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Green tea leaves, fresh and dried, in front of a red clay teapot
Camellia sinensis
©2020 Steven Foster


Tea Supply During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Resilient but Challenging Landscape
By Karen Raterman
This companion piece to guest contributor Karen Raterman’s November 2020 article on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the botanical supply chain focuses on the tea market. Suppliers of tea leaves, flavorings, and herbs for the tea market have likewise been affected by supply shortages and unexpected sales fluctuations, and those on the business side are trying to predict the best strategy to keep products on shelves. Read more >>



AHP Triphala monograph cover


American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Publishes Triphala Monograph and Therapeutic Compendium
By Connor Yearsley
In November 2020, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) released a monograph and therapeutic compendium for the multi-herb formula triphala, which is one of the most commonly used formulas in India’s traditional medicine system of Ayurveda. Triphala has been used in the same way for more than 2,000 years, and modern science largely supports its benefits for gastrointestinal health and more. This is the first time AHP has undertaken a monograph on a multi-herb formula, and it claims that it is the first monograph of its kind in a Western pharmacopeia. Read more >>



Gayle Engels standing among mullein stalks
Gayle Engels


ABC Celebrates Gayle Engles’ 25th Anniversary with the Organization
By Hannah Bauman
ABC Special Projects Director Gayle Engels, ABC’s 13th employee, is celebrating 25 years with the organization. Originally hired as sales manager, Engels has combined her passion for teaching and herbal studies to create a position that is both challenging and rewarding, and has been an irreplaceable asset to ABC since 1995. Her reach includes the gardens at the Case Mill Homestead, the education department and internship program, and the ongoing overhaul of the organization’s web presence. Read more >>



CRN logo


CRN Consumer Surveys Find Changes in Supplement Use in 2020
By Tyler Smith
The Council for Responsible Nutrition recently announced the publication of its 2020 Survey on Dietary Supplements and COVID-19 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. Perhaps surprisingly, overall supplement use among Americans dropped a few percentage points compared to 2019. Still, among supplement users, most respondents reported increasing their intake of supplements, including herbal supplements for immune health. Read more >>


Sustainable Herbs Program News

Regenerative Farming in the Herb Industry. November 24, 2020.

Book Review:

In Memoriam:

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

Featured Book


Addiction Free Naturally cover  

Addiction Free Naturally was written by Brigitte Mars and published by Healing Arts Press in 2020. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, introduction, and a selection from Chapter 2: On Your Own Terms.

Educator and herbalist Brigitte Mars has updated her original 2001 text on using complementary and alternative therapies to overcome substance addiction. From pharmaceuticals to alcohol to caffeine and sugar, various forms of addiction are addressed with sensitivity and optimism. Mars also discusses recent research on the therapeutic uses of cannabis and psychedelic drugs and how these may be used beneficially for recovery without misuse. The book offers a holistic approach to recovery and touches on methods including herbal therapies, homeopathic remedies, meditation, and nutrition to complement conventional treatment methods such as behavioral therapy and support groups.

Addiction Free Naturally is available for purchase from the publisher. ©2020 Healing Arts Press. This excerpt is used with permission and may not be used for any other purpose.

Media Watch

Science Focus: Top 10 Most Read Nutrition Research of 2020. NutraIngredients. December 9, 2020. Popular subjects of nutrition research for NutraIngredients readers included egg whites, ginseng, and probiotics.

Red Propolis Could Be a Better Treatment for Schistosomiasis. Drug Target Review. December 8, 2020. Investigators found that red propolis can kill schistosomes at all stages of development and therefore suggest it could be highly effective for treating certain parasitic infections.

It’s Not Just Humans: Sparrows Have Been Seen Using Preventive Medicine. Science Alert. December 8, 2020. A new paper has suggested that the reason russet sparrows in China line their nests with wormwood may be to reduce parasites and boost the growth of their young.

Computer Algorithms Reveal New Details about Creosote Bushes. December 7, 2020. A first-of-its-kind survey of creosote bushes in the Mojave Desert highlights the new possibilities of using big data for studying plant populations.

The Top 10 Nutrition Trends for 2021, According to Natural Grocers. New Hope Network. December 7, 2020. Vitamins, blood sugar regulation, and climate change are all predicted to be drivers of innovation and trends in the nutrition sector in 2021.

Dietary Supplement Leaders Lament Pitfalls of FDA’s Approach to NDIs. Nutraceuticals World. December 7, 2020. Industry experts say that selective enforcement against ingredients hurts both the industry and consumers.

Vermont Becomes a Center for the Fledgling US Saffron Industry. VTDigger. December 6, 2020. The University of Vermont has seen a huge growth in interest as more growers in the state seek information on the production of saffron, the world’s most expensive spice.

Blackcurrants Are Favorable for Glucose Metabolism. ScienceDaily. December 3, 2020. Blackcurrants have a beneficial effect on post-meal glucose response, and the required portion size is much smaller than previously thought, a new study shows.

Herbal MediaWatchRead more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.

Featured Events

SupplySide365SupplySide365. Free trial through March 31, 2021. More information.


Cultural and Biological Diversity: A Conversation with Wade Davis. Online. January 7, 2021.

Nutraceuticals Europe. February 24-25, 2021. Barcelona, Spain.

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

National Symposium on Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine. May 1-2, 2021. Coolangatta, Australia.

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

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

Herbal IQ

Internally, externally, in the air — this herb can be used in so many ways for its antimicrobial, astringent, and cognition-boosting activities. Put on your thinking caps and check your answer here!