The American Botanical Council (ABC) reached a new milestone yesterday, having published more than 4,000 HerbClip summaries and critical reviews of herbal literature. These summaries are available and searchable online on the organization’s website: http://www.herbalgram.org/.
HerbClip summaries and critical reviews are typically based upon clinical trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and other articles dealing with ethnobotany, conservation, and regulation of herbs and herbal products. These articles are drawn from a wide variety of scientific and medical journals, government documents, special reports, trade journals, and the mainstream media. In addition to summarizing the original article, an HerbClip may include insights, perspectives, criticism and/or links to other articles and issues. HerbClip summaries and reviews are examined by consulting editors and peer reviewers before they are published, to help ensure their accuracy.
ABC initiated the HerbClip service in 1993. At that time, the service involved mailing summaries and reviews of herbal literature to various ABC colleagues in the academic and scientific communities and key members of industry. The HerbClips contained not only the HerbClip summary/review but also the original articles on which they were based, when possible. In 2007, ABC began to deliver HerbClip summaries and reviews electronically (HerbEClips) via e-mail, in addition to mailing printed copies of them to ABC members at a certain level of membership. ABC plans to completely replace the mailing of printed-copy HerbClips with electronic delivery, to increase ABC’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
“HerbClip has been one of ABC’s most important and unique educational projects since it started in 1993,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal.
“Initially,” he added, “ABC offered about a dozen HerbClips per month. Back then, there were fewer general media articles and published clinical trials on herbs than there are today. As the number of articles on herbs has grown, so has HerbClip, with 30 HerbClips released each month. Today, with the explosion in research on herbs and other plant-based ingredients, it is not possible to cover all of the publications. Nevertheless, HerbClip continues to provide a unique way of summarizing herb research, with much more detailed information than one can find in the articles’ official abstracts.”
Since 2001, HerbClip summaries and reviews have been available online, as an electronic archive located on the ABC website. HerbClip is updated with 15 new HerbClip summaries/reviews twice monthly.
“HerbClip provides a way for experts to educate themselves about areas in which they may know nothing—for instance, an echinacea expert could learn something about an Ayurvedic or Chinese herb,” explained HerbClip Managing Editor Lori Glenn. “The general public can access easier-to-understand information on scientific reports without wading through the scientific language that often appears in the original article or their official abstracts. Educators use HerbClips as learning tools for their students. For manufacturers, it provides greater exposure to their clinically-researched products.”
“I hope that HerbClip is also valuable to the botanicals themselves,” she added. “There’s so much information that has been lost due to a lack of wise women and village healers. Perhaps through reliable herbal education resources like HerbClip, people will be inspired to seek a different way of healing or even plant an herb garden.”
HerbClip is available to all ABC members at the Academic Level and higher. Information on how to gain access to HerbClip Online through ABC membership is available from the ABC website, http://www.herbalgram.org/.
About the American Botanical Council
Founded in 1988 the American Botanical Council is a leading international nonprofit organization addressing research and educational issues regarding herbs and medicinal plants. ABC’s members include academic researchers and educators, universities and libraries, health professionals and medical institutions, botanical gardens and arboreta, government agencies, members of the herb, dietary supplement, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries, journalists, consumers, and other interested parties from over 70 countries. The organization occupies a historic 2.5-acre site in Austin, Texas where it publishes the quarterly journal HerbalGram, the monthly e-publication HerbalEGram, HerbClips (summaries of scientific and clinical publications), reference books, and other educational materials. ABC also hosts HerbMedPro, a powerful herbal database, covering scientific and clinical publications on more than 220 herbs.
ABC is tax-exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS Code. Information: Contact ABC at P.O. Box 144345, Austin, TX 78714-4345, Phone: 512-926-4900. Website: http://www.herbalgram.org/.