recent review of 10 randomized human trials found that black tea can significantly reduce levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol.

Tiger Woods Hopes to Erase the Supplements Stigma
. New York Times. 6-28-14. By sponsoring Tiger Woods, MusclePharm is looking to “take the scariness out of” sports supplements and improve the sector’s image.

Tequila Nation: Mexico Reckons with Its Complicated Spirit
. NPR. 6-24-14. Tequila producers in Mexico are embracing sustainable practices and increasingly considering the environmental impact of blue agave farming.

July 20: Stevia Global Summit. New Delhi, India.

August 14-17: 7th Annual Women's Herbal Trip. Rock Island, Wisconsin.

September 5-7: Botanica2014. Dublin, Ireland.

More event listings can be found on ABC's website.

Herbal IQ

According to the National Confectioners Association, July 7 was National Chocolate Day. Can you name some of the health-promoting benefits of dark chocolate? Find the answer here!