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With flu season rapidly approaching and swine flu fatalities and fears continually making headlines, many readers may be contemplating whether to receive a flu vaccination. In some 

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

countries around the world, however, flu vaccines are not readily available and various herbs, such as holy basil, are being used in attempts to protect against swine flu, as discussed in an article in this issue of HerbalEGram. Also in this issue, we cover the FDA’s recently released final guidance on labeling requirements for serious adverse events under the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act. A recently announced joint-venture between Metagenics and Alticor, parent company of Amway, is also discussed in this issue.

ABC is proud to introduce a new format for HerbalEGram in this October issue. Other electronic communications of ABC will likewise adopt a similar look within the near future. We hope that this new format will prove both functional and visually appealing for our members.

Mark your calendars! ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal will speak at CRN’s annual conference, held October 21-24. The event features many other presenters, including FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and CNN Correspondent Ali Velshi. Blumenthal will also speak at the 6th International Conference “Functional Foods for Chronic Diseases: Diabetes and Related Diseases” in early December in Denton, Texas.


The Staff of the American Botanical Council


HerbalGram 83 features a review of the 

HG83 cover

  harvest and use of the medicinal fungus cordyceps. This issue also covers some of the events and presentations being held throughout 2009 at the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in honor of its 250th anniversary. ABC’s own gardens are profiled as well, particularly ABC’s environmentally-friendly gardening practices and garden-related community outreach programs. Additionally, this issue contains an article on the history of Greco-Arabic medicine and efforts underway to revitalize traditional herbal medicine in the Middle East.

Featured Book

Bench to Bedside


October's selected book excerpt comes from Botanical Medicine: From Bench to Bedside, edited by Raymond Cooper and Fredi Kronenberg, and published in 2009. This excerpt contains the book's table of contents, introduction, and chapter on curcuminoids from turmeric in disease prevention and treatment. All are available here.


 ©2009 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Media Watch

We have tested the links of the following articles prior to publication; however, some news organizations remove stories and disable links at various times.

Congress Re-examines Supplement Regulations. New York Times. 9-29-09. Spurred by dietary supplements containing illegal steroids, Congress is investigating whether supplement regulations are adequately protecting public health.

Ohio Investigating Harvest of Wild Ginseng. Forbes. 9-24-09. To conserve wild ginseng, an Ohio governmental department has been investigating the state’s wild ginseng industry for 2 years, looking to find and penalize violators of harvesting regulations.

Safety of Chinese Herbal Injections Questioned. China Daily. 9-22-09. Within the past year several patients have died after receiving herb-containing injections, leading Chinese authorities to re-evaluate all herbal injections in the country.

Gourmet Teas Thrive as Global Economy Sags. New York Times. 9-17-09. Luxury tea companies around the world are experiencing high, and in some cases increasing, sales despite higher prices during a slow worldwide economy.

Guava Stops Staph, E. coli Infections. Guardian Newspapers. 9-17-09. Researchers in Nigeria have found that guava extract exhibits effective antibacterial effects upon certain infections and can also be used effectively as a mouthwash. 

Cocoa May Be Beneficial for Migraines. eMaxHealth. 9-16-09. A recent animal study shows that cocoa might help those who suffer from migraine headaches, as it is thought to repress inflammatory responses in the brain that are associated with pain.

Tried, Tested Formulas for Most Tribals. Times of India. 9-16-09. Botany students in India have documented the traditional medicine practices of local tribes and communities, and are urging the government to focus more on these practices and medicinal plants.

Scientists Find Gene That Produces THC. Popular Science. 9-15-09. Scientists have discovered which gene in marijuana is responsible for producing THC, a finding that could enable precise control of marijuana plants’ THC content.



October 23-25: 20th Annual American Herbalists Guild National Symposium: "Herbal Medicine: New Possibilities for Primary Care." Santa Rosa, CA.

November 11-13, 2009: SupplySide West. Las Vegas, NV. ABC members who manufacture finished products can enter ABC09 when registering to receive a $50 discount. *Offer valid through Nov. 1, 2009, and does not apply to a previously paid registration. 

November 18, 2009: SteviaWorld Europe. Frankfurt, Germany.

Recent News

FDA Releases Final Guidance on Serious Adverse Event Labeling Requirements for Dietary Supplements. Industry experts and trade group representatives comment on the labeling requirements and 

Reishi Mushroom 3
Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

recommendations provided by FDA in the new final guidance.    

International Report on Herbs and Swine Flu. Many developing and heavily-populated countries around the world are turning to medicinal herbs with immune-boosting properties, such as astragalus and reishi mushroom, in attempts to help protect against the virus commonly known as swine flu.  

Metagenics and Alticor’s Joint Venture. Metagenics, a manufacturer and distributor of science-based medical foods and dietary supplements, and Alticor, an $8 billion global company that specializes in scientific research and product development, have entered into a joint-venture with the common vision of helping people live healthier lives.  

Canadian Government Issues Guidance Document on Natural Health Products in Conventional Food Format. Health Canada has outlined 4 new criteria for classifying products in food format as foods or as natural health products, though it might modify these regulations in the near future.