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A bar graph showing the steady upward growth of the market from 2010-2020

Market growth from 2010 to 2020


Herbal Supplement Sales in US Increase by Record-Breaking 17.3% in 2020
By Tyler Smith, Farhana Majid, Veronica Eckl, and Claire Morton Reynolds

For the first time, annual retail sales of herbal dietary supplements in the United States surpassed $10 billion in 2020. Sales totaled an estimated $11.261 billion in 2020, a 17.3% increase from 2019. This is almost double the previous record annual growth rate from the past 20 years of 9.4%, from 2017 to 2018. The Chicago, Illinois-based data technology company SPINS and Boulder, Colorado-based industry publication Nutrition Business Journal provided data and insights for this annual report, which explores the top-selling herbal supplements of 2020 and discusses COVID-19-related consumer trends. Read more >>

Peggy Duke in 2006 with hanging Brugmansia blooms to her left

Peggy Duke. Image courtesy of Helen Lowe Metzman.


Remembering Peggy-Ann Wetmore Kessler Duke
By Connor Yearsley

Peggy Duke, a prolific botanical artist and wife of renowned ethnobotanist James “Jim” Duke, died on April 1, 2021, at age 90. Over the years, she depicted hundreds of plant species, including medicinal plants, and her artwork illustrated many of Jim's books and articles, as well as other significant publications. Peggy and Jim also welcomed thousands of visitors to their six-acre Herbal Vineyard in Fulton, Maryland. In this article, many of her friends remember Peggy fondly. Read more >>


Book Review: Ethnobotany of Palau: Plants, People, and Island Culture vols. 1 and 2
By Steven R. King, PhD

This two-volume set, the result of ongoing research and field studies conducted by the Plants and People of Micronesia program of the New York Botanic Garden, integrates numerous scientific fields to create a comprehensive picture of the ethnobotany, biodiversity, resource management, and more, of the Republic of Palau. This western Pacific island nation has a rich history and long tradition of medicinal plant use, and these volumes also explore the other ways in which plants have impacted Palauan life, including their use in construction, spiritualism, landscape management, and trade. With dozens of contributors and decades of research to draw on, Ethnobotany of Palau’s transdisciplinary research provides a repository of ancestral knowledge for Palauan people and the rest of the world. Read more >>

Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program News:

Issue #23 of the Botanical Adulterants Monitor is out now! The latest issue covers research on genistein in ginkgo leaves, quality evaluation of rose oil, and more.

Sustainable Herbs Program News:

Costa Rica Regenerative Farm Visit. August 29, 2021.

Side Effects of Certification. August 12, 2021.

Cover of HerbalGram 131 featuring a yellow lady's slipper orchid  

Herb Profile:

BAPP News:
Bulletin on Pomegranate Products Published

Research Review:
Black Chokeberry and Cognition

In Memoriam:
Mahabir P. Gupta: 1942–2020

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

Featured Book
Herbal Medicine and Reproductive Health cover  
Herbal Medicine and Reproductive Health: Natural Approaches to Male and Female Reproductive Health Problems and Improving Fertility was written by Marie Reilly, MNIMH, and published by Aeon Books in 2021. The excerpt includes the title page, table of contents, and Chapter 1: “Organic Infertility: Conditions Leading to Anovulation.”

Herbal Medicine and Reproductive Health is a comprehensive textbook for herbalists, nutritionists, and other health care practitioners that provides detailed information on reproductive health in both men and women. Teacher and clinical herbalist Marie Reilly aims to help practitioners gain an in-depth understanding of a wide range of reproductive health problems from both a conventional medical and an energetic/holistic perspective. The book contains detailed advice on taking case histories, clinical examination, and orthodox investigations and comprehensive sections on diagnosing Ayurvedic and TCM patterns of disharmony. It also explores how to overcome reproductive health problems and improve fertility with herbal medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle changes.

Herbal Medicine and Reproductive Health can be purchased from the publisher in the United States and outside the United States. Follow either link and use code RH20 at checkout to receive a 20% discount on this title. Code is valid through October 31, 2021.
©2021 Aeon Books. This material is reprinted with permission from the publisher and may not be used for any other purpose.
Media Watch
Harnessing Potential Treasure Trove of Modern Medicines from Tropical Plants. Medical Xpress. September 9, 2021. A team of researchers has completed a two-year comprehensive review of methods to find new medical compounds from nature in order to tackle existing and emerging infectious tropical diseases.

A Vaccine against Poison Ivy Misery Is in the Works as Scientists Also Explore New Treatment Paths. Scientific American. September 1, 2021. The way urushiol, the oily resin produced by poison ivy, reacts with skin is different than a histamine-based allergic response, making treatment difficult; however, scientists are searching for a possible solution by investigating the pathways of inflammation that cause the plant’s trademark itchy rash.

Poison or Cure? Traditional Chinese Medicine Shows That Context Can Make All the Difference. UBNow. August 31, 2021. Many of the ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine are considered poisonous or toxic, but ancient Chinese physicians recognized the healing capacity of these otherwise-deadly ingredients.

Black Seed’s Immune-Health Benefits Get Scientific Validation. Nutritional Outlook. August 26, 2021. As clinical trials progress, some researchers are looking at nigella as a potential source ingredient for new pharmaceutical drugs and illuminating the various immune pathways involved.

Pecan-enriched Diet Shown to Reduce Cholesterol. ScienceDaily. August 23, 2021. Participants at risk for cardiovascular disease who ate pecans during an eight-week intervention showed significant improvements in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Decolonizing Alternative Medicine: The Herbalism and Ecology of the African Diaspora. Healthline. August 16, 2021. In the United States, BIPOC herbalists are also becoming activists in their communities to reconnect their modern practices with the ancient traditions of their ancestors and improve interconnected issues such as food insecurity and health care access.

Herbal Medicines Demonstrate Potency against Bartonella, A Disease-Causing Pathogen, According to New Lab Study. EurekAlert! August 5, 2021. Several botanical extracts were effective in vitro against Bartonella henselae, a bacterium believed to be carried by ticks, and three in particular were also active against the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

Botanical Mechanisms of Action for Cognitive Health Natural Products Insider. August 3, 2021. When researching a botanical formulation to enhance cognitive health, understanding the role of neurotransmitters and neuroprotection is key.

HerbalMediaWatch-Small.jpg Read more Herbal MediaWatch headlines here.
Community and Industry Releases
Analysis: Medical Cannabis Provides Benefits to Migraine Patients. NORML. September 9, 2021.

Study: No Rise in Youth Marijuana Use Following Legalization. NORML. September 9, 2021.

FDA, FTC Warn 10 Companies Illegally Selling Dietary Supplements Claiming to Treat Diabetes. US Food & Drug Administration. September 9, 2021.

AHPA Submits Comments to the ‘Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act’ Discussion Draft. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). September 7, 2021.

Threats to Crop Wild Relatives Compromising Food Security and Livelihoods. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). September 7, 2021.

Indigenous Peoples Launch Self-determined Agenda at IUCN World Conservation Congress. IUCN. September 3, 2021.

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta Awarded Kew International Medal for Work to Protect Nature and Stop Biodiversity Loss. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. September 2, 2021.

Dr. J. Chris Pires to Serve as Dean of the International Plant Science Center and Chief Science Officer of The New York Botanical Garden. New York Botanical Garden. September 1, 2021.

The Forest Farmers Handbook (Free Download). United Plant Savers (UpS). August 31, 2021.

Analytical Science Leaders Honored at the 2021 AOAC International Annual Meeting. AOAC International. August 30, 2021.

Endangered Plants and Women’s Health: Fertility Herbs At Risk. UpS. August 27, 2021.

AHPA Publishes Educational Materials for Prevention of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Contamination. AHPA. August 26, 2021.

Clinical Trial: CBD Dosing Associated with Transient Improvements in Sleep Satisfaction. NORML. August 26, 2021.
Trademark Registration Application for ‘Herbalist’ Withdrawn. American Herbal Products Association. August 24, 2021.
Killer Tobacco Plant: Insect-trapping Species Named New to Science. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. August 11, 2021.
Featured Event
SupplySide West 2021

SupplySide West 2021. Las Vegas, Nevada. October 25-28, 2021. More information.

The 7th International Mediterranean Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Izmir, Turkey. October 1-3, 2021.

Fighting Frailty: Herbs to Help Elders Stay Fit and Strong. Online. October 6, 2021.

European Conference for Integrative Medicine. London, UK. November 5-7, 2021.

American Herbalists Guild’s 32nd Annual Symposium. Online. October 15-17, 2021.

Cannabis Business Summit and Expo. San Francisco, California. December 15-17, 2021.

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

Herbal IQ
Recent research has identified this plant as a potential dental goldmine. Due to its antibacterial capacity and tooth mineralization benefits, it was able to inhibit acid production for a happy, neutral mouth. Learn more about this Chinese herb here.