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Ayahuasca vine
©2018 Chris Kilham


Field Report, Part 2: Ayahuasca Vine Harvesting on the Rio Tamaya in the Peruvian Amazon

By Chris Kilham
In this ABC exclusive, Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham provides a first-hand account of the state of ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) harvesting along the Rio Tamaya in the Peruvian Amazon. In June 2018, Kilham and a small team traveled along the river and interviewed local traders, harvesters, and others to assess the situation. Although the supply of ayahuasca vine appears to be meeting local demand, he explains, ayahuasca’s increasing popularity outside of Peru will likely compound the pressure on wild populations of the vine. Read more >>



Moxie, 'An Acquired Taste,' Acquired by Coca-Cola

By Connor Yearsley
The Coca-Cola Company will acquire Moxie, one of the oldest soda brands in the United States, whose unusual, sweet-bitter flavor is attributed mostly to the presence of gentian (Gentiana spp.) root extract. The acquisition may spark new interest in the soda, which originally was introduced in the late 1800s as a medicinal tonic. To the relief of Moxie lovers, Coca-Cola says it has no plans to change the soda’s taste, which reportedly polarizes drinkers. This article briefly explores the interesting history of this American classic. Read more >>


Fagopyrum esculentum
©2018 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine: Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum; F. tataricum, Polygonaceae)

By Jenny Perez and Hannah Bauman
Contrary to its name, buckwheat is not a member of the cereal grain family (Poaceae) but rather a member of the knotweed family (Polygonaceae). Rich in protein, polyphenols, and minerals, buckwheat is considered a pseudocereal due to its physical and chemical similarities to wheat. The gluten-free “grain” has been used traditionally to treat hypertension and ulcers, and modern scientific research is investigating its potential use in type 2 diabetes and for cardiovascular and oral health. Read more >>





'Belém +30' Joint Conference Honors Alliance Between Indigenous Peoples and Science

By Roberto Regensteiner, Elaine Elisabetsky, PhD, and Steven King, PhD
In August 2018, the 16th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE) was held in conjunction with the 12th Brazilian Symposium on Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology in Belém, the capital of Pará in northern Brazil. Contributing authors Roberto Regensteiner, Elaine Elisabetsky, and Steven King report on this joint conference that marked the 30th anniversary of the Declaration of Belem, a groundbreaking document created during the inaugural ISE congress that outlined the importance of indigenous knowledge to the scientific community. Read more >>




Goldenseal Conservation

Herb Profile: 
Grape Seed

Research Review:
Hawthorn & Heart Failure

Legal & Regulatory:
Kratom Crackdown

Did you know? HerbalGram is available in three digital formats: PDF (coming soon!), page-flip (coming soon!), and HTML. Check them out!

Featured Book
Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 2: Circulation and Respiration was written by Jill Stansbury and published by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2018. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, and introduction: "Honoring Traditional Knowledge."

In Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 2, Jill Stansbury, ND, explores herbal formulas for conditions related to the cardiovascular, peripheral vascular, pulmonary, and respiratory systems. Each volume is meant to serve as a "user-friendly reference manual as well as a guide for budding herbalists in the high art of fine-tuning an herbal formula for the person, not just for the diagnosis," Stansbury explains in the book's introduction.

In Volume 2, Stansbury begins by explaining the importance of traditional wisdom for modern health professionals and presents a primer on herbal medicine formulation. The two largest chapters in the book focus on specific herbal formulations for various circulation- and respiration-related conditions. Stansbury has based these formulas on her clinical experience as a naturopathic physician as well as knowledge gathered from herbal folklore, Eclectic physicians, and modern scientific research.

Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 2 can be purchased from the publisher's website. ©2018 Chelsea Green Publishing. This work has been reprinted with permission and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch
TCM Supplements May Speed Up Running Times: Human Data. NutraIngredients-USA. October 8, 2018. A recent study found that subjects who took a supplement containing astragalus and dong quai roots completed a 13-km run an average of 12 minutes faster than those who took a placebo.

A Mushroom Extract Might Save Bees from a Killer VirusWIRED. October 4, 2018. According to new research from mycologist Paul Stamets, bees that were fed amadou and reishi mushroom extracts had reduced levels of deformed wing virus compared to control colonies.

DEA Reschedules Epidiolex, Marijuana-Derived Drug, Paving the Way for it to Hit the Market. CNBC. September 27, 2018. The DEA has classified the CBD oral solution Epidiolex as a schedule 5 drug, the least restrictive category of the Controlled Substances Act.

Scientists Look to Chinese Soup Ingredients to Treat Dementia. Bloomberg. September 26, 2018. Researchers will soon begin advanced clinical trials of the traditional Chinese medicine Sailuotong, a combination of ginkgo, ginseng, and saffron extracts, for the treatment of vascular dementia.

South African Villagers Tap into Trend for 'Superfood' Baobab. September 24, 2018. Through a "baobab guardian program," rural South African villagers are being paid to protect baobab saplings until the trees reach maturity.

How Indigenous Youth Are Safeguarding Amazon Plant Knowledge through Social Media. Intercontinental Cry. September 20, 2018. In an effort to preserve their ancestral knowledge of medicinal plants, Secoya elders are encouraging younger community members to document their learning experiences on social media.

Using Blockchain to Drive Positive Change from Farm to BrandNatural Products INSIDER. September 19, 2018. This podcast explores how the use of blockchain technology can lead to "tangible, verifiable impacts" for companies in the natural products industry.

Searching for Chocolate's Roots, and Enemies, in Colombia's Wilderness. Scientific American. September 15, 2018. Government officials in Colombia are promoting cacao, the source of chocolate, as an ideal replacement crop for coca, the source of cocaine.
Find more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.
Community And Industry Releases

Ingrid Bauer MD and Herbalist Joins AHP as Medical Director. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. October 10, 2018.

Celebrating 25 Years of Plant Conservation, 1994-2019. United Plant Savers. October 9, 2018.

Industry Stakeholder Input Needed on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). October 8, 2018.

Missouri Botanical Garden Announces New Master's Degree. Missouri Botanical Garden. October 8, 2018.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) Celebrates Naturopathic Medicine Week October 7-13, 2018. AANP. October 8, 2018.

AHPA Requests Pullulan Be Allowed in Dietary Supplement Products Labeled as Organic. AHPA. October 5, 2018.

Continuing a Monumental, Multi-year Project, the Third Installment of Treatments in New Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada Is Available from NYBG Press. New York Botanic Garden. October 4, 2018.

US Territory Legalizes Adult Marijuana Use. NORML. September 27, 2018.

Saw Palmetto Berry 2018 Mid-season Harvest Report. AHPA. September 25, 2018.

Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno is Bestowed with the Coveted Visionary Award from the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. Bastyr University. September 24, 2018.

FairWild, TRAFFIC and American Herbal Products Association Focus on Sustainability in Cambridge Meeting. TRAFFIC. September 21, 2018.

Border Officials: Canadians Involved In Legal Marijuana Industry To Be Barred Entry To The United States. NORML. September 20, 2018.

AOAC Leading in Analytical Excellence; Adopts New Standards and Methods for Infant Formula, Food Safety, Dietary Supplements, and Alternative Methods. AOAC International. September 20, 2018.

Moonflower Herb Fest. November 3, 2018. Austin, Texas.

SupplySide West. November 6-10, 2018. Las Vegas, Nevada.

7th Annual AHPA Botanical Congress. November 10, 2018. Las Vegas, Nevada. Presented in cooperation with ABC. (Use discount code AHPA18SSW to receive $50 off SSW registration and member pricing for the congress.)

Adulteration and Fraud of Botanical and Natural Health Ingredients. November 29, 2018. Frankfurt, Germany.
EuroSciCon Conference on Plant Science and Genomics. December 3-4, 2018. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Regenerative Earth Summit. December 5-6, 2018. Boulder, Colorado.

Integrative Healthcare Symposium. February 21-23, 2019. New York, New York. (Use discount code ABC2019 to receive 15% off registration.)

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

Researchers recently reported that a synthetic version of a compound found in this fragrant Indian botanical may have an effect on hair growth. Can you name the plant? Find the answer here!