VirtualWhat do you know about where the herbs in the herbal products you buy come from? And what about the companies producing those products...are they investing in the long term human and ecological communities from which they source, or are they simply looking for the best deal on the market? The experts at ABC’s Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) and the Herbal Alliance (UK) stress that the answers to those questions matter. The answers matter not only in terms of determining the quality of the products you buy, but also they say, in demonstrating how herbal medicine can be at the heart of a truly sustainable healthcare system that supports ecological and physiological health and wellness for all.

That's why, on April 27, 2023, SHP and the Herbal Alliance are partnering to  host Why Prescribing Sustainable Herbs Matters. During this half-day conference (10am - 2pm EDT), Ann Armbrecht, Ph.D., and Sebastian Pole will facilitate conversations that explore the relationship among sustainable sourcing, high-quality botanical ingredients, and clinical efficacy. Leaders in the fields of responsible and ethical sourcing, quality, and clinical expertise will discuss why these issues are critical to the future of herbal medicine, and offer guidance for healthcare practitioners.

As SHP notes: Those who buy herbal products have a tremendous capacity to influence the purchasing decisions and practices of companies using medicinal plants in their products. Following on years of field work at the Sustainable Herbs Program and recent results from the Herbal Alliance UK-wide Sustainability Survey, the conference will provide tools and resources so that everyone purchasing herbal products can make the most of that buying power and encourage more companies to invest in the practices needed to create high quality, sustainably sourced botanical products.

This event is unique in that it is a fundraiser. Proceeds will go to the nonprofit ABC’s Sustainable Herbs Program and the Herbal Alliance. Money will be used to fund the organizations' ongoing work raising awareness and inspiring action around sustainability in sourcing and producing herbal products. Attendees are asked to pay they amount they are able (learn more and register here). As for the content, it will be value-packed (see below), and  recordings will be available for registered participants until August 31, 2023.

Sustainable Herbs conference at a glance:

Confirmed speakers at topics for the event include:

  • The world we live in: Global supply situation. Sebastian Pole, Pukka Herbs, Herbal Reality, Herbal Alliance
  • Cultural and ecological diversity; Sustainability & Wild Harvesting. Josef Brinckmann, Traditional Medicinals
  • Herbal sustainability, wild harvesting, and climate change. Anastasiya Timoshyna, TRAFFIC
  • Are all herbs equal? Research on the relationship of quality to sustainable value chains. Anthony (Tony) Booker, University of Westminster
  • Are all herbs equal? Quality and sourcing. Alison Czeczuga, Gaia Herbs
  • How ‘Fair’ is the herbal supply chain? Erin Smith, Banyan Botanicals
  • The link between quality and efficacy. Roy Upton, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
  • Quality, Sustainable Sourcing, and Clinical Practice. David Winston, Founder, Herbalist & Alchemist
  • What Can Practitioners Do? Part 1: Sustainable Herbs Program initiatives. Ann Armbrecht, SHP Director
  • What Can Practitioners Do? Part 2: Herbal Alliance. Vicky Murray, Sustainability Advisor

Related: We Can’t Be Well Until the Planet is Well

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