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In the March issue of HerbalEGram, the American Botanical Council reported on the one alleged death associated with a dietary supplement in 2009. New information obtained by ABC, as discussed in an article in this HEG issue, provides insight into the surrounding circumstances, demonstrating that the dietary supplement was not implicated as a cause of the fatality.

VCIH Herbalists

Above: Training herbalists from the
Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism.
With a new partnership, they can use their
hours spent training toward pursuing a
bachelor's degree from Goddard College.

This issue also covers the US Food and Drug Administration's important draft guidance on New Dietary Ingredients, the Dietary Supplement Quality Professional training program, a new partnership that enables herbalists to apply their training toward a bachelor's degree, and the availability and convenience of herbal e-books.

In June of 2011, ABC Founder and Executive Director, Mark Blumenthal, wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times in response to a story that mentioned aristolochic acid—a substance found in several plant species. Despite the Times' decision to not publish the letter, ABC has published it in this issue of HEG.


The American Botanical Council


HerbalGram 90 features an overview of


pu-erh tea and its ancient journey along the Southwest Silk Road to Tibet, accompanied by gorgeous, full-color photographs. The issue also includes a review of adaptogenic herbs, from early research conducted in the former USSR to contemporary studies on these “stress vaccines.” In addition, this issue features an update on standard reference materials for the analysis of dietary supplements, as well as HerbalGram’s annual Herb Market Report.

Featured Book


July's selected book excerpt comes from The North American Guide to Common Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms, written by Nancy Turner and Patrick von Aderkas, and published in 2009 by Timber Press. Serving as a field guide for experts and lay persons alike, this book is an authoritative and easy-to-use identification tool for a variety of wild and household plants. The excerpt available to HEG readers contains the book's foreword, preface, user instructions, table of contents, and Chapter 1, an introductory overview on poisonous plants and mushrooms.

©2009 Timber Press


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.

The Dark Side of Traditional Chinese Medicine. ScienceLine. 6-29-11. Despite the endangered status of some animal species used in TCM, many practitioners claim that there are no comparable replacements.

Tumeric Elixir: A Spicy Profit. 6-24-11. The small, New York-based company TumericAlive is experiencing growing sales of its turmeric and herb beverages.

Ginseng Adds Millions to Local Economy. Natural Products Insider. 6-23-11. According to a new report from the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals, the wild American ginseng industry injects about $25 million each year into the economies of the Eastern United States.

Chinese Medicine Offers New Parkinson's Treatments. NewScientist. 6-17-11. According to a recent human study, the long-used traditional Chinese herb gou teng was found to improve sleep and speech in Parkinson's patients.

Migraines Eased After Herbal Treatment. Reuters. 6-16-11. A homeopathic preparation containing ginger and feverfew was shown to improve migraine-related pain in most research participants.

Bio-Prospectors Race to Save Plants for Drug Research. The Vancouver Sun. 6-10-11. Scientists in Australia are studying various herbal medicines used by the region's natives, while aiming to acknowledge the traditional communities' contributions.

The Triumph of New-Age Medicine. The Atlantic. July/August 2011. This article's author presents a detailed look at the hard-to-deny benefits and attractions of integrative medicine, which persist in the face of strong criticism.

Tapping Into Greece's Huge Biodiversity. Kathimerini English Edition. 5-31-11. Greece's vast resources of medicinal plants present promising potential for a new and lively industry despite the country's stagnant agricultural sector.

Recent News

FDA Releases Long-Awaited Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients. Dietary supplement associations and industry regulatory experts are voicing their interpretations of and concerns about FDA's important draft guidance on New Dietary Ingredients.

Update: National Poison Control Center Database Annual Report Reflects Safety of Dietary Supplements. New information obtained by ABC suggests that the unknown dietary supplement or homeopathic agent was not a cause of the one reported death attributed to dietary supplements in 2009.

Industry Partnership Educates Dietary Supplement Professionals on Quality. A new initiative from 3 partnering organizations aims to educate professionals within the dietary supplements industry on how to help their companies deliver safe, reliable quality products.

Partnership Allows Herbalists to Use Training Toward Bachelor's Degree. Herbalists graduating from the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism can now use the time they spent training as credit applied toward a bachelor's degree from Goddard College.

E-Books Go Herbal. As more and more books become available in e-book format, many herbal texts are also available for download to computers and e-readers, including some rare and out-of-print herbal books.