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Cymbopogon citratus leaf
Cymbopogon citratus
©2020 Steven Foster


Less Gas with Lemongrass? Burger King Aims to Reduce Methane with Modified Cattle Diet
By Connor Yearsley
In July 2020, the “reduced-methane” Whopper® debuted at select Burger King locations in the United States. The burger is sourced from cattle that were fed lemongrass, which Burger King claims has the potential to reduce methane emissions from those animals by up to 33%. The initiative has created some controversy, but it may be a step in the right direction for reducing emissions that contribute to climate change. Read more >>





ABC and SHP Launch Webinar Series Focusing on Sustainability, Ethnobotany, and Plants in Commerce
By ABC Staff
In August 2020, ABC’s Sustainable Herb Program announced a new series of free webinars as part of the SHP Sustainable and Regenerative Practices Toolkit. Based in part on the overwhelmingly positive response to the initial SHP webinar, ABC has since created two new webinar series on ethnobotany and plants in commerce. The three webinar tracks feature leading experts from the herbal community and reflect ABC’s evolving educational efforts during the pandemic. Read more >>



Cashew nuts
Anacardia occidentale
©2020 Steven Foster


Food as Medicine: Cashew (Anacardia occidentale, Anacardiaceae)
By Jenny Perez
The curious case of the cashew: It belongs to the same family as poison ivy, grows at the end of a pseudofruit, and goes through a lengthy processing procedure to reach store shelves. Though high in fat, the cashew contains fatty acids, tannins, and other polyphenols that may aid a number of metabolic conditions with minimal impacts on weight gain and cardiovascular disease symptoms. Read more >>


Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program News:

Botanical Adulterants Monitor #20 is out now. The latest issue includes recent news and updates on reishi identification, broccoli supplement adulteration, cranberry studies, and more.

Sustainable Herbs Program News:

The Stories Plants Tell. October 11, 2020.

COVID: A Stress Test for the Botanical Industry. September 29, 2020.

Webinar: The Business Case for Sustainability. September 25, 2020.

Herb Profile:
Fig (Ficus carica)

Organization News:
Billie Lee Turner: 1925-2020

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

Featured Book
The Secret Life of Chocolate cover  
The Secret Life of Chocolate was written by Marcos Patchett and published by Aeon Books in 2020. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, introduction, and Chapter 4: Pharmaceutical Chocolate.

This text disregards the popular conception of chocolate as a nutritionally void Halloween treat and delves more deeply into chocolate as a product of Theobroma cacao, with its bitter, intense flavor and impressive polyphenol profile. Covering the history of human interaction with the cacao tree, a “chocolate formulary” detailing its medicinal uses, and chocolate in myth and legend, herbalist and lecturer Marcos Patchett covers the lesser-known aspects of this Central American delicacy.

The Secret Life of Chocolate can be purchased from the publisher in North America and elsewhere. ©2020 Aeon Books. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.

Media Watch
Powerful Pennycress: Dr. Sedbrook’s Research Team Is Transforming a Weed into a Crop. Illinois State University News. September 28, 2020. Though currently considered an invasive weed by farmers, a genetically modified version of pennycress may soon provide an economic boost as a cover crop, oilseed source, and animal fodder.

US Senators Demand Action After AP Exposes Palm Oil AbusesUS News and World Report. September 25, 2020. Lawmakers say the US government needs to ban the import of products made with child or forced labor after an investigation found widespread exploitation in the palm oil industry.

Man Dies from Eating More than a Bag of Liquorice a Day. BBC News. September 24, 2020. The culprit in a man’s sudden death from a heart attack was likely an overdose of glycyrrhizic acid from licorice, which can cause hypertension, hypokalemia, metabolic alkalosis, fatal arrhythmias, and renal failure.

Cooked Carrots Can Trigger Allergic Reactions. EurekAlert! September 24, 2020. For the rare population that suffers an allergic reaction to carrots, heating does not denature the allergenic Dau c 1 protein matrix, which also may be present in carrot extract.

Are CBD Sales Up or Down during COVID-19? Nutritional Outlook. September 24, 2020. Early reports showed a CBD boom as consumers sought to mitigate stress and improve sleep; six months on, a new market report investigates if those numbers rose or fell.

Study Finds Cannabis Effective for 82% of Migraine Patients. Pain News Network. September 23, 2020. In a study of 10,000 patients with migraines from the United States and Canada, almost one-third tried medical marijuana or cannabinoids to relieve their pain and symptoms, and 82% found it effective.

Natural Products Industry Rises to Meet COVID ChallengesHolistic Primary Care. September 11, 2020. Since early March, the natural products industry has dealt with complex challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, including surging consumer demand with simultaneous global supply chain disruptions.

Study Finds Botanical Effective for Chemo-Resistant Colon Cancer. EurekAlert! September 9, 2020. After successes in cell line and animal models, a new study found that an andrographis extract boosted the effectiveness of chemotherapy and modified two key cancer pathways in colon cancer cells.

Read more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.
Featured Event

SupplySide365 logoSupplySide365. Free trial through March 31, 2021. Online.


American Herbalists Guild Online Symposium. October 15-19, 2020. Online.

The Practitioner Channel Forum. October 22-23, 2020. New York, New York.

Webinar: From Peru to Pompeii: What Everyone Needs to Know about the Amazon with a Chaser of the Ethnobotany of Ancient Wine. November 12, 2020. Online.

NOCO Hemp Expo 2021. March 25-27, 2021. Denver, Colorado.

Integrative Healthcare Symposium. May 2-4, 2021. New York, New York.

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

Herbal IQ

A botanical mentioned in this issue has anti-inflammatory properties that may help with eczema, has shown antibacterial activity against Helicobacter pylori, and is used in Japan in patients with hepatitis C. Found it? Check your answer here!