Archive October 2023

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Herbs in History: Iris & Sage

October 31, 2023

Our journey into herbal history continues for a second year!


In an effort to preserve and share the fascinating histories of medicinal plants and herbs that have been used around the world for ages, the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals (AHPA-ERB Foundation) is honored to partner with Alain Touwaide, Ph.D., and Emanuela Appetiti of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions to tell the stories of Herbs in History.

We are pleased to announce that the AHPA-ERB Foundation will be supporting this educational initiative for a second year. Our journey into herbal history continues with a look into the backgrounds of iris and sage. Preview the entries below and visit Herbs in History online to read more.

Iris (Iris spp.)

Understanding the Ancient Plant Lore

The history of medicinal plants from the most remote antiquity to yesterday is more than ever on the agenda of research. And, beyond research, it also is omnipresent in daily life and information, from traditional medicines and alimentary and cosmetic products to websites, e-newsletters and others. Few plants offer, however, a key for a deep understanding of the construction of ancient lore, its scientific basis, its cultural values, and, to name just this, its projections of human hopes. Iris is one of such keys, with a great many components from its name and scent to the medicinal properties it was credited with. | Read more...


Sage (Salvia officinalis L.)

The Surprises of a Well-known Genus

Native to Southern Europe, sage (Salvia spp.) is now common and is known through different species. This diversity is echoed in the literature from the Renaissance onward with such designations as Salvia major (greater sage), Salvia major vulgaris (common greater sage), Salvia latifolia (large-leaves sage), or, to mention just these, Salvia minor aurita and non aurita (eared and non-eared sage). As these names already indicate, the history of sage is full of surprises. | Read more...


About the Project

Herbs in History is made possible by funding from the AHPA-ERB Foundation, as part of the nonprofit foundation’s mission promote education and research on medicinal, therapeutic, and health-promoting herbs. Tune in monthly for thoughtfully detailed historical accounts of herbs you know and love, and learn more about the origins of medicinal plants that have stood the test of time.

Seven entries to the online Botanical Safety Handbook 2nd Ed. have been updated by AHPA

October 10, 2023

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has released updates to seven botanicals via the online Botanical Safety Handbook 2nd ed.
The following online entries have been updated:

  • Asparagus adscendens – A recent review added an animal pharmacology study and an acute toxicity study. The family name was updated to Asparagaceae.

  • Asparagus cochinchinensis (Chinese asparagus) – The review of this entry added an animal pharmacology study and a short-term toxicity study. The family name was updated to Asparagaceae.

  • Asparagus racemosus (shatavari) - Review of this Ayurvedic herb added animal pharmacology studies related to glucose regulation; clinical studies related to use during lactation; acute and subchronic toxicity studies. The family name was updated to Asparagaceae.

  • Cinnamomum aromaticum (cassia) - A literature review identified an interaction case report, additional pharmacological studies of glucose regulation in humans and animals, adverse events reported in clinical trials and case reports, and toxicity studies.

  • Cinnamomum camphorum (camphor) – This review identified an additional acute toxicity study and information about use of camphor in animal feed.

  • Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon) - A recent review identified an interaction case report, additional pharmacological studies of glucose regulation in humans and animals, and adverse events reported in clinical trials and case reports.

  • Curcuma longa (turmeric) - An extensive review updated the Interactions class for this herb from Class A to Class B – “clinically relevant interactions are biologically plausible.” Numerous additional clinical trials, pharmacology studies, and toxicity studies were also added.

AHPA members can obtain an annual individual subscription to the online Botanical Safety Handbook or a hard copy for $95.00, with multi-user rates available for companies needing expanded access. Information about subscriptions and hard copy purchases can be found on the AHPA website.
Subscribers to the online Botanical Safety Handbook can review short descriptions of updated entries in the "Revisions" panel on the online version homepage when they log in. The online Botanical Safety Handbook is undergoing review of existing entries and the addition of new entries to provide the latest safety information before it can be included in the next print edition of the handbook. AHPA will continue to post additional updates to existing entries as well as develop new botanical entries.
AHPA's Botanical Safety Handbook is an essential tool for anyone who manufactures, recommends, or uses herbal products. The handbook provides safety information on over 500 species of herbs, derived from data compiled from clinical trials, pharmacological and toxicological studies, medical case reports, and historical texts. All entries are reviewed by an Expert Advisory Council that includes some of the most renowned herbal and integrative medicine experts in the United States.




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