Herbal Medicine

Standardization vs Synergy: The Paradoxes Of Botanical Identity Testing

By Elan Sudberg, Contributing Writer

I have a nerdy fascination with the subject of zoopharmacognosy—the study how we humans gained knowledge of which plants are food, which are poison, and which are medicine, by observing the animals around us. Other creatures seem to know what to eat, and what to avoid. Some have figured out ways to self-medicate by chewing […]

New Collaboration Promotes Chromatography for Herb Quality

By Erik Goldman

The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) and the American Botanical Council (ABC)—two of the nation’s leading herbal medicine advocacy groups—have joined forces with the International Association for the Advancement of High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC Association) to promote greater consensus and wider use of this important analytical technique. According to an AHP press release announcing […]

Ahiflower Oil: A New Option for Boosting Omegas & Reducing Inflammation

By Lisa Rankin, MD, Contributing Writer

Ahiflower oil, derived from the seeds of a plant called Buglossoides arvensis, provides a new vegan-friendly, sustainably sourced option for boosting essential fatty acid levels and mitigating pro-inflammatory physiological states. The research shows that Ahiflower—so named because it represents a plant-based alternative to omega-rich oils from fatty fish like the Ahi tuna–provides the richest, most […]

What Practitioners Need to Know About Botanical Quality Testing

By Elan Sudberg, Contributing Writer

As a kid I grew up in doctors’ offices and labs. It’s not because I was sick. Rather my mother and father both worked there. My mother was a microbiologist who applied those skills to live blood cell analysis and allergy testing, and then later worked in government microbiology labs where she researched models of […]

Feeling Regulatory Pressure, Amazon Puts Supplements in the Hot Seat

By Erik Goldman

The phrase, “hot on Amazon” is taking on new and problematic meanings for the dietary supplement industry this Spring. Beginning on April 15, Amazon began requiring supplement companies that sell on the platform to guarantee that their products can withstand temperatures up to 155o F, and still meet label claims for stability and potency. Companies […]

Enhancing Fertility with Functional Medicine: Insights from the Peer-Review Literature

By Erik Goldman

Approximately 1 in 8 every couples in the US faces fertility challenges. And that’s a conservative estimate. As functional medicine practitioners, we could easily postulate that optimal fertility is even more fleeting for many more people, as are optimal maternal and neonatal health outcomes. Humans today face a daunting moment. In the industrialized world, fertility […]

Feeding Friendly Flora: Prebiotics Have Key Role in Immune Resilience

By Erik Goldman

The gut microbiome and the human immune system have a complex synergistic relationship that we are just beginning to understand. Research on this subject has exploded over the last decade, and the findings are redefining fundamental notions of what it means to be healthy, and, really what it means to be “human.” The immune system–and […]

Culinary Mushrooms Offer a Wealth Of Immune-Boosting Nutrients

By Sally LaMont, ND, LAc

As practitioners, we encourage our patients to eat more brightly colored, phytonutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, and there’s no question that color is strongly correlated with nutrient content. But we should not overlook nature’s white, tan, and brown-pigmented delights. And by that, I mean mushrooms! Edible mushrooms contain diverse immunoregulatory compounds, like chitin, β-glucans, sterols, terpenes […]