Natural Foods Merchandiser

Celebrate Herb Day Oct. 14

Herbalists and retailers plan to celebrate a new holiday Oct. 14—HerbDay—to educate the public about herbal medicine and promote herbs.

"I expect people to get a keener awareness of the value of herbal medicine," said Wayne Silverman, chief administrative officer at the American Botanical Council, one of five nonprofits organizing the event.

Additional organizers are the American Herbalist Guild, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, American Herbal Products Association and United Plant Savers.

The groups founded HerbDay to provide materials, activities and speakers for retailers and other hosts. Large chain retailers, including GNC, Whole Foods and Vitamin World, as well as independent stores have signed up to host HerbDay celebrations.

At, the coalition provides materials on common herb profiles, handouts on herb safety and standardization, and tips on understanding labels.

"It's modeled after Earth Day," Silverman said. "It's a decentralized grassroots effort."

Like Earth Day, HerbDay was conceived to change the public's perception. "We want people to get a clearer picture about regulations that exist, value and general safety of herbal medicine," Silverman said. "We want to promote a balanced view of the value of herbs."

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 8/p. 12

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