AHPA announces publication of third edition of Herbs of Commerce

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The third edition contains over 2,800 entries of separate plant species, over 1,000 botanical synonyms, over 300 Ayurvedic names, as well as over 700 pinyin names.

Photo from AHPA

Photo from AHPA

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) has announced the release of the third edition of Herbs of Commerce, which provides guidance on the consistent naming of botanical ingredients on product labels. The first edition was published in 1992 as self-governing guidance to reduce confusion and attempt to standardize common names for each listed herb. According to AHPA, eventually, in 1997, Herbs of Commerce took the force of federal law when it was incorporated as reference when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began rulemaking to implement the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

The second edition was published in 2000, and AHPA has made it its aim to expand and update each subsequent edition to reflect the herbs present on the market and the contemporary botanical nomenclature. The third edition contains over 2,800 entries of separate plant species, over 1,000 botanical synonyms, over 300 Ayurvedic names, as well as over 700 pinyin names.

Herbs of Commerce is a critically important reference for AHPA members and the wider dietary supplement industry,” said AHPA chief information analyst, Merle Zimmermann, PhD, in a press release. Zimmerman served as the managing editor of the third edition. “This latest version is the culmination of several years of conscientious work by experts dedicated to the science and study of herbs and supporting transparency in the trade,” Zimmermann added.

“Dietary supplements are currently of peak interest to health-minded consumers,” said AHPA president Michael McGuffin, who served as an editor of the second edition of Herbs of Commerce. “Responsible marketers have a duty to clearly and accurately label herbal ingredients to help consumers make well-informed decisions about the products they buy, and Herbs of Commerce serves as an authoritative resource for naming botanical ingredients.”

McGuffin serves as a contributing editor, in addition to Holly E. Johnson, PhD, AHPA’s chief scientific officer. Wendy Applequist, PhD (Missouri Botanical Garden) served as taxonomic editor. David Bunting (Herb Pharm), Mitch Coven (Vitality Works), Daniel Gagnon (Herbs, Etc.), Wilson Lau (Nuherbs), Roy Upton (American Herbal Pharmacopoeia), David Winston (Herbalist & Alchemist), and Steven Yeager (Mountain Rose Herbs) volunteered their time and expertise to serve on the Expert Advisory Council for this edition of Herbs of Commerce.

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