AUSTIN, Texas—Nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) announced that it published the 500th issue of HerbClip, a two- to three-page summary and critical review of seminal articles covering medicinal plant-related clinical research, regulation, market information, and conservation and sustainability developments.
HerbClip summaries and critical reviews typically are based upon human clinical trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of such clinical trials, as well as other articles dealing with ethnobotany, conservation and sustainability, quality control, and regulation of herbs and medicinal botanical products. These articles are drawn from a wide variety of peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals, monographs, government documents, and special reports.
In addition to summarizing the original article, an HerbClip may include insights, perspectives, criticism, and/or links to other articles and issues. To help ensure their accuracy, HerbClip summaries and reviews are examined by consulting editors and peer reviewers before they are published. For example, topics covered in three of the 15 HerbClips released in the 500th HerbClip issue include green tea and blood pressure, the chemistry and pharmacology of monk fruit, and cocoa and glycemia, among others.
HerbClip’s roots stretch back to 1993, just five years after ABC was established. ABC Founder and executive director Mark Blumenthal would copy and share relevant news articles with colleagues. In the beginning, HerbClip involved mailing summaries and reviews of herbal literature to ABC colleagues in the academic and scientific communities, as well as key members of the herb and natural products industry. At the time, no similar service existed in the natural medicine and herbal supplement industry. HerbClips offered not only summaries and reviews, but also the original articles on which they were based (when such permissions were granted by the articles’ publishers).
In 2005, ABC started to include HerbClip News, which provides additional information about one of the topics covered in each issue. The 500th issue includes an HerbClip News article on Cacao Blanco – white cocoa beans. In 2007, the first electronic HerbClips were sent to ABC members, expanding the number of people receiving HerbClip. By 2009, all HerbClips were being delivered electronically via HerbClip e-Service. This change further solidified the organization's commitment to environmental sustainability while saving ABC printing and postage costs.
“ABC is proud to have sent out our 500th issue of our unique HerbClips," said Blumenthal, who also serves as HerbClip’s editor in chief. “Many of ABC’s members tell us that they find the extensive research information in HerbClip to be one of the most useful and unique benefits of ABC membership.
HerbClip summaries and reviews are available online through the ABC website, and the entire database is searchable by any term.