The American Botanical Council will present its annual Botanical Excellence Awards online at 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. The celebration and awards will be available via the council's Facebook page and You Tube channel.
"ABC has always been a science organization, and most of our awards reflect ABC's scientific research orientation," said ABC founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. "Despite the fact that we can chose only a few people for our awards each year, ABC's awards process intends to honor all those engaged in scientific and clinical research on herbs, medicinal plants, phytomedicines, essential oils, medicinal fungi, and related natural ingredients with therapeutic benefits."
The online event is free to attended, but registration is required. Visit the ABC calendar page for more information and to RSVP.
Six awards are presented each year:
- ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award is for books that contribute significantly to the medicinal plant-related literature and the fields of botany, taxonomy, ethnobotany, pharmacognosy, phytomedicine, mycology, and other related disciplines. Last year's award went to "Flora of the Voynich Codex: An Exploration of Aztec Plants," co-authored by Arthur O. Tucker, Ph.D., and Jules Janick, Ph.D.
- ABC Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award is for significant research contributions in the fields of pharmacognosy, ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, or other scientific disciplines related to medicinal plants. Professor Rachel Mata, Ph.D., a pharmacist, pharmacognosist and natural products researcher, received this award in 2020.
- ABC Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award is awarded to a botanical ingredient, dietary supplement, and/or phytomedicinal products company that makes a strong investment in human clinical research to support the authenticity, safety and efficacy of its ingredients or products. Napo Pharmaceuticals, based in San Francisco, California, received this award last year.
- ABC Fredi Kronenberg Excellence in Research and Education in Botanicals for Women's Health Award is presented to a researcher, educator, and/or clinician who furthers the scientific study and clinical use of medicinal plants and phytomedicines for women's health conditions. In 2020, Mary L. Hardy, M.D., a board-certified internist, received the award for her work in botanical and integrative medicine and leadership in integrative oncology.
- ABC Champion Award honors outstanding supporters of ABC who have helped the organization promote and achieve its nonprofit research and educational mission, whether through monetary support or contributions of their own time. Thomas Brendler, founder of the consulting firm PlantaPhile, received the award a year ago.
- ABC Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award honors individuals who have played a significant role in creating a sense of community among herbalists, botanical researchers, members of the herb and natural products communities and industries, and others who work in the various areas of medicinal and aromatic plants. Last year's recipients were Mary Blue, Katheryn Langelier and Nicole Telkes—three herbalists who became the face of the "Tradition Not Trademark" movement when they were sued for trademark infringement and battled in court to keep the herbal legacy product "fire cider" a generic term.
The awards traditionally are presented during Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Expo is being conducted online. The sponsors of this year's ABC Celebration and Botanical Excellence Awards are Alkemist Labs, Amin Talati Wasserman, ChromaDex, Euromed, EuroPharma, Horphag Research, Indena, MegaFood, New Chapter, Informa, NOW Health Group, RT Specialty, United Natural Products Alliance, and Verdure Sciences.