9,000! ABC reaches notable HerbClip Research Summary milestone

© Copyright / Getty Images
© Copyright / Getty Images

Related tags American botanical council botanical extracts botanicals Research Unmetered

The American Botanical Council (ABC) has published its 9,000th HerbClip, an important research and educational resource for scientists, researchers, health professionals, industry members, and others.

HerbClips are two- to three-page summaries and critical reviews of scientific journal articles that cover medicinal plant-related human clinical research, ethnobotanical reviews, analytical methods, regulatory data, market information, conservation and sustainability studies, and more.

The summaries typically focus on the growing body of human clinical research on herbal products, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses of these trials.

"ABC Members often share with me how much they appreciate HerbClip,”​ said Denise Meikel, ABC director of development. “I’m told this invaluable resource makes research for R&D, claim substantiation, etc. much easier and it makes staying up to date on the latest literature less time consuming.”

The origin story

HerbClip started in 1992, four years after ABC was founded. At the time, ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal would designate relevant news and scientific articles to be photocopied and mailed to numerous friends and colleagues.

About a year later, when he learned that this activity had become increasingly costly, Blumenthal called two friends in the herb industry — Jim Beck (1946–2021), founder and then-owner of Solar Herbs (now Solaray, a division of Nutraceutical Corp.), and Ken Murdock, then-president and owner of Nature’s Way — and asked if they would be willing to pay for summaries of the latest herb research and related developments. They agreed, as did many other herb industry colleagues over a short period of time, and HerbClip became a permanent, funded ABC publication.

In 2005, ABC added “HerbClip News,” a column of commentary from HerbClip Managing Editor Lori Glenn, with each mailing. Two years later, in 2007, the first electronic HerbClips were sent to ABC members, which dramatically expanded readership. By 2009, all HerbClips were delivered electronically, reflecting ABC’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

“HerbClip has uniquely documented the explosive growth in clinical research on medicinal plant formulations,”​ said Blumenthal. “These days there are so many clinical research trials being published that we cannot keep up with the pace of publication. We now seldom produce HerbClip summaries and critical reviews on the thousands of studies that cover medicinal plant chemistry, toxicology, and pharmacological research each year — much of which is not always directly relevant to traditional and modern use of medicinal plants. Instead, we focus on human trials, making HerbClip a unique and invaluable resource.

Commenting on the valuye of HerbClip, Cindy Angerhofer, PhD, Executive Fellow of Botanical Research at Aveda, stated: “I have always read the ABC HerbClips with interest. Sometimes the articles are from journals that I already track for my daily work, but many times they are taken from sources that I am not routinely monitoring, so the HerbClip brings me new information.

“This service continues to be a valuable resource for the casual reader as well as the more seasoned professional or practitioner.”


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