HerbalGram celebrates 35th anniversary as the herbal industry’s revered journal

August 13, 2018

HerbalGram, the quarterly journal published by the American Botanical Council (ABC; Austin, TX), is celebrating its 35th anniversary as a leading educational resource for herbal advocates and the herbal industry at large.

HerbalGram, the quarterly journal published by the American Botanical Council (ABC; Austin, TX), is celebrating its 35th anniversary as a leading and revered educational resource for herbal advocates and the herbal industry at large.

The publication was first published in August 1983 as an eight-page black-and-white newsletter called “Herb News” with the subtitle “Herbalgram.” Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC, produced the first newsletter while running his former herb distribution business, Sweethardt Herbs, spending nights and weekends collecting, writing, and editing articles for the newsletter, he says. The publication grew quickly from there and for the second issue, Blumenthal hired two part-time assistant editors to help him with the endeavor and the project took on a more defined format, officially adopting the name HerbalGram.

When Blumenthal started the publication, it received financial support from American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD), which Blumenthal was a founding board member of. But as HerbalGram grew as a resource in the herbal medicine community, and as Blumenthal developed into an herbal authority, he eventually formed his own educational body, the American Botanical Council, in 1988 together with the late ethnobotanist James A. Duke, PhD, and the late Professor Norman Farnsworth, PhD. This publication transitioned from a newsletter to a journal. That same year, issue 18/19, a 48-page double issue, the first color edition of HerbalGram, was published under the auspices of ABC and the Herb Research Foundation (HRF), which Blumenthal co-founded with then-associate editor of HerbalGram, Robert McCaleb. In the year 2000, issue 50 became the first issue published by ABC alone.

HerbalGram now has an art director and three full-time editors, in addition to Blumenthal who serves as the editor-in-chief. The journal features articles both from in-house writers and botanical experts from around the world that are all peer-reviewed by members of ABC’s distinguished advisory board or by other professionals with relevant expertise.

HerbalGram has served as the go-to source for detailed perspectives on developing herb-related topics for 35 years,” said Steven Foster, an herbalist, photographer, author, and ABC board of trustees member in a press release. “The publication is at the forefront of covering topics such as herb conservation and the effect of climate change on herb crops, clear assessments of regulatory and market developments, as well as emerging science.”

HerbalGram reaches thousands of readers in more than 81 countries who represent a range of diverse professions such as research scientists, health practitioners, industry members, and government regulators, to name a few.