We received many positive comments from readers on our pictorial in issue 134 that featured some of our favorite photographs by the late Steven Foster. The beautiful colors of plants are a function of light and optics, and Steven was a master of capturing light around medicinal and aromatic plants with his cameras.
Now, more photos — but of a different type. In this issue, we present the special ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence (UVIVF) photography of Craig Burrows, a California-based photographer. Our profound thanks to Craig for giving us permission to share these compelling and unusual images with you. Thanks, too, to HerbalGram Assistant Editor Connor Yearsley, who initially came across Craig’s alluring photos. Connor has written an introduction that explores the science behind this photographic technique and profiles on 11 plants depicted in Craig’s UVIVF images.
Our hearty congratulations to the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), an herb industry trade association that reached its 40th anniversary in 2022, with acknowledgement to its longtime leader Michael McGuffin for his cultivation and stewardship of this prominent organization. The purpose of any trade association is to promote and protect the economic interests of its members. Over the years, AHPA has grown into a force that takes initiative on many fronts in its members’ interests, and yet, at the same time, keeps in mind the interests of consumers who seek access to safe and reliable plant-based health products. A tip of the hat to our regular contributor Karen Raterman for this comprehensive history of AHPA and explanation of its many roles and activities.
We also include reviews of the two books that received ABC’s 2022 James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award. In the reference/technical category, our congratulations to Professor Il-Moo Chang, a respected ginseng researcher in South Korea, whose book A History of the Korean Ginseng Industry is possibly the most detailed and complete history on this fabled and popular medicinal plant on the Korean peninsula. In the consumer/popular book category, we provide noted ethnobotanist and author Nancy Turner’s review of Professor Cassandra Quave’s ethnobotanical memoir The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines. We believe that both books warrant your attention and should populate your library.
We also note the passing of friends and colleagues who have contributed significantly to the modern medicinal plant movement. This includes British author Barbara Griggs, whose book Green Pharmacy: The History and Evolution of Western Herbal Medicine is probably the most seminal book on this subject. We are grateful that she acknowledged HerbalGram in her second edition.
We reluctantly bid adieu to our good friend Bill Swail, a pharmacist in ABC’s hometown of Austin, Texas, whose chain Peoples Rx set a new standard for “natural pharmacies” in Texas. He was a pioneer in pharmacy compounding and education on the appropriate role of good nutrition and dietary supplements to help maintain robust health.
We also honor herb industry pioneer Ben Zaricor. Back in 1974, when I was first beginning in the wholesale herb business in Austin, my first major supplier of herbal products was Fmali Inc., which was owned by Ben and his wife Louise Veninga. Ben and Louise built a large herb business, were among the first to source herbal ingredients from China when it opened to foreign business, and initiated a historic and successful lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration for its restrictive, US-centric interpretation of the “common use in food” provision for determination of GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status for goods. The outcome of this case still has an impact today.
Finally, while we are honoring people who have contributed to our medicinal plant community, we want to respectfully mention the recent passing of global celebrity Olivia Newton-John, who, along with her husband “Amazon John” Easterling, strongly believed in the healing power of herbs and medicinal plants. Newton-John, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, was deeply committed to supporting scientific research on new plant-based cancer medicines while advocating for environmental stewardship of the Amazon and other areas where medicinal plants grow.