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Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Noted Author, Professor, and ABC Advisory Board Member, is First Female President of Small Indian Ocean Republic

By Hannah Bauman, HerbalEGram Staff

In June 2015, the small island nation of Mauritius appointed its first woman President. ABC Advisory Board member Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, PhD, is a natural products scientist devoted to exploring the biodiversity available in her native country, and relates her somewhat unconventional road to the role of Commander in Chief. Read more>>

ILSC's Conference Highlights Safety and Benefits of Natural Products

By Erika L. Kurt, LLB, BLC, Guest Contributor

The Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration (ILSC) held a conference in June as part of a UN event series with the theme of "Sustainable Development Healthcare Delivery: Nutraceuticals & Natural Products." As HerbalEGram guest contributor Erika Kurt explains, many presenters focused on TCM-based interventions for common health concerns. Read more>>

By Hannah Bauman and Becky Nichols, ABC Dietetics Intern

Summer staple watermelon hides more than just seeds — which themselves have benefits beyond spitting. Watermelon contains an abundance of two vital bioactive compounds, citrulline and lycopene, which play important roles in the health of the cardiovascular and reproductive systems and in healthy aging. Read more>>

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim ®2014

Citrullus lanatus ®2001

Featured Book
Messages from the Gods: A Guide to the Useful Plants of Belize was written by Michael J. Balick and Rosita Arvigo and published in 2015 by Oxford University Press in conjunction with the New York Botanical Garden. The excerpt includes the table of contents, a section from Part 2: Traditional Healers, Bushmasters, and Their Sacred Realm, and a section from Plants of Belize: Ferns and Fern Allies.

Messages from the Gods 
combines the perspectives of New York Botanical Garden ethnobotanist Michael Balick, PhD, and Belizean health care professional Rosita Arvigo, DN. The text covers three diverse aspects of healing and medicine in this small Central American nation: the people, the practices, and the plants. In an addition unique to many plant guides, Part 3, “Traditional Healers, Bushmasters, and Their Backgrounds,” features the authors’ interviews with healers from around the country, allowing them to explain their philosophies, histories, and practices in their own words. Color photography displays a fraction of the over 3,400 plant species found in Belize. The book is “both a cultural study and a specialized field guide … on the fascinating traditional and contemporary uses of many different native and introduced plants in Belize.”

Messages from the Gods 
is available for purchase on the publisher’s website. This excerpt is reprinted from Messages from the Gods by Michael J. Balick and Rosita Arvigo with permission from Oxford University Press. © The New York Botanical Garden and the National Institute of Culture and History in Belize 2015.
Media Watch

Evidence of Marijuana’s Medical Usefulness MountsNewsweek. July 8, 2015. Medical evidence for marijuana’s efficacy against chronic pain and nausea are reviewed in two studies in the latest issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Why the World Might Be Running Out of Cocoa Farmers
. NPR. July 3, 2015. Poverty, disenfranchisement, and hard physical labor make growing and harvesting cocoa less attractive to a younger generation.

Avocados May Hold the Answer to Beating Leukemia
Oncology Nurse Advisor. July 2, 2015. New research reveals that a lipid in avocados that combats acute myeloid leukemia could significantly increase life expectancy and quality of life for patients with leukemia.

Plant Collections Left in the Cold by Cuts
Nature News. July 1, 2015. Since 1997, more than 100 herbaria in North America have closed due to budget cuts, space restrictions, and lack of interest from institutions.

Discovering the Secrets of Benin’s Forests to Improve Nutrition
The Guardian. July 1, 2015. Better education about the availability of healthy wild edible plants could decrease food insecurity and malnutrition in African countries.

A Lack of Leadership at FDA, the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2015, and a ‘Tenderized’ Industry: Mister’s State of the Union
. NutraIngredients-USA. June 29, 2015. The NY AG affair has “tenderized” the dietary supplements industry in ways that other issues have not, and made it more vulnerable to other legal and regulatory attacks, said Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

Citrus Consumption and Skin Cancer: How Real is the Link?
 Washington Post. June 29, 2015. A startling finding showed an increased chance of skin cancer among subjects who consumed orange and grapefruits, but scientists caution that the results are preliminary.

Power User: A Conversation with NYT Supplements Reporter Anahad O’ConnorNutrition Business Journal. June 29, 2015. Known as the supplement industry’s vocal critic, Anahad O’Connor discusses his history of supplement use and role in reporting the NY AG saga.

Community And Industry Releases

July 25-29: Botany 2015: Science & Plants for People. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

August 27-30: NorthWest Herb Symposium. Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

August 31 - September 2: 1st International Conference on Natural Products for Cancer Prevention & Therapy. Istanbul, Turkey.

October 5-9: SupplySide West. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

November 11-13: American College of Nutrition's 56th Annual Conference. Orlando, Florida, USA.

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

Herbal IQ

Traditionally used as a diuretic and appetite stimulant, this "pesky weed" has a high vitamin and mineral content and makes for a nutritious salad topping. Do you know the name of this common botanical? Find out here!