Clinical research into the uses, effectiveness, and safety of botanical therapies is essential for the continued growth of herbal medicine. An article in this issue of HerbalEGram covers herbal studies currently being pursued through funding from federal stimulus money, including a study on cranberry for bladder cancer. Elsewhere in this issue, we highlight herbal research being sponsored by the US Pharmacopeial Convention, and several recent news stories in this issue’s Media Watch section concern herbal research developments.
In a recent Fox News Health Blog article, Chris Kilham, aka “The Medicine Hunter,” commented on ABC’s ability to keep people abreast of herbal news and research. Also, ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal will soon be presenting lectures on herbal market and research trends, first at the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference in Chile from November 14-19, and then at the Indo-US Symposium on Ayurvedic, Siddha, and Unani Drugs in New Delhi from December 2-4.
As a note to all members signed up for ABC’s HerbClip service (original articles and ABC reviews and summaries of herbal research): HerbClip is going green and will be delivered solely via e-mail as of November 15. To receive HerbClip electronically, please make sure ABC has your current e-mail address by e-mailing our development department, calling 512-926-4900 x119, or editing your profile on ABC’s website (be sure to log in).
The Staff of the American Botanical Council
HerbalGram 83 features a review of the harvest and use of the medicinal fungus cordyceps. This issue also covers some of the events 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.
November's selected book excerpt comes from The Meaning of Tea: A Tea Inspired Journey, written by Scott Chamberlin Hoyt, edited by Phil Cousineau, and published in 2009. This excerpt contains the book's table of contents, preface, introduction, foreward, Chapter 16, "The Wordless Realm," and Chapter 27, "The Real Benefits." All are available here.
We have tested the links of the following articles prior to publication; however, some news organizations remove stories and disable links at various times.
Pumpkin Protein May Fend off Yeast Infections. WebMD Health News. 10-30-09. Researchers in South Korea have found that a protein extracted from the rind of pumpkins can inhibit the growth of certain fungi that cause yeast infections and diaper rash.
Vitamin Business Thrived Through the Recession. Newsweek. 10-30-09. Several dietary supplement businesses are expanding their operations and have seen increased sales, leading the author of this column to offer 3 potential explanations for this growth.
New Lemongrass Variety Brings Hope for Drought-hit Farmers. Sify News. 10-29-09. Recently given to farmers in areas of India, a new variety of lemongrass is said to be resistant to drought, grow faster, and produce a higher yield of oil than the regular variety.
Gates Foundation Supports Research on Chocolate for Malaria. San Francisco Chronicle. 10-20-09. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded grants to several unusual research projects, including a study into chocolate's ability to starve the malaria parasite.
“Vegetable Lamb” Plant May Help Treat Osteoporosis. WebMD Health News. 10-16-09. Researchers have found that extracted substances of the “vegetable lamb” plant, also known as gou ji or Scythian-lamb, prevented the activity of cells that break down bone tissue.
Bill Could Limit Amazon Land Ownership by Foreign Companies. Reuters. 10-13-09. A proposed bill in the Brazilian Congress could restrict foreign land ownership along the country’s borders and in the Amazon, aiming to prevent the alleged biopiracy, or stealing, of medicinal plants.
Indian President Says Climate Change is Threatening Herbs. The Hindu. 10-8-09. The President of India recently expressed her concerns that climate change is threatening some herbs used in Ayurveda and called for conservation efforts.
African Herbal HIV Hope. The Science and Development Network. 9-29-09. Scientists in South Africa have found that one plant in a concoction used by a traditional healer to treat AIDS patients appears to have anti-retroviral properties.
John Gay Named Executive Director and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA). Press release from NPA.
The International Aloe Science Council (IASC) Presents a Scientific Primer on Aloe. E-book page from Natural Products Insider.
November 11-13, 2009: SupplySide West. Las Vegas, NV.
November 18, 2009: SteviaWorld Europe. Frankfurt, Germany.
February 25-27, 2010: Integrative Healthcare Symposium. New York, NY. Register before November 20 to receive a $100 discount. ABC members can enter 100131 when registering for an additional 15% off.
Federal Government Stimulus Money Funding New Herbal Research. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has allocated $5 billion for scientific research, which includes funding for several studies on herbal indications such as turmeric for post-menopausal osteoporosis, pomegranate for osteoarthritis, and ginger for colorectal cancer.
2009 CRN “Apple Awards” Recipients. The recipients of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) “Apple Awards,” announced at CRN’s annual conference, include 3 individuals who have made large contributions to both CRN and the dietary supplements industry.
Numen Herb Documentary Released on DVD. Numen: The Healing Power of Plants, a 92-minute documentary film about traditional herbal medicine in the United States, explores modern healthcare and the importance of preserving traditional knowledge of healing plants.