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  • 1. Extracting Current Trends from Natural Sources Celebrating A Banner Year for Natural Product Resources Whether you are a physician looking to expand your treatment protocols, a supplement provider looking to meet new FDA regulations, an organic chemist probing the mysteries of the rain forest, or a molecular biologist tinkering with the structure of a novel pharmaceutical, you can only be as progressive and credible as the information you access. Natural Pharmacopoeias Help Look it up: Science Advance Novel Drug Development Supports Alternative P x Whether they are searching When developing new drugs and drug delivery technology, science often for savings or new hope, more looks to nature. Today, medicines from natural sources account for 60 than a third of adults now percent of anticancer and anti-infective drugs make use of over-the-counter in use. These complex molecules have evolved alternative therapies. “This over millennia to provide robust, disease-fight- situation increases the need ing mechanisms. With so many successes gar- for healthcare professionals, nered from nature, it surprises no one that mod- especially pharmacists, to ern medicine continues to validate many of the judge the quality of available products and to traditional uses ascribed to plants and other interpret the products’ role in preventing and natural products. treating disease for the lay consumer,” according When working with plant products, identifica- to Dr. Dennis V.C. Awang, author of Tyler’s tion and quality control are always crucial issues. Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Microscopic evaluation of plant material can provide a much-needed Phytomedicinals, Third Edition (CRC Press 2009). quick, accurate, and inexpensive tool for raw material authentication and Tyler’s combines the scientific aspects of phy- assessment of purity. A combination handbook and atlas written by Roy tomedicine and pharmacognosy with the mod- Upton, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia: Botanical Pharmacognosy- ern clinical trials that support the rationale for Microscopic Characterization of Botanical Medicines (CRC Press 2009) medicinal use of herbs. includes detailed images, drawings, and photomicrographs of sectioned Dr. Thomas Li, retired scientist from Agriculture whole and powdered material of important species, many of which had and Agri-Food Canada, is the author of Chinese lacked quality descriptions. Upton’s knowledge of ayurvedic, Chinese, and Related North American Herbs: and western practices makes him a true renaissance man of this field. He Phytopharmacology & Therapeutic Values, provides full instructions for setting up a microscopy laboratory and per- Second Edition (CRC Press 2009), which covers forming botanical microscopy for the identification of plant material. more than 1800 species of Chinese herbs and The complete repertoire of more than 700 related North American species. “Look deep into nature, and then you skills, tools, and techniques of will understand everything better.” Amid headlines touting tainted imports, Li pharmacognosy, from physi- —Albert Einstein reemphasizes the need for stricter regulation and cal to chemical analysis, is more precise testing. critical in the development of new drugs from natural products. Those “A basic scientific understanding of the Chinese conducting research need to accurately characterize the products being herbal preparations is the first step toward build- studied not only to foster experimental reproducibility but also to main- ing consumer confidence in herbal medications,” tain quality control, regulatory, and pharmacopoeial standards. story continued on pg. 8 (Alternative P ) x Summer 2009
  • 2. NATURALPRODUCTS CALENDAR Natural Products Networking News Nordic Natural Products Functional Molecules Society for Industrial 238th ACS National Conference from Natural Sources Microbiology's (SIM) Meeting & Exposition Haukadalur, Iceland A Natural Products Annual Meeting and Fall 2009 June 2-5, 2009 Conference Exhibition Washington, DC, USA Oxford, UK Toronto, Ontario, Canada August 16-20, 2009 Fapronatura 2009, July 6-9, 2009 July 26 - 30, 2009 Second International World Congress of Symposia about XXII Conference on Gordon Research Pharmacy and Pharmacology of Advances in Organic Conference Pharmaceutical Sciences Natural Products Synthesis on Natural Products 69th International Congress Varadero, Cuba Karpacz, Poland Tilton, NH of FIP June 3-7, 2009 July 8-12, 2009 July 26-31, 2009 Istanbul, Turkey September 3-9, 2009 Special Libraries 16th European 42nd IUPAC Congress Association Annual Symposium on Organic Glasgow, UK BPC 2009 British Conference Chemistry (ESOC) August 2-7, 2009 Pharmaceutical Washington, DC Prague, Czech Republic Conference June 14-17, 2009 July 12-16, 2009 49th Annual Meeting Manchester, UK of the Phytochemical September 6-9, 2009 Joint Meeting on Joint Annual Meetings Society of Medicinal Chemistry of American Society North America Asian Federation for 2009 of Plant Biologists & Biologically Active Pharmaceutical Science Budapest, Hungary Phycological Society Phytochemicals (AFPS) 2009 June 24-27, 2009 of America Towson University, Maryland Fukuoka City, Japan Honolulu, Hawaii August 8-12, 2009 October 15-18, 2009 The 50th Anniversary July 18-22, 2009 Meeting of the 57th International 4th International American Society of 6th European Congress & Annual Conference on Pharmacognosy (ASP) Conference on Marine Meeting of the Society Polyphenols and Health Honolulu, Hawaii Natural Products for Medicinal Plant Yorkshire, England June 27 - July 1, 2009 Porto, Portugal Research December 7-11, 2009 July 19-23, 2009 Geneva, Switzerland August 16-20, 2009 A Pro- & Pre-biotic Approach to Bacteria Probiotics and prebiotics alone and together promote gas- The Good, The Bad, and The Viable trointestinal health and proper immune function. The use of pro- and prebiotics as well as synbiotics (their Consumption of the proper ratio of probiotics (live micro- therapeutic combination) also holds promise for improved bial food ingredients) and prebiotics (food ingredients that infant formulas, cholesterol regulation, and treatments for stimulate the growth of good bacteria) can alter the intesti- lactose intolerance and diabetes. They can also be used to nal microflora with significant health benefit. Recent replace the good bacteria that is inadvertently destroyed by research demonstrates great potential in the treatment of non-discriminating antibiotics. specific diseases, especially inflammatory bowel disease The commercial challenge is to create quality products that (IBD). In addition to the elimination of pathogenic bacte- lend themselves to processing, packaging, and distribution. ria, the mechanisms credited to these agents include The Handbook of Prebiotics and Probiotics Ingredients: increased SCFA production, reduction of inflammatory Health Benefits and Food Applications (CRC Press 2009) cytokine secretion, strengthening of the intestinal epithe- explores these variables and highlights current biological lial wall, and improvement of Th1/Th2 balance. Similarly, research and food applications. Chapters contributed by their use is being studied for the prevention of colorectal experts from around the world take a global perspective, cancers. Evidence supports the notion that supplemental providing a thorough reference for product developers and use can change colon pH, alter gut xenobiotic metabolism, regulatory agencies as well as for nutritionists and forward- and modulate the immune system. thinking health professionals. 2
  • 3. NATURALPRODUCTS RootS Extracting Current Trends from Natural Sources New Dictionary of Alkaloids Raises the Bar John Buckingham This fall brings publication of a new edition of the Following the successful publication of DOC5, a number of Dictionary of Alkaloids, put together by a team of subject specialized dictionaries were planned building on the tech- specialists known for their work on the Chapman & nology of the DOC. One of the first of these publications was Hall/CRC Dictionary of Natural Products. This new edition the Dictionary of Alkaloids (by this author and Ian W. represents the cumulated effort of more than 25 years of com- Southon) in 1988. The number of alkaloids then known was pilation and editing and includes the input of a number of approximately 10,000. well-respected alkaloid chemists. The 90s: Going Electronic A Brief History of Data The 1990s led to two further developments of note. First, the Before going further, it is worth casting a brief eye over the compilation on a comprehensive basis of further classes of remarkable history of the entire Chapman & Hall database natural products led to the eventual emergence of the project, which has led to the production of a number of spe- Dictionary of Natural Products (1993), now recognized as the cialized dictionaries, including the Dictionary of Alkaloids. leading information source on all classes of metabolites. The C&H database (or Secondly, the dictionaries migrated from print to substruc- more strictly, databank) ture-searchable electronic venues. Initially offered on CD- was established in the ROM, the dictionaries are now available in DVD and web late 1970s as a means of versions; DOC6 in 1995 was the last print edition. updating and bringing Currently, the two flagship Chapman & Hall/CRC products out a new edition of the are DNP and the Combined Chemical Dictionary, which incor- Dictionary of Organic porates organic compounds as well as inorganics, drugs, and Compounds. Known as other datasets. Each of the electronic dictionaries is updated the DOC, dating back to on six month cycles. the 1930s, it had been around in print form More recently, we have begun to produce through four successive editions. The DOC provided a pop- a fresh series of printed publications ular alternative to Beilstein. In addition to being less expen- drawn from the database. The sive than Beilstein, it provided easier access as well as more new Dictionary of Alkaloids is current data on frequently accessed organic compounds. part of that effort. Satisfying diverse needs, each new edi- A Leap of Faith – A Technically Sound Landing tion will include a substruc- The DOC played a major role in the reporting of new natur- ture-searchable DVD along al products. But by the 1970s, it was becoming impossible for with the printed book. this traditional print product to keep pace with the rapid 20,000 Alkaloids and Counting development of new compounds, new syntheses, and other important updates. As a result, the C&H database was con- A wide definition of alkaloid has been used in the dictionary, ceived. It presented a highly re-edited version of the printed so that, for example, non-basic alkaloidal amides are com- DOC with massive updating drawn from the recent litera- prehensively covered. The growth of natural product infor- ture. At the time, the only competing product in the field mation is evidenced by the fact that the number of alkaloids was Chemical Abstracts. Incorporating direct phototypeset- documented in the new edition is now more than doubled to ting, the DOC database represented a great technological over 20,000. Despite the increase in entries, a more compact leap forward. With the help of the Mack Printing format makes it possible to squeeze all of the data into a sin- Corporation of Easton, Pennsylvania, the pioneering high- gle volume. While restrictions limit the amount of indexing quality fifth edition of the DOC became the reference of in the print volume, extensive indexing is present in the choice. electronic version. For this new edition, every existing entry story continued on pg. 6 (Dictionary of Alkaloids) 3
  • 4. NATURALPRODUCTS Extracting Current Trends from Natural Sources NATURALPRODUCTS Recently Published Dictionary of Alkaloids Call for Authors Second Edition with CD-ROM and Upcoming Titles Edited by The cross-fertilization of classical pharmacognosy with modern chemical Carotenoids John Buckingham and biological approaches continues to keep the pharmacognosy field rele- Consultant Editor, Dictionary of Natural Products, Physical, Chemical, and Biological London vant for those working in both drug development and herbal medicines. To Functions and Properties Keith Baggaley and Andy Roberts meet the demand for relevant resources, CRC Press is initiating a book series Edited by Consultants, UK in Clinical Pharmacognosy. Potential target areas include pharmacognosy as John T. Landrum Laszlo F. Szabo Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA it relates to women’s health, infectious diseases, oxidative stress, neurode- Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary Catalog no. 52306, November 2009 generative diseases, aging, and/or mental health disorders and addiction. Catalog no. 77694, October 2009, c. 2200 pp. c. 528 pp., ISBN: 978-1-4200-5230-5 ISBN: 978-1-4200-7769-8, $695.00 / £442.00 Send all queries to the Series or Acquiring editor. $189.95 / £121.00 Series Editor Chinese & Related North Professor Navindra Seeram Figs American Herbs Edited by Bioactive Botanical Research Laboratory Phytopharmacology & Therapeutic Values, Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Ephraim Philip Lansky Second Edition Rimonest Ltd., Haifa, Israel 41 Lower College Road, College of Pharmacy, Thomas S. C. Li Helena Maaria Paavilainen Penticton, British Columbia, Canada University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881 Series: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - Industrial Profiles Catalog no. 94157, September 2009 nseeram@mail.uri.edu Catalog no. 89668, November 2009 c. 560 pp., ISBN: 978-1-4200-9415-2 Acquiring Editor c. 450 pp., ISBN: 978-1-4200-8966-0 $189.95 / £121.00 Hilary Rowe $129.95 / £82.00 CRC Press/Taylor and Francis Handbook of Essential Oils 6000 Broken Sound Parkway NW Suite 300 Handbook of Nutraceuticals Science, Technology, and Applications Boca Raton, FL 33487 Ingredients, Formulations, and K. Husnu Can Baser Hilary.rowe@taylorandfrancis.com Applications Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey 858 436 5501 Edited by Gerhard Buchbauer Yashwant Pathak Universitat Wien, Austria Sullivan University, Louisville, Kentucky, USA Catalog no. 63154, September 2009 Tyler's Herbs of Choice International Poisonous Plants Chemistry and Molecular Catalog no. 82213, November 2009 c. 656 pp., ISBN: 978-1-4200-6315-8 The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals, Checklist Aspects of Drug Design and c. 416 pp., ISBN: 978-1-4200-8221-0 $189.95 / £121.00 Third Edition An Evidence-Based Reference Action $149.95 / £89.00 Dennis V.C. Awang D. Jesse Wagstaff Edited by Essential Oil Bearing Grasses MediPlant Consulting, Inc., White Rock, British United States Food and Drug Administration E.A. Rekka and P.N. Kourounakis Columbia, Canada (Emeritus) American Herbal Pharmacopoeia The genus Cymbopogon Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece Botanical Pharmacognosy-Microscopic Edited by Catalog no. 28093, May 2009, 296 pp. Catalog no. 62522, January 2009, 464 pp. Catalog no. 9006, 2008, 384 pp. Characterization of Botanical Medicines Anand Akhila ISBN: 978-0-7890-2809-9, $89.95 / £54.99 ISBN: 978-1-4200-6252-6, $149.95 / £95.00 ISBN: 978-0-8493-9006-7, $179.95 / £114.00 Edited by Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, Roy Upton Lucknow, India Duke's Handbook of Medicinal Marine Products for Healthcare Phytochemicals American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, Scotts Valley, Series: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - Industrial Profiles, Plants of Latin America Functional and Bioactive Nutraceutical Aging and Health California, USA Vol. 46 James A. Duke Compounds from the Ocean Edited by Catalog no. 73265, October 2009, c. 512 pp. Catalog no. 7857, August 2009, c. 296 pp. Green Farmacy Garden, Fulton, Maryland, USA Vazhiyil Venugopal Mark S. Meskin and Wayne R. Bidlack ISBN: 978-1-4200-7326-3, $169.95 / £108.00 ISBN: 978-0-8493-7857-7, $139.95 / £89.00 Catalog no. 43161, January 2009, 832 pp. Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, USA ISBN: 978-1-4200-4316-7, $119.95 / £76.99 Series: Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals R. Keith Randolph Plant Gum Exudates of the Handbook of Prebiotics and Catalog no. 52632, January 2009, 528 pp. Access Business Group, Ada, Michigan, USA World Probiotics Ingredients Handbook of Plant-Based ISBN: 978-1-4200-5263-3, $169.95 / £108.00 Catalog no. 61372, 2008, 232 pp. Sources, Distribution, Properties, and Health Benefits and Food Applications Biofuels ISBN: 978-1-4200-6137-6, $129.95 / £82.00 Applications Edited by Edited by Tea and Tea Products Amos Nussinovitch Susan Sungsoo Cho Ashok Pandey Chemistry and Health-Promoting Thin Layer Chromatography in The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel NutraSource Inc., Laurel, Maryland, USA National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Properties Phytochemistry Catalog no. 52233, October 2009, c. 352 pp. Terry Finocchiaro Technology, Tribandrum, India Edited by Edited by ISBN: 978-1-4200-5223-7, $179.95 / £114.00 Catalog no. 62131, August 2009, c. 416 pp. Catalog no. 21755, January 2009, 312 pp. Chi-Tang Ho Monika Waksmundzka-Hajnos and Monika ISBN: 978-1-4200-6213-7, $159.95 / £99.00 ISBN: 978-1-56022-175-3, $119.95 / £76.99 Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA Waksmundzka-Hajnos Science of Chinese Materia Jen-Kun Lin Medical University of Lublin, Poland Medica Protein Discovery Technologies High-Throughput Analysis in the National Taiwan University, Taipei Joseph Sherma Pharmaceutical Industry Fereidoon Shahidi Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, USA Edited by Edited by Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada Difeng Zhang Renata Pasqualini and Wadih Arap Edited by Teresa Kowalska Series: Nutraceutical Science and Technology, Vol. 8 University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Perry G. Wang China Houston, USA Teleflex, Wyomissing, Philadelphia, USA Catalog no. 8082, January 2009, 320 pp. Chromatographic Science Series Catalog no. 90801, October 2009, c. 507 pp. Drug Discovery Series, Vol. 12 Series: Critical Reviews in Combinatorial Chemistry ISBN: 978-0-8493-8082-2, $149.95 / £95.00 Catalog no. 46772, 2008, 896 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4200-9080-2, $129.95 / £78.99 Catalog no. DK2081, July 2009, c. 208 pp. Catalog no. 5953X, January 2009, 432 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4200-4677-9, $199.95 / £127.00 ISBN: 978-0-8247-5468-6, $149.95 / £95.00 ISBN: 978-1-4200-5953-3, $159.95 / £99.00 4 Order online at www.crcpress.com • Enter promo code ECH14 and Save 15%. 5
  • 5. NATURALPRODUCTS PARTNERS in PUBLISHING Synthesizing today’s research for tomorrow’s discoveries Dictionary of Alkaloids (continued from pg. 3) CHEMnetBASE 2009 is inspected and the great majority are updated. The extensive intro- 10 Years of Service to the duction is completely rewritten and expanded. For this purpose, we Chemistry Community have been lucky to secure the participation of Professor Laszlo Szabo. Heralded in reviews as a powerful and welcome site A renowned expert on the indole alkaloids and their biosynthesis, for all chemists when it premiered in 1999, Professor Szabo has completely revamped the presentation and classi- CHEMnetBASE pioneered a way to keep pace fication of this largest and most complex class of alkaloids. with the-never-ending data explosion of modern Reflecting changes in the literature, science. It now incorporates a core of chemical dic- some notable shifts in emphasis are tionaries from Chapman & Hall/CRC, including: evident in the new edition. Thanks • Combined Chemical Dictionary to the work of the Battersby group and others, as of 1989, the struc- • Dictionary of Natural Products tures and biosynthesis of the main • Handbook of Chemistry & Physics types of terrestrial alkaloid — those made especially by higher plants — Today, CHEMnetBASE provides structure-search- has been worked out. The main able access to the properties and characteristics of areas of new information have con- more than 500,000 compounds, as well as almost cerned novel and improved syn- all known natural products and polymers. To find thetic methods (notably from the out more, visit www.chemnetbase.com. Free trials Nicolaou group, among others), are available for qualifying institutions. and the isolation of new alkaloids of unprecedented structure from a variety of organisms, some of them resulting from the participation of newly recognized enzyme types, such as the Diels-Alder enzymes. We also know much more about the Taylor & Francis Journals interrelatedness of ecosystems and the way in which alkaloids and The Chosen Forum for New other metabolites may be passed to and metabolized by predators; for Discoveries for 250 Years example, the toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids from plants can become part of a butterfly’s defense mechanism. Available in print and online, Taylor & Francis journals pro- The Best of Both Worlds: No Choice Required vide visibility and access to An important feature of the dictionary and of the database in general cutting-edge research as well has always been its classification scheme for Type of Compound. as the opportunity for scien- These codes are designed to complement substructure searching. Each tists to have their work peer- heading merges all of the alkaloids thought by specialists to be bio- reviewed and published. genetically related, even those that don’t share the same carbon skele- Pharmaceutical Biology cov- ton. The newly discovered types of alkaloid have pushed the classifi- ers discovery, description, cation scheme hard, necessitating the insertion of numerous new cat- analysis characterization, and production/isola- egories in an attempt to limit as much as possible the number of alka- tion of biologically active chemicals, as well as loids remaining under miscellaneous codes. other substances, drugs, pharmaceutical prod- Not many resources offer both remarkable information and the luxu- ucts, or preparations utilized in systems of tradi- ry of choice. Some will prefer the sophisticated and user-friendly tional medicine. Edited by John M. Pezzuto, pro- search possibilities offered by the electronic version, and others will fessor and dean at the College of Pharmacy in prefer to thumb through the pages of the highly browsable print ver- Hilo, Hawaii, the journal accepts manuscripts sion. Either way, one will find access to data unparalleled in both that meet the criteria of scientific rigor and pos- scope and depth. sess the potential to advance the field. The newest edition will be available in the fall of this year. For more information visit www.informaworld.com 6
  • 6. NATURALPRODUCTS PIONEERS Noteworthy Names in Natural Products The Ah-ha Moments of Carotenoid Research Excerpted from an interview with John Landrum, Florida International University, Miami, USA, editor of the forthcoming Carotenoids: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Functions and Properties. The Many Faces of Carotenoids Our initial HPLC investigation and characterization of the minor and obscure yellow spot in found in the macula result- While many people know of -carotene … they are rarely ed in the discovery that it was composed of two, and only two, aware that it is but a single representative from among over of the common xanthophylls found in human blood. 700 identified carotenoids, all of which are essential to at least one organism. Possibly as many as 50 of these are present The fact that the most in the human diet but perhaps no more than a dozen are actu- common carotenoids ally absorbed into bloodstream. Of these, the non-provitamin in the human diet and A carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene are the most blood, -carotene and abundant and we are now learning that they may each play lycopene, were absent very critical roles in the protection against prostate cancer only really impressed (lycopene), reduction of the risk for atherosclerosis us as we became aware (lycopene, lutein) and reduction of the risk for age-related of how unique the macular degeneration (lutein and zeaxanthin). retina was in this Unquestionably, the most exciting discovery within the respect; in virtually carotenoid field in recent years, the cloning of the enzyme every other tissue of the human body the responsible for the conversion of -carotene to vitamin A, has carotenoids are present in amounts and proportions not vast- come about in the use of modern cell biology and PCR tech- ly different from that in serum. niques. The related discovery that lycopene is also cleaved specifically by the carotenoid cleavage enzyme has the poten- When a further investigation involving the measurement of tial to open windows upon the nature of how carotenoids the ratio of the carotenoids revealed that the proportions of influence cell proliferation and apoptosis. lutein and zeaxanthin varied across the retina in a systematic fashion, the puzzling nature of the accumulation of these two … we recognized that we were investigating carotenoids within the retina became more compelling. This something very unique. study demonstrated to us that the processes of carotenoid accumulation in the retina was under careful biochemical reg- ulation and must involve proteins capable of specifically rec- Understanding the factors and mechanisms that control ognizing, binding, and transporting these otherwise almost absorption of carotenoids by cells is crucial to our developing indistinguishable carotenoids. … we recognized that we were ability to provide nutritionists and others with the tools investigating something very unique. essential to effectively modify diets and improve the health in populations around the world. Later, we discovered that metabolism of carotenoids was occurring within the retina and that this produced a relative- A Number of Quiet Discoveries ly uncommon isomer of zeaxanthin that is not present in the My own research has been largely a study of the identity, diet of most people. …we were able to provide definitive evi- absorption, and localization of the carotenoids lutein and dence that dietary manipulation of the quantity of the zeaxanthin, which are the principal components of the mac- carotenoids in the retina could be achieved by consuming ular pigment. This work, as so often is the case in science, has supplements of these carotenoids. never been characterized by the realization that accompanies Our ah-hah moments in this scientific research are sometimes being struck by lightning. Rather our understanding and hard to define but the retrospective view that, step by step we recognition that these non-pro-vitamin A carotenoids have a have been able to open up new vistas as we have studied the critical importance to maintaining ocular health arose from a different aspects of the macular carotenoids is unmistakable. number of quiet discoveries. 7
  • 7. NATURALPRODUCTS NEXUS New Research Brings Essential Oils Back to the Future Extracted from the flowers, seeds, leaves, stems, bark, and Best Practices and Quality Control Come to Age roots, essential oils can be considered the soul of the plant. The growing body of evidence suggesting efficacy for more According to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese than just scenting a room underscores the need for production manuscripts, priests and alchemists used them not only in standards, quality control parameters for raw materials and religious ritual but also to heal the finished products, and well-defined Good Manufacturing sick. Some sealed flasks discovered in Practices. In Essential Oil Bearing Grasses: The genus King Tutankhamun’s tomb contained Cymbopogon (CRC Press 2009) Anand Akhila brings together a an unguent that, after 3300 years, still team of experts to define best practices from harvest to post- had a perceptible odor. Subsequent harvest and extraction. They discuss analytical methods for analysis revealed the presence of identifying terpenes and developments in biotechnological frankincense and spikenard, making approaches to production. Edited by K. Husnu Can Baser and this, perhaps, the only surviving bot- Gerhard Buchbauer, The Handbook of Essential Oils (CRC tle of the world's first perfume. Press 2009) discusses production, analysis, storage, transport, Ayurvedic literature as early as 2000 toxicology, biological activity, and regulatory issues. It covers B.C. records Indian doctors adminis- biological activity testing, results of antimicrobial and antiox- tering oils to their patients. The ancient Greeks employed idant tests, and penetration-enhancing activities useful in them cosmetically and medicinally and the Romans bathed drug delivery. with them several times a day, using them to scent the hair, the body, and even the bed. New information available on essential oils may lead to an Today, society looks to science to document health choices increased understanding of their and the oils do not disappoint. Recent studies have shown the multidimensional uses and better, usefulness of the terpenes found in essential oils for chemo- more ecologically friendly pro- prevention, treating atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and skin duction methods. penetration enhancers for transdermal drug delivery as well as Their pleasing scent has caused for antibacterial, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and antiviral civilizations from ancient to agents. Promising research has revealed that some essential modern to try to capture their oils kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, essence and stopper it in a pretty and other bacteria and fungi within two minutes of contact. bottle. Drug companies will no The key to this effectiveness lies in their makeup — a com- doubt keep abreast of essential oil and aromatic plant medi- plex mixture of chemical compounds that the MRSA and cine research, hoping to harness this same essence in a differ- other super bugs find difficult to resist. ent bottle. Alternative P x (continued from pg. 1) suggests Dr. Li. “Proper procedures to eliminate adulteration, Because the FDA regulates herbal medicines in the U.S. as contamination, and toxic side effects are also urgently needed dietary supplements rather than drugs, therapeutic claims do to regulate the use of Chinese herbs.” not currently appear on package labels, thereby increasing the likelihood of adverse drug effects and interactions. The Li’s second edition includes valuable data on herbal toxicity Complimentary Alternative Medicine industry is on the brink and contamination, in addition to a constructive comparison of some major changes, including the highly anticipated label- of active ingredients and claimed therapeutic values. With 130 ing guidelines that must be implemented by all supplement new herbs, it is an indispensable resource for those working to manufacturers by June 2010, as directed by the FDA. improve herbal supplement quality and safety standards. SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR THE NATURAL PRODUCTS COMMUNITY! Visit www.crcpress.com and get 15% off Save even more! Visit the CRC booth the price of any CRC publication when you order at any major conference and get discounts online and enter promo code ECH14. of up to 25%.