HerbDay: An Authentic Grass-Roots Movement Takes Root

October 14 Commemorates the Growing Interest in Herbs

(October 2, 2006) — Herbs are essential components of everything from dietary supplements to incredible gourmet cuisine, beautiful gardens, effective personal care, and vital nutrients. And we can't live without them. October 14, 2006, marks the first ever HerbDay, which is being celebrated in cities throughout the country to honor the role of herbs in our lives.

A two-day keynote event at the U.S. Botanic Garden, on the National Mall in Washington DC, is just one of many formal and informal events to be held at large and small retail stores, schools, farms and botanical gardens, and public parks. New events nationwide — and now in Canada and Europe — are still being added to the HerbDay website, http://www.herbday.org/. They include lectures and workshops, book signings and talks by renowned authors, guided plant identification walks with experienced botanists familiar with regional habitats, a wild plant rescue, seasonal herbal handcrafts, in-store product demonstrations, children’s activities, and more. Companies such as Aveda Salons and Spas, GNC, Great Earth Vitamins, Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers, The Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, Whole Foods Markets, and many more will join in the festivities.

Five national nonprofit organizations, working together as the HerbDay Coalition, launched this event — American Botanical Council, American Herbalists Guild, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, American Herbal Products Association, and United Plant Savers. Other organizations provided support and connections to the herbal community, and a few corporate sponsors covered some of the expenses.

“This day is about celebrating the value of herbs today and honoring the long traditions of their use in healing in many cultures. We are pleased to have played a role in making this happen and we are confident HerbDay will continue long into the future,” said Wayne Silverman, PhD, chief administrative officer of the American Botanical Council

“Because of HerbDay, many will discover the resources in their own communities, including herbalists and other experts who can help in making good choices to improve and maintain their health. Many herbalists have volunteered as teachers in support of HerbDay, in the spirit of sharing their knowledge,” said Aviva Romm, president of the American Herbalists Guild.

“Botanicals have been in use for thousands of years, and modern science is catching up with what the peoples of the world have known: that herbs work when selected and taken properly. HerbDay is a way of sharing that knowledge,” said Roy Upton, executive director of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

“Herbs are an important health option for many people in America as well as around the world. Whether a simple tea or a sophisticated extract, these products continue a long tradition of self-care, and HerbDay is a celebration of the value of botanicals,” said Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association.

“Human lives are intertwined with botanicals, for the things we need and the things we enjoy. It is too easy to overlook and take for granted the plants that provide us with so many benefits. We must protect them if they're going to continue to benefit us, and many HerbDay events address this issue,” said Lynda LeMole, president of United Plant Savers.

More information about HerbDay activities and resources, and event registration forms are available at: http://www.herbday.org.


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