Market Insider Quarterly Bulletin MEDICINAL PLANTS



Market Insider Quarterly Bulletin MEDICINAL PLANTS
Market Insider
Quarterly Bulletin
September 2014
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Market Insider
International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO
Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
+4122 730 01 11
+4122 730 05 72
[email protected]
Market Insider for Medicinal Plants is prepared by:
Josef A. Brinckmann
ITC Consultant
[email protected]
Cover Picture:
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica Cham.; Papaveraceae), Sebastopol, California
©2009 Josef A. Brinckmann.
About the Market Insider for Medicinal Plants & Natural Ingredients.......................................................... 3
Some Useful Terminology .................................................................................................................................... 3
Industry News and Trends .......................................................................................................................... 5
Medicinal plants feature at International Conference on Industrial Crops in Greece ........................... 5
Albania’s wild medicinal and aromatic plants and oils trade ................................................................ 5
Italy’s four year plan to increase medicinal plant production ............................................................... 6
SAGARPA plans to develop Mexican medicinal plants sector ............................................................ 7
Medicinal plants among main exports of Afghanistan .......................................................................... 9
What does ADM acquiring WILD have to do with the American herbal trade? ................................ 10
Legalizing it - finally some good news for kava-kava farmers? ......................................................... 11
European Medicines Agency calling for data on Peru Balsam ........................................................... 13
Alleged smuggling of Peruvian maca planting stock to China ........................................................... 14
California poppy: a traditional herbal medicinal product in Europe ............................................... 15
Growing and marketing ginseng and other woodland medicinals .................................................. 17
Markets for African Medicinal Plants and Extracts .............................................................................. 18
African medicinal tree bark Yohimbe remains a top-seller in the U.S................................................ 18
Canada, a new market for medicinal African wild mango seeds?....................................................... 19
The big (unsustainable) export trade of wild pygeum bark from Cameroon ...................................... 21
South African rooibos cooperative wins 2014 Equator Prize ............................................................. 23
Joint Venture for international distribution of South African indigenous plant extracts..................... 24
Sustainable use of Biodiversity News ....................................................................................................... 25
New rules for trading FairWild Certified herbs .................................................................................. 25
Ginseng conservation, democracy, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers ................................................... 26
AHPA calls on producers and traders to contribute to its eighth tonnage survey of wild harvested
medicinal plants ............................................................................................................................................... 27
Currency Rates of Exchange .................................................................................................................... 29
Indicative Prices for Selected Medicinal Botanical Ingredients ............................................................ 29
Selected Events ........................................................................................................................................... 35
Herb Profile: Ajowan fruit........................................................................................................................ 43
Company Profile: Heiveld Co-operative Ltd., South Africa .................................................................. 47
Medicinal Plants & Natural Ingredients Sector Organizations ............................................................. 48
About the Market Insider for Medicinal Plants & Natural Ingredients
The Market Insider for medicinal plants & natural ingredients provides market intelligence on
the production and international trade of selected botanical raw materials and value-added
forms such as extracts and oils.
Market insights are presented for key developments on medicinal plants and botanical
nutritional ingredients including analysis of international trade data, market trends, indicative
market prices for selected botanical ingredients, trade specifications, market size and
growth, target markets, business opportunities, legislation affecting the sector, technology,
trade events, producer and product profiles.
New sources of information, news that subscribers and readers might have on their specific
products or areas are welcome. See more at:
Some Useful Terminology
Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy
Convention on Biodiversity
Standard Classification of Commodities of the Republic of China
Commodity Classification for China Customs Statistics
Colony-forming units per gram
Cost & Freight; means the price includes cost and freight charges
Seller has the same responsibilities as when shipping FOB, but shipping
costs are prepaid by the seller
Cost Insurance Freight; means the price includes cost, freight and
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora &
Container load
Cut and sifted
Commodity Trade Statistics Database
European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines
European Medicines Agency
Essential Oils: Odorous product, usually of complex composition, obtained from a
botanically defined plant raw material by steam distillation, dry distillation,
or a suitable mechanical process without heating
Preparations of liquid (liquid extracts and tinctures), semi-solid (soft
extracts and oleoresins) or solid (dry extracts) consistency obtained from
Herbal Drugs or animal matter prepared by suitable methods using ethanol
or other suitable solvents
Ex works - Buyer arranges for pick-up of goods at the seller's location.
Seller is responsible for packing, labelling, and preparing goods for
shipment on a specified date or time frame
Farm Gate Price: Refers to the dollar value of agricultural products that you receive from
direct farm sales or the value of primary products used for processing
Free alongside ship - Buyer arranges for ocean transport. Seller is
responsible for packing, labelling, preparing goods for shipment and
delivering the goods to the dock
FAS Value:
Value of exports at the seaport, airport, or border port of exportation, based
on the transaction price including inland freight, insurance, and other
charges incurred in placing the merchandise alongside the carrier at the
port of export
Free carrier: seller is responsible for costs until the buyer's named freight
carrier takes charge
Full container load
Fairtrade International
Free On Board - means that the price only includes the cost of the item.
Seller arranges for transport of the goods, preparing goods for shipment,
and loading the goods onto the vessel
Free On Rail or Free on Truck; both refer to goods being carried by rail and
should only be used when the goods are carried by rail. The risk of loss or
damage is transferred when the goods are loaded onto the rail
Free Trade Agreement
Good Agricultural and Collection Practice
Good Manufacturing Practice
Herbal Drug Preparations:
Obtained by subjecting Herbal Drugs to treatments such as extraction,
distillation, expression, fractionation, purification, concentration or
fermentation. These include comminuted or powdered herbal drugs,
tinctures, extracts, essential oils, expressed juices and processed exudates
Herbal Drugs: Whole, fragmented, or cut plants, parts of plants, algae, fungi or lichen, in
an unprocessed state, usually in dried form but sometimes fresh. Certain
exudates that have not been subjected to a specific treatment are also
considered to be herbal drugs
Herbal Teas:
Consist exclusive of one or more Herbal Drugs intended for oral aqueous
preparations by means of decoction, infusion or maceration; usually
supplied in bulk form or in sachets
High Performance Liquid Chromatography
High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography
HS Code:
Harmonized System Tariff Code
Indian Trade Classification Harmonized System
International Trade Centre / UNCTAD / WTO
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
Not less than
Not Elsewhere Specified or Included
Not more than
National Organic Program (USDA)
Non Timber Forest Products
Over the Counter medicines: Medicines sold without a prescription
Powdered Extract
European Pharmacopoeia
Soft Extract
Tea bag cut
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Herbal Medicinal Product
Thin Layer Chromatography
Unani Pharmacopoeia of India
United States Dollar
United States Pharmacopeia
Value Added Tax
1. Industry News and Trends
1.1. Medicinal plants feature at International Conference on
Industrial Crops in Greece
by Market Insider
12 September 2014
Medicinal plants topics are prominent on the agenda of this year’s International Conference
on Industry Crops and Products taking place 13-19 September 2014 in Athens, Greece.
Medicinal and nutraceutical plant presentations will include, among others:
Effect of convection-, vacuum- and freeze drying methods on essential oil content and
composition of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf;
Effect of different drying methods on the antioxidant properties of Greek species of
Mountain Tea (Sideritis spp.);
Impact of drying on secondary metabolites of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaves,
chamomile (Matricaria recutita) flowers and valerian (Valeriana officinalis) roots;
Phytochemical study of the Mexican medicinal plant Psacalium paucicapitatum (camote
de venado) used in Oaxaca as traditional medicine for its hypoglycemic activity.
Also occurring at the International Conference is the 26th Annual Meeting of the Association
for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) during which there will be a meeting of the
Medicinal and Essential Oils Crop Germplasm Committee (MEOCGC), convened by J.
Bradley Morris, Ph.D., Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit of United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
1. International Conference on Industrial Crops and Products. Athens, Greece: 13-19 September
2. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Medicinal and Essential Oils Crop
Germplasm Committee (MEOCGC). In: Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN).
[Online Database] National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Available: (Accessed: 10 September
1.2. Albania’s wild medicinal and aromatic plants and oils trade
by Market Insider
12 September 2014
An overview of Albania’s medicinal and aromatic plants and herbal essential oils industries
will be presented at the upcoming 2014 conference of the International Federation of
Essential Oils and Aroma Trades (IFEAT) in Rome Italy, 21-25 September 2014.
The presentation will be made by Mr. Xhevit Hysenaj, Chairman of the Albanian Essence
Producers and Cultivators Association (EPCA) and colleague Marsela Luarasi, Agricultural
University of Tirana, Albania. Mr. Hysenaj is also the owner of the Albanian medicinal and
aromatic plant company ‘Xherdo’s Herbs’ and a member of the ‘Association for Medicinal
and Aromatic Plants of Southeast European Countries’ (AMAPSEEC) as well as being an
IFEAT member.
Hysenaj and Muarasi will discuss Albania’s rich biological diversity of over 3,250 plant
species including many medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), most of which (>95% of
species) are wild-collected and not grown on farms; mainly dried herbs and distilled essential
oils for export market. In 2012, Albania exported about 52,000 MT of MAPs. Some of the
main value-added products of Albanian biodiversity include essential oils of:
Black pine (Pinus nigra) leaf (needle)
Cade juniper (Juniper oxycedrus) berry cone
Dalmatian sage (Salvia officinalis) leaf
Juniper (Juniperus communis) berry cone
Laurel (Laurus nobilis) leaf
Myrtle (Myrtus communis) leaf
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) flowering aerial parts
Silver fir (Abies alba) leaf (needle)
Spanish-type origanum (Thymus capitatus) flowering herb
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) flowering aerial parts
Winter savory (Satureja montana) leaf
Furthermore, Hysenaj and Muarasi will address challenges facing the sector, such as labor
availability, environmental and sustainability issues, the impact of legislative and regulatory
issues, rising production costs and market volatility.
1. Hysenaj X, Luarasi M. An overview of Albania’s medicinal aromatic plants and essential oils
industry. In: IFEAT Rome 2014 Lecture Abstracts. 2014:
2. Hysenaj X. Organization of value chains actors and their role for future of biodiversity in Albanian
MAP. 2014:
3. IFEAT 2014 Conference:
4. Kathe W, Honnef S, Heym A. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania: A study of the collection of and trade in medicinal and aromatic
plants (MAPs), relevant legislation and the potential of MAP use for financing nature conservation
and protected areas. Bonn, Germany: German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).
5. Xherdo’s Herbs:
1.3. Italy’s four year plan to increase medicinal plant production
by Market Insider
08 August 2014
From 2000 to 2010 the surface area of medicinal and aromatic plant (MAP) cultivation in
Italy increased by 200%. The most recent agricultural census shows that the cultivation of
MAPs in Italy involves 2,938 farms and a surface of 7,191 hectares, of which about 2900 or
41% are certified organic. Average farm size is 2.5 hectares.
A recent article in the journal Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, written by Cinzia Barbieri (Dept.
of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Torino, Italy), states that specialized
MAP farms are situated in traditional production areas including Piemonte Region, Provinces
of Cuneo and Municipalities of Moretta, Pancalieri e Savigliano, ‘Mint of Pancalieri’; and
areas between Puglia and Basilicata regions, and in the Sicily Regions.
Research carried out by ISMEA (Istituto per i Servizi del Mercato Agricolo Alimentare) led to
the development of a four-year-plan (2013-2016) for the Italian medicinal plants sector,
which identifies the objectives and actions to be taken in order to increase the
competitiveness of domestic production.
Recommended actions in the four-year-plan include:
Better coordination of public and private research, for example through the establishment
of ‘Centres of Excellence’ that provide support and services, e.g. logistics, to MAP
Development of certified seed production in order to reduce imports and to better control
the quality of botanical raw materials;
Manufacture of machines for MAP production and collection (to contain or lower the cost
of production);
Preservation of germ-plasm, natural and indigenous;
Development of plant protection products suitable for organic agriculture.
There are no direct funding sources for the recommended actions but only indirect sources,
for example as components of various Rural Development Programmes (regional level in
Italy) that make use of EU funds.
1. Barbieri C (2014) The Italian Plan 2013-2016 to Develop the Officinal Plants Sector. Med Aromat
Plants 3:153. doi: 10.4172/2167-0412.1000153. Available at:
2. Ministero delle politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali. Piano di Settore della filiera delle Piante
Officinali 2014-2016. Available at:
3. Tavolo tecnico del Piano di settore delle Piante Officinali. Istituito con D.M. 15391 del 10
dicembre 2013. Available at:
1.4. SAGARPA plans to develop Mexican medicinal plants sector
by Market Insider
12 August 2014
Ing. F. Alberto Jiménez Merino, the commercial representative of SAGARPA (Secretariat of
Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, Government of Mexico) for
the Free and Sovereign State of Puebla, has been promoting plans to develop the Mexican
medicinal plants sector, especially in the State of Puebla.
Earlier this year, Jiménez Merino made a presentation at the Autonomous University of
Tlaxcala (UAT) on the topic of medicinal plant sector development. UAT presented Jiménez
Merino with a special recognition for the valuable contribution he is making in the promotion
of cultivation and sustainable management of Mexican medicinal plants for the benefit of
rural farmers.
According to Jiménez Merino, there are 22 main companies engaged in wild collection,
cultivation, harvesting, processing, and marketing of medicinal plants in all of Mexico.
Furthermore, the State of Puebla is the main region for supply of medicinal and aromatic
plants to the domestic market but also has potential to export its botanical raw materials and
eventually value-added extracts to countries including France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.
Jiménez Merino lists the following as the most popular domestically produced medicinal and
aromatic plant species for the international market:
Basil leaf (Ocimum basilicum)
Chia seed (Salvia hispanica)
Damiana leaf (Turnera diffusa)
Chaparral herb (Larrea tridentata)
Cuachalalate bark (Amphipteryngium adstringens)
Epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides)
German chamomile flower (Matricaria recutita)
Hibiscus flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Hierba de la pastora (Salvia divinorum)
Jalap root (Ipomoea purga)
Mexican oregano leaf (Lippia graveolens)
Mexican valerian root (Valeriana edulis ssp. procera)
Nopal leaf (Opuntia ficus-indica)
Peppermint leaf (Mentha × piperita)
Sarsaparilla root (Smilax moranensis, S. subpubescens, S. cordifolia, S. jalapensis, S.
ludellii and other Smilax species)
Scouringrush horsetail stem (Equisetum robustum ssp. affine)
Sweet orange blossoms (Citrus sinensis)
Tepezcohuite bark (Mimosa tenuiflora)
Tilia estrella flower (Ternstroemia pringlei)
West Indian lemongrass leaf (Cymbopogon citratus)
Wright’s eryngo leaf (Eryngium heterophyllum)
Zacatechichi leaf (Calea ternifolia var. ternifolia)
Jiménez Merino is calling for training and capacity building for medicinal plants farmers,
development and investment in technologies for production, harvest and post-harvest, drying
and processing, including value-addition such as for manufacture of medicinal plant extracts.
He is also emphasizing the importance of relevant certifications for the export market.
Through CONAZA (National Commission for Arid Zones), this year SAGARPA will invest 3.5
million pesos in a Project to develop Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) which will be
implemented in the municipalities Tepexi de Rodríguez, Molcaxac, Zacapala, Santa Clara
Huitziltepec and in 11 communities of the Mixteca Poblana region.
1. Promueven SAGARPA y UAT aprovechamiento de plantas medicinales en Puebla. La entidad
poblana es la principal abastecedora al mercado nacional. 28 de Julio de 2014. Available at:
2. Plantas medicinales, la gran oportunidad de generación de recursos y atención de
padecimientos. Available at:
1.5. Medicinal plants among main exports of Afghanistan
by Market Insider
27 August 2014
In its July 2014 quarterly report to the United States Congress, the Special Inspector
General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) states that, excluding the illicit export trade
of opium (Papaver somniferum) poppy, principal legal exports from the Islamic Republic of
Afghanistan are carpets and rugs, dried fruits, and medicinal plants.
The Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Directorate of the Ministry of
Commerce and Industries has been investigating options for supporting SME development
in sectors with growth potential, such as medicinal and herbal products, among others. One
of the value chain challenges thus far has been that 100% of the medicinal plants produced
in Afghanistan are being value-added (processed and packaged) in either Pakistan or India.
The primary medicinal and aromatic plants produced in Afghanistan for domestic
consumption and export trade include asafetida (Ferula assa-foetida) oleo-gum-resin,
liquorice (both Glycyrrhiza glabra and G. uralensis) root, caraway (Carum carvi) fruit, cumin
(Cuminum cyminum) fruit, jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) fruit, and saffron (Crocus sativus) style
and stigma. There is some value addition starting to occur in Afghanistan, for example
essential oil distillation from rose (Rosa spp.) flowers.
1. Büchner R. Ätherisches Bio-Rosenöl aus Afghanistan. F-O-R-U-M Zeitschrift für AromatherapieAromapflege-Aromakultur. 2012;40:7-9.
2. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Agriculture,
Irrigation and Livestock. Implementing the SME Strategy Action Plan for Developing Afghanistan’s
Agri-Business Sector: May 2011 - April 2013. Available at:
3. Ottens BJ, Dürbeck K, Ottens G. Alleviating poverty in Afghanistan through sustainable resource
management and marketing of medicinal and aromatic plants. Medicinal Plant Conservation.
November 2006;12:28-31. Available at:
4. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Quarterly Report to the
United States Congress. 30 July 2014. Available at:
1.6. What does ADM acquiring WILD have to do with the American
herbal trade?
by Market Insider
10 July 2014
In an all-cash transaction valued at approximately €2.3 billion enterprise value, Archer
Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), a food and feed ingredient company founded in
1923 and based in Decatur, IL, announced on Monday that it is acquiring WILD Flavors
GmbH (Heidelberg / Eppelheim, Germany), founded in 1931.
WILD Flavors produces a range of natural botanical ingredients such as natural flavors and
extracts, natural colors, natural fruit sweeteners, and other specialty ingredients. ADM is a
world leader in corn sweeteners, dextrose, crystalline fructose, maltodextrin, cocoa powders,
citric and lactic acids, but also offers nutritional ingredients such as natural-source vitamin E,
soy isoflavones, soy lecithin, soy protein, and plant sterols.
What does this have to do with the American herbal extract trade?
It turns out that it has quite a-lot to do with the rich history of botanical ingredients production
in the United States. In order to answer the question, a number of related mergers and
acquisitions that have taken place in the United States botanical extract industry over the
past fifteen years are outlined.
Botanical extract and flavor producer FOLEXCO (Montgomeryville, PA) founded in 1988, a
division of the specialty mint oil company A.M. TODD GROUP (Kalamazoo, MI) founded in
1869, acquired the medicinal herbal extract company EAST EARTH HERB (Eugene, OR)
founded in 1971.
Initially the two companies merged and became FOLEXCO/EAST EARTH HERB but later in
the same year the company name was changed to A.M. TODD BOTANICALS.
A.M. TODD BOTANICALS would become an operating division of ZINK & TRIESTE CO.
INC. (Montgomeryville, PA) founded in the 1930’s, one of the largest buyers and sellers of
vanilla beans in the world (that was acquired by A.M. TODD in the 1960’s).
A.M. TODD GROUP acquired MOORE INGREDIENTS (Hamilton, OH) founded in 1992, a
manufacturer of natural, certified organic and fairtrade specialty ingredients including
botanical extracts.
WILD FLAVORS acquired A.M. TODD GROUP, by now a world leader for mint ingredients
and value-added natural ingredients including botanical extracts and oils.
WILD FLAVORS acquired ALFREBRO LLC (Monroe, OH) founded in the 1980’s, a
manufacturer of natural extracts and aromas.
So, in 2014, the 145-year botanical ingredient production and trading history that comprised
all of these companies, the A.M. Todd Group (founded in 1869), Rudolf Wild GmbH (founded
in 1931), Zink & Trieste Co. Inc. (founded in the 1930’s), East Earth Herb (founded in 1971),
Alfrebro LLC (founded in the 1980’s), Folexco (founded in 1988), and Moore Ingredients
(founded in 1992), is all rolled into one at ADM to become one of the world’s leading flavor
and specialty ingredient companies.
1. News Release: ADM Expands Food-Ingredient Offering with Acquisition of WILD Flavors. 07 July
2. WILD Flavors Acquires Natural Aroma Chemical Suppliers. Nutraceuticals World. 26 November
3. News Release: WILD Finalizes Acquisition of A.M. Todd Ingredients | Flavors. 02 November
1.7. Legalizing it - finally some good news for kava-kava farmers?
Image source: Wikimedia Commons: Starr 021122-0034 Piper methysticum
by Market Insider
07 July 2014
Kava-kava (Piper methysticum) rhizome had been an important medicinal plant crop for
smallholder farmers in Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and Hawaii, with an ever growing export
market, particularly to European buyers, that is, until June 2002 when the German Federal
Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) revoked the marketing authorizations for
medicinal products containing kava-kava. Following Germany’s decision, several other
countries around the world quickly moved to ban kava-kava which turned out to be a
devastating blow to farmers in the Pacific Island nations depending on its export for income.
The story starts twenty-four years ago, in June 1990, when the German Federal Health
Agency (BGA; predecessor to BfArM) authorized the use of kava-kava rhizome (and/or
galenical preparations made from it) for treating conditions of nervous anxiety, stress, and
restlessness. The global market for kava-kava really took off in the 90’s.
But twelve years later, in June 2002, BfArM made a decision to implement a ban and
immediate recall of kava-kava containing medicinal products in the German market. It was a
controversial decision based on a few case reports of liver toxicity.
Now twelve years on, in May 2014, a decision to repeal BfArM’s kava-kava ban was issued
by Germany’s Federal Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgericht Köln) also requiring the
defendant (BfArM) to pay the costs. BfArM has the right to appeal this new decision and it is
not yet known whether or not they will. Furthermore, administrative court decisions are not
necessarily legally binding. The court’s decision was applauded by the German Association
of Medicinal Product Manufacturers (BAH) as they were never in agreement with BfArM’s
2002 decision.
Back in 2002, ITC’s Market News Service (MNS; predecessor to ITC’s Market Insider)
covered the kava-kava story in some depth as one country after another followed Germany
to remove kava-kava from their markets while, at the same time, wreaking havoc on the
kava-kava farming sector in several Pacific Island nations. Here is a still relevant excerpt
from an ITC MNS kava-update published in September 2002:
‘Needless to say, the current situation is an economic disaster for the producers and traders
in Pacific Islands, particularly those situated in Fiji, Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. At
the end of June, Vanuatu’s Chamber of Commerce President stated that some kava growers
were already going out of business and other farmers were not harvesting their crops. Some
exporting companies have also shut down and prices have dropped significantly. Vanuatu
projects losing nearly US$4 million of export revenue per year as a result. In July, the Fiji
Agriculture Minister met with the Cook Islands Prime Minister to discuss the problem of kava
exports and stated that the Pacific Island countries must be more proactive in ensuring that
the issue gets resolved quickly, as it may also have implications for other medicinal plant
exports from the region. The situation is also severe for producers and traders in Hawaii,
whose kava exports to Europe had averaged about US $200,000 per month in 2001. In midAugust, the kava crisis was on the agenda at the Pacific Island Forum where the chairman of
Fiji’s National Kava Council urged Forum leaders to concentrate on protecting the kava
It is sobering to observe how vulnerable a high-demand economic medicinal plant crop can
be in the world market. In this case, an entire producing region of the Pacific Islands spent
years gearing up infrastructure and production capacity in order to meet an ever increasing
demand, mostly from Europe and North America. In a matter of a few short months,
Germany’s BfArM, followed by the Agence Française de securite sanitaire des produits de
sante, and others, ostensibly destroyed the world trade of kava-kava. Though kava remains
legal in the US, the damage has been done and demand is now quite low. Many American
companies are distancing themselves from kava assuming that it may eventually be
restricted. Many consumers are also avoiding kava because it is difficult to discern from the
sensationalized media reports as to whether it poses a significant health risk, or not.’
Can the kava-kava export market be built up again to pre-2002 levels? Should farmers start
scaling up production?
Perhaps too soon to speculate but it appears that kava-kava farming may be on a slow road
to recovery and could again one day become a source of additional household income for
smallholder farmers of the Pacific Island regions where it is traditionally grown.
Stay tuned.
1. MNS Regulatory Profile: Kava Update. Market News Service for Medicinal Plants and Extracts.
September 2002;4:36.
2. Kommission E beim BGA., BAnz-Nr. 101 vom 01.06.90 (1990).
3. Sucker-Sket K. Kava-Kava: Widerruf der Zulassung war rechtswidrig. 20.06.2014:
4. Verwaltungsgericht Köln, 7 K 2128/12. 20.05.2014:
1.8. European Medicines Agency calling for data on Peru Balsam
by Market Insider
17 July 2014
Peru Balsam, a viscous liquid obtained from the scorched and wounded trunk of Myroxylon
balsamum var. perieraeis, is a product of Peruvian biodiversity. It is used medicinally in
topical application preparations for the treatment of poorly healing wounds, burns, frostbite
and haemorrhoids.
On 09 July, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) put out a call for scientific data which
may be used in the assessment of Peru Balsam as part of the establishment of a European
Community herbal monograph which would provide labelling standards for licensed or
registered herbal medicinal products. A quality standards monograph for Peru Balsam
already exists in the European Pharmacopoeia.
Scientific contributions on Peru Balsam may be submitted by email to the EMA Committee
on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) up until the deadline of 15 October 2014:
[email protected]
1. European Directorate on the Quality of Medicines (EDQM). Peru Balsam. In: European
Pharmacopoeia, eighth edition (PhEur 8.0). Strasbourg, France: EDQM. 2014.
2. European Medicines Agency (EMA) Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Call for
scientific data for use in HMPC assessment work on Myroxylon balsamum (L.) Harms var.
3. Wichtl M (ed.). Balsamum peruvianum. In: Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook
for Practice on a Scientific Basis, Third Edition. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific
Publishers. 2004.
1.9. Alleged smuggling of Peruvian maca planting stock to China
Image source: Promperú
by Market Insider
28 July 2014
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an important medicinal plant crop for Peruvian export of value
added ingredients and products. Native to the high Andes of Peru, domestication of maca is
estimated to have begun at least 2,000 years ago in the Junín Plateau. Up until recently,
maca was supplied to the global market mainly from Peruvian farmers.
In news reports this week Alejandra Velazco, President of the Natural Product Committee of
the Peruvian Association of Exporters (ADEX), stated that that a large number of Chinese
buyers have been present in Peru this summer making advance cash payments directly with
maca farmers but informally without proper transaction and export documentation, evading
taxes and violating other Peruvian laws concerning maca. While maca generally represents
about 33% of Peru’s natural products exports, if the unregulated exports are not stopped this
year’s maca export trade data may be skewed by as much as 50% of current year
projection. A 14 minute interview with Velazco on this topic from TV Perú 7.3 is available on
the ADEX homepage at:
Furthermore it is alleged that the Chinese buyers are purchasing viable planting stock in the
form of unprocessed whole maca hypocotyls and seeds, presumably for the purpose of
transplanting in China. An alert has been issued to Peruvian customs regarding this informal
cash trade and illegal export. Under Peruvian law it is illegal to export raw unprocessed
whole maca that could be viable for planting elsewhere, i.e. some value-adding processing
must occur in Peru prior to export such as drying and powdering or extracting.
Velazco also emphasized that the export of unprocessed raw material is adversely affecting
Peruvian jobs that would normally be employed this time of year in post harvest valueaddition.
The news also reached North America this week as the Nutraceuticals International Group®,
one the main importers and traders of maca ingredients in the United States, put out press
releases and tweets alerting their customers that Chinese buyers are presently buying maca
direct from Peruvian farmers well above market price. Their press release goes on to state:
'This demand from China goes hand in hand with the illegal handling of the product, whereby
whole Maca (root) is being exported. This is prohibited by law, which classifies this act as a
form of smuggling across borders and is an affront to Peruvian customs.'
The Nutraceuticals press release also provides a link to the referenced Peruvian regulation
(DECRETO SUPREMO Nº 039-2003-AG) of the Peruvian Ministry of Justice.
1. ADEX Channel. Entrevista a Alejandra Velazco en TV Perú 7.3. Julio 2014:
2. Adex alerta compra ilegal de toneladas de maca de chinos. 23 de Junio 2014:
3. Exportación de derivados de maca cerraría el año con caída de 50%. 01 Julio 2014:
4. Demands for maca have dramatically increased. Nutraceuticals International Group® Newsletter.
22 July 2014:
5. Sistema Peruano de Información Jurídica (SPIJ). DECRETO SUPREMO Nº 039-2003-AG:
1.10. California poppy: a traditional herbal medicinal product in
by Market Insider
04 August 2014
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), a.k.a. 'amapola de California' or 'copa de oro'
(cup of gold) in Spanish, is a native plant of North American biodiversity. This medicinal plant
is native to the western United States of America throughout California (and parts of Oregon
and southern Washington) extending south into Baja California Sur of the United Mexican
States. Its natural range includes the Sonoran Desert region (US states of Arizona and
California and Mexican states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora) as well as
the Channel Islands of California. On March 2, 1903, California poppy became the official
state flower of California.
While the medicinal use of California poppy flower is not recognized in the United States of
America, it is an approved active ingredient in neighbouring Canada for use in licensed
medicinal products. In 2008, Health Canada Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD)
published a labelling standards monograph for California poppy herb (aerial parts) in the
form of powder or prepared as an herbal tea infusion for oral ingestion with the authorized
indications for use of 'Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a mild sedative and/or sleep
aid (hypnotic)' and/or 'Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as an analgesic.'
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) also classifies California poppy as
an active substance that may be used in listed medicines. TGA has recently granted
marketing authorisations for some mild sedative and sleep-aid medicines that contain
California poppy.
Early in 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) put out a call for scientific data to be
used in the assessment of California poppy herb as part of the establishment of a European
Community herbal monograph which would provide labelling standards for licensed or
registered herbal medicinal products. Interestingly, the only official quality standards
monograph available for California poppy comes from a European Union (EU) Member
State, France. Pharmacopée Française (11th edition 2012) includes a monograph under the
pharmacopoeial name 'Eschscholziae herba' (parties aériennes fleuries d’).
Now in July 2014, the EMA published a draft European Community labelling standards
monograph for public consultation. EMA proposes that registered Traditional Herbal
Medicinal Products (THMPs) containing powdered California poppy herb in solid dosage
forms should be labelled with the following indications for use: 'Traditional herbal medicinal
product for relief of mild symptoms of mental stress' and/or 'Traditional herbal medicinal
product to aid sleep.'
Comments on the California poppy monograph may be submitted by email to the EMA
Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) up until the deadline of 31 October 2014:
[email protected]
It appears that international demand for this native Californian medicinal plant could increase
more than domestic demand (in the U.S.) due to these governmental authorizations for use
as an active ingredient of medicines, particularly in the European Union (EU) Member States
as well as in Australia and Canada.
1. Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé (ANSM). Eschscholziae
herba. In: Pharmacopée Française 11ème édition. 19 April 2012:
2. Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Substances that may be used
in listed medicines in Australia. December 2007:
3. European Medicines Agency (EMA) Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Draft
Community herbal monograph on Eschscholzia californica Cham., herba. London, UK: EMA. 01
July 2014:
4. Health Canada Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD). Drugs and Health Products.
Monograph: California poppy. 17 March 2008:
1.11. Growing and
by Market Insider
15 July 2014
The fully revised, updated and expanded Second Edition of 'Growing and Marketing
Ginseng, Goldenseal and other Woodland Medicinals' is now available.
This 480 page book provides practical information on cultivation of more than a dozen
shade-loving native North American medicinal herbs including American ginseng (Panax
quinquefolius), black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and
goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis).
The book is co-written by Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist,
North Carolina State University, Dept. of Horticultural Science and W. Scott Persons, widely
recognized as an expert in the growing and marketing of wild-simulated and woodscultivated ginseng and owner of Tuckasegee Valley Ginseng Farm.
1. New Society Publishers:
2. Markets for African Medicinal Plants and Extracts
2.1. African medicinal tree bark Yohimbe remains a top-seller in
the U.S.
Image Source: HerbalGram Summer 2014 cover
by Market Insider
08 September 2014
Yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe) tree bark is a product of African biodiversity. The yohimbe
tree is native to Middle African regions of Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabonese
Republic, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, and Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
In the United States, products that contain yohimbe bark or yohimbe bark extract (alone or in
combination with other ingredients) are marketed as herbal dietary supplement products
generally labeled as athletic performance and/or sexual enhancement products.
Once annually, the non-profit organization American Botanical Council (ABC) publishes its
HerbalGram herb market report that is based on herb supplement sales statistics obtained
from the Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) and market research firms IRI and SPINS. The
report published this week shows that yohimbe dietary supplement products ranked at #2 in
mainstream multi-outlet channel for 2013. Retail sales of yohimbe products in this channel in
the United States amounted to US$67,393,961, a 19.2% increase over 2012 sales.
The HerbalGram report covers only retail sales of herbal dietary supplements and does not
reflect the sales of most herbal teas (even if they are regulated as dietary supplement
products), botanical ingredients in natural cosmetics, or government-approved herbal drug
ingredients in over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription herbal medicinal products.
If global demand should continue to increase for this African tree bark, sustainable
harvesting practices, resource management and monitoring, and sustainable use remain
considerable challenges and issues for the herb trade and consumers to deal with.
1. Betz JM. Yohimbe. In: Coates PM et al (eds). Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, Second
Edition. Informa UK Ltd. 2010;861-868.
2. Lindstrom A, Ooyen C, Lynch ME, Blumenthal M, Kawa K. Sales of Herbal Dietary Supplements
Increase by 7.9% in 2013, Marking a Decade of Rising Sales: Turmeric Supplements Climb to
Top Ranking in Natural Channel. HerbalGram Journal of the American Botanical Council.
3. Orwa C, Mutua A, Kindt R, Jamnadass R, Simons A. Pausinystalia johimbe. In: Agroforestree
Database: a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0. 2009. Available at:
4. Sunderland TC et al (2004). Yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe) in Clark L and Sunderland T
(2004). The Key Non-Timber Forest Products of Central Africa: State of the Knowledge. Technical
paper No.122, United States Agency for International Development.
2.2. Canada, a new market for medicinal African wild mango
by Market Insider
01 September 2014
African wild mango (Irvingia gabonensis) seed (a.k.a. kernel) is a product of African
biodiversity. According to PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa), the trees are
indigenous to the humid forest zone of the Gulf of Guinea from western Nigeria east to the
Central African Republic, and south to Angola and the westernmost part of Democratic
Republic of Congo; it also occurs in São Tomé et Príncipe.
There is also commercial cultivation of African wild mango trees in southern Nigeria and
southern Cameroon. The seeds are widely and extensively traded domestically but also
exported to Europe and beyond. PROTA reports that Cameroon is probably the main
exporter with a combined export trade of the fruit kernels (of two species; Irvingia
gabonensis and Irvingia wombolu) of 107 t annually valued at about US$ 260,000.
The World Agroforestry Centre of Kenya states that, in southern Cameroon, wild African
mango seed could be described as the most important, legal, non-timber forest product from
the area.
At the end of July 2014, the Canadian government’s 'Natural and Non-prescription Health
Products Directorate' (NNHPD) published a Wild African Mango monograph that is intended
to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product License Applications (PLAs)
and labels for natural health product market authorization.
Now in Canada, companies wanting to market finished products that contain Wild African
Mango seed as an active ingredient may be granted marketing authorization and permitted
the following claim statements for labeling:
Could be a complement to a healthy lifestyle that incorporates a calorie-reduced diet and
regular physical activity for individuals involved in a weight management program;
Helps support healthy cholesterol levels/Helps support cardiovascular health by reducing
total and LDL cholesterol;
Helps support healthy glucose levels; and/or
Provides antioxidants.
Additionally, the NNHPD is permitting the use of 'Irvingia Gabonensis Kernel Butter' as a
non-medicinal component of licensed topical application Natural Health Products (NHPs)
when used in formulations as an occlusive skin-conditioning agent (ingredients which retard
the evaporation of water from the skin surface).
Although the Canadian labeling standards monograph is brand new, at the time of this
writing (August 2014), there were already 71 licensed NHPs in the Canadian market
containing extracts or preparations of African wild mango seed as an active ingredient. Prior
to the establishment of the monograph, the applicant companies submitted their own
proposed indications for use based on their own efficacy evidence for their product.
The establishment of a government issued compendial monograph for African wild mango
seed paves the way for a much faster and streamlined process for gaining market access in
1. Health Canada Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD). Drugs and
Health Products: African Wild Mango. Ottawa, Ontario: NNHPD. 23 July 2014. Available at: Accessed
29 August 2014.
2. Orwa C, Mutua A, Kindt R, Jamnadass R, Simons A. 2009. Irvingia gabonensis. In: Agroforestree
Database: a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0. Available at: Accessed 29
August 2014,
3. Tchoundjeu, Z. & Atangana, A.R., 2007. Irvingia gabonensis (Aubry-Lecomte ex O’Rorke) Baill.
[Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Louppe, D. & Oteng-Amoako, A.A.
(Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique
tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. Accessed 29 August
2.3. The big (unsustainable) export trade of wild pygeum bark
from Cameroon
Image source:
by Market Insider
28 August 2014
The commercial supply of pygeum bark, obtained mainly from wild Prunus africana trees, is
a product of African biodiversity. Pygeum trees occur in Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Uganda and United
Republic of Tanzania, among other African countries.
A research study / working paper titled ‘Power, profits and policy: a reality check on the
Prunus Africana bark trade’ has just been published by the Center for International Forestry
Research (CIFOR), available to download at:
In this study, the researchers (international ethnobiology expert Dr. Tony Cunningham and
colleagues) seek to answer important questions about why unsustainable wild harvesting of
pygeum bark persists in Cameroon despite the existing knowledge of how to implement
sustainable resource management plans for biodiversity conservation, and despite strong
recommendations from experts over the years to transition the pygeum trade from its
dependence on wild populations to cultivated sources. In the case of pygeum, which is not
necessarily true for all wild medicinal plant species, feasibility of scaling up sustainable
agriculture production has already been demonstrated as well as comparable quality
(between farmed and wild).
This study points out that several other tree barks, commercially harvested for large-scale
export, have made the shift from wild harvest to on-farm production, for example cassia
(Cinnamomum aromaticum), cinchona (Cinchona spp.), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum),
and wattle (Acacia spp.).
Also noted is the fact that thousands of Cameroonian farmers have been cultivating pygeum
trees for over 30 years yet the market still prefers to source bark from wild trees standing in
globally significant conservation areas such as in protected areas of national parks. This
study suggests that the answers may be found by following the money and finding out who
profits the most from arrangements for access to trees in protected areas. It doesn’t appear
to be the local people who are benefiting from the current method of harvesting and trade.
The study authors summarize that ‘The costs of maintaining an inventory, monitoring and
managing sustainable wild harvests are far greater than the benefits to harvesters. Without
the current substantial international donor subsidies, sustainable harvest cannot be
sustained. To supply the current and future market, we must develop separate, traceable P.
africana bark supply chains based on cultivated stocks. More Cameroonian small-scale
farmers cultivate P. africana than farmers in any other country. This change requires CITES
and European union (EU) support and would catalyze P. africana cultivation in Cameroon,
doubling farm-gate prices to harvesters – from the current FCFA (Central African CFA
Franc) 150 per kg (USD 0.33) received by wild bark harvesters to FCFA 294 per kg (USD
0.66) – that could be paid to farmers after a 15% traceability cost was deducted.’
Most of the pygeum bark exports go to buyers in Europe for the manufacture of extracts
which are then used as active ingredients of herbal medicinal products. Cameroon’s share of
the global pygeum bark trade has risen from an average of 38% between 1995 and 2004, to
72.6% (658.6 (metric tons or t)) in 2012.
Not discussed in this study is the fact that while the European Pharmacopoeia (PhEur)
quality standard for pygeum bark requires it to be composed of the ‘dried stems and
branches,’ in reality pygeum bark continues to be supplied from tree trunks and via
destructive harvesting practices (although some claim that certain methods like 5-year
rotation times could be sustainable). Meanwhile the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has
not yet completed its assessment (begun in 2011) of pygeum bark towards the eventual
establishment of a European Community Herbal Monograph (labelling standards for herbal
medicines in the EU market).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) monograph, uses of pygeum bark
preparations (that are supported by clinical data) include treatment of lower urinary tract
symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) stages I and II (e.g. nocturia, polyuria and
urinary retention), in cases where diagnosis of prostate cancer is negative.
The publisher of this study emphasizes that ‘CIFOR Working Papers contain preliminary or
advance research results on tropical forest issues that need to be published in a timely
manner to inform and promote discussion.’
If this study is read and considered by all those involved in the global pygeum bark trade,
including manufacturers and marketers of finished herbal medicinal products, it will indeed
promote discussion. Hopefully such discussion will lead to appropriate action that supports
sustainable production, use and equitable trade that can improve the livelihoods of local
smallholder medicinal tree farmers in Cameroon.
1. Cunningham AB, Avana Tientcheu M-L, Anoncho VF, Nkuinkeu R and Sunderland T. 2014.
Power, profits and policy: A reality check on the Prunus africana bark trade. Working Paper 153.
Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR. Available at:
2. European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM). Pruni africanae cortex. In: European
Pharmacopoeia, 7th edition (PhEur 7.0). Strasbourg, France: EDQM. 2013.
3. European Medicines Agency (EMA) Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). HMPC
meeting report on Community herbal monographs, guidelines and other activities. The 58th
HMPC meeting, held on 05-06 May 2014. London, UK: EMA. Available at:
4. World Health Organization (WHO). Cortex Pruni Africanae. In: WHO Monographs on Selected
Medicinal Plants, Volume 2. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO. 2004; pp. 246-258. Available at:
2.4. South African rooibos cooperative wins 2014 Equator Prize
Image source: Heiveld rooibos farmers
by Market Insider
15 August 2014
The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize and advance local sustainable
development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.’
Out of this year’s 1,234 nominations, the Heiveld Co-operative Ltd. (Nieuwoudtville, South
Africa) was among the 35 winners of the 2014 Equator Prize, their award presented in the
category of 'Sustainable Land Management in Sub-Saharan Africa.'
The Heiveld Co-operative has 64 members, all of whom cultivate rooibos herb, the needlelike leaves and fine stems of the plant Aspalathus linearis.
According to Equator Initiative 'Since 2001 Heiveld Co-operative has worked with smallscale rooibos tea farmers to provide organic and fair trade certification, as well as support
with market access. In response to climate variability, farmers are cultivating droughtresistant varieties of rooibos. Collaborative work with research institutes has led to an
industry-wide code of conduct on the sustainable harvesting and production of rooibos.
The cooperative invests revenues back into community water access, education and health
projects. Local tea farming incomes have increased by 400 percent, while soil erosion has
been reduced in thousands of hectares of drylands where the tea is cultivated.'
Heiveld’s rooibos herb is produced according to both the European Union (EU) and the
United States National Organic Program (NOP) Organic Standards and also according to
both the Fairtrade International (FLO) Fairtrade Standards and the Naturland and Fair
1. Equator Initiative. Equator Prize 2014 Winners:
2. Heiveld Co-operative Ltd:
3. Republic of South Africa Department of Agriculture. Standards and requirements regarding
control of the Export of rooibos and rooibos mixtures. 2001:
2.5. Joint Venture for international distribution of South African
indigenous plant extracts
by Market Insider
11 August 2014
A joint venture was announced this month between Döhler Group (Darmstadt, Germany)
and Afriplex (Pty) Ltd (Paarl, South Africa) to establish a new company to be called Doehler
South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
The initial aim of the joint venture is to deliver natural ingredient solutions that are tailored to
the needs of the Southern African markets. Döhler Groups international distribution channels
however will enable customers worldwide to have easier access to a whole range of
indigenous South African plant extracts manufactured with state-of-the-art extraction and
processing technologies suitable for applications in natural health and nutritional products.
Afriplex is a vertically integrated company that operates its own medicinal plant farming
operations, extraction facilities, product development services and even packaging of
finished products for clients. The main medicinal plants cultivated by Afriplex for production
of their indigenous plant extracts are:
Aloe vera (Aloe vera);
Buchu (Agathosma betulina);
Cape Aloe (Aloe ferox);
Honeybush (Cyclopia subternata and C. genistoides);
Hoodia (Hoodia gordonii);
Pelargonium (Pelargonium sidoides);
Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis).
Afriplex also uses sustainably wild-collected plant parts for some of its indigenous plant
extracts such as baobab (Adansonia digitata) fruit and sausage tree (Kigelia africana) fruit.
Afriplex has organic certification for some of its botanical ingredients including those
obtained from wild collection like baobab fruits.
1. Afriplex (Pty) Ltd. Plant cultivation:
2. Afriplex (Pty) Ltd. Press release: A joint venture for integrated ingredient solutions – Afriplex and
Doehler consolidate strengths and activities in Southern Africa. 07 August 2014.
3. Döhler Group. Health and Nutrition Ingredients:
3. Sustainable use of Biodiversity News
3.1. New rules for trading FairWild Certified herbs
by Market Insider
11 July 2014
The FairWild Standard (FWS) couples fair trade principles with sustainable resource
management plans to ensure social and ecological sustainability of wild harvested medicinal
and aromatic plants. In the early 2000’s, development of the FWS began through a multistakeholder process with test implementation and evaluation of early draft versions taking
place in several countries around the world. FWS version 1.0 was published in 2006 and
version 2.0 in 2010.
The FairWild trading network has grown considerably over the past few years now with
certified wild collection companies operating in several countries including Bosnia &
Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Macedonia, Poland, and Spain. The
FWS is also being implemented at a number of herbal wild collection sites in other countries
including China, India, Georgia, and Morocco.
Now in July 2014 the FairWild Foundation (FWF), a non-profit foundation based in
Switzerland and founded in 2008, published new Trading Rules (version 1/2014) and revised
Labelling Rules (version 3/2014), following feedback from clients and actors in the field.
The Rules clarify existing requirements and introduce several changes, including:
Clarification of chain-of-custody requirements for FairWild certified ingredients and
Fair trading obligations for first buyers of FairWild certified ingredients;
Introduction of a Trader Registration system for FairWild Traders, Processors and
Revision of the fee structure for FairWild Traders, Processors and Licensees;
Revision of the labelling categories and rules on use of the FAIRWILD® word or design
mark; and
Introduction of a new FAIRWILD® design mark.
Popular branded herbal products, bearing the FairWild® certification mark on their labels,
can now be found on retail store shelves in several EU and non-EU European countries,
throughout Canada and the United States, and in several Asian and Oceanic regions, in
particular Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
The FairWild Foundation’s new rules documents are available for download from Feedback, questions and clarifications on the
new Rules are welcomed, and should be directed to [email protected] An overview of
the main changes and the actions required for existing certification scheme participants is
also available from the FWF.
1. FairWild Foundation. FairWild Foundation publishes new Trading and revised Labelling Rules. 01
July 2014. Available at:
2. Brinckmann JA, Huggins K, Gardner ZE. Managing natural resources for sustainable livelihoods:
threats to the future of sustainable wild collection and field experience with implementation of the
FairWild Standard for medicinal plants. International Journal on Biodiversity Watch. 2014 [in
3.2. Ginseng conservation,
by Market Insider
15 July 2014
The mission of the non-profit organization United Plant Savers (UpS) is to protect native
medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an
abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come.
This year UpS has been chosen to be a featured non-profit for participation at the upcoming
LOCKN’ INTERLOCKING MUSIC FESTIVAL 4-7 September 2014 in Arlington, Virginia.
30,000 people are expected to attend the festival.
UpS will set up shop in the festival’s 'Participation Row Non-Profit Village', which is being
organized by HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to
register voters and promote participation in democracy.
UpS plans to use this opportunity to get signatures on their petition to United States
Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, called 'Save American Ginseng, Panax
quinquefolius.' Submission of this petition aims to demonstrate that the public would like to
see Congress dedicate funds towards ginseng conservation and cultivation, and that plants
are just as worthy of protection and just as vulnerable to wildlife trafficking.
What else? Oh, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty and Heartbreakers, Hot Tuna, Wilco, and various
members of the Grateful Dead will be performing at LOCKN’ 2014.
1. HeadCount:
3. Saving American Ginseng Petition by United Plant Savers:
4. United Plant Savers:
3.3. AHPA calls on producers and traders to contribute to its
eighth tonnage survey of wild harvested medicinal plants
by Market Insider
18 July 2014
Founded in 1982, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is a non-profit
organization and trade association that is focused primarily on herbs and botanicals and
herbal products.
This week, AHPA put out a call to botanical raw material producers and traders for
participation in their eighth tonnage survey aiming to estimate the annual quantities of
selected North American medicinal and aromatic plants harvested mainly from wild
populations during the years 2011 to 2013. Some of these herbs of commerce are both wild
collected and cultivated on farms. AHPA’s first seven tonnage surveys captured harvest for
the years from 1997 through 2010. Some of these herbs of commerce are both wild
collected and cultivated on farms. AHPA’s first seven tonnage surveys captured harvest
quantities for the years from 1997 through 2010.
According to AHPA, producers and traders who participate in the tonnage survey help to
play a crucial part in the sustainable harvest, trade and use of herbs. The survey is available
There are 46 botanical articles of commerce included in the AHPA 2011-2013 tonnage
survey questionnaire:
1. Aletris (Aletris farinosa) root
2. Arnica (Arnica spp.) any part
3. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) root
4. Barbasco (Dioscorea composita) rhizome
5. Bethroot (Trillium erectum) root
6. Black cherry (Prunus serotina) bark
7. Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) root
8. Black walnut (Juglans nigra) hulls
9. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) root
10. Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) root
11. Cascara sagrada (Frangula purshiana) bark
12. Damiana (Turnera diffusa) leaf
13. Echinacea angustifolia root
14. Echinacea angustifolia herb
15. Echinacea pallida root
16. Echinacea pallida herb
17. Echinacea purpurea root
18. Echinacea purpurea herb
19. False unicorn (Chamaelirium luteum) root
20. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) leaf
21. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) root
22. Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) root
23. Lady’s slipper (Cypripedium spp.) root
24. Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum) root
25. Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) root
26. Osha (Ligusticum porteri) root
27. Partridge berry (Mitchella repens) fruit
28. Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) flower
29. Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata) leaf
30. Sarsaparilla (Smilax aristolochiifolia) rhizome
31. Sarsaparilla, Mexican (Smilax cordifolia) rhizome
32. Sarsaparilla, Mexican (Smilax ludellii) rhizome
33. Sarsaparilla, Mexican (Smilax moranensis) rhizome
34. Sarsaparilla, Mexican (Smilax subpubescens) rhizome
35. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) fruit
36. Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) bark
37. Sundew (Drosera spp.) whole plant
38. Usnea (Usnea spp.) lichen
39. Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) whole plant
40. Virginia snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria) root
41. Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) root
42. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) bark
43. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) dormant twigs
44. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) leaf
45. Yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica) root
46. Yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum) leaf
American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). AHPA Botanical Tonnage Survey for 2011-2013.
Silver Spring, MD: AHPA. 14 July 2014. Available at:
4. Currency Rates of Exchange
Rates of Exchange: 05 September 2014
Chinese Yuan Renminbi
Indian Rupee
Nepalese Rupee
Russian Ruble
United States Dollar
Source: XE Currency Converter:
5. Indicative Prices for Selected Medicinal Botanical Ingredients
Note: Prices should be considered indicative only and reflect the price of a product of a
specific grade or quality from the specified origin. Great care should be taken when
comparing prices of medicinal herbs of different origins, grade, qualities and quantities.
Botanical name: Trachyspermum ammi / Hindi name: Ajwain / Sanskrit name: Yavani
Pharmacopoeial name: Trachyspermi Ammi Fructus
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) flatulence with a gurgling sound; b)
distension of abdomen due to obstruction to passage of urine and stools;
c) diseases of abdomen; d) abdominal lump; e) intestinal parasites; f)
sharp piercing pain.
Traditional Unani Medicine: a) flatulence in the stomach; b) gastric pain;
c) anorexia; d) colic; e) pertussis; f) diarrhoea; g) hysteria; h) cholera.
TO US$ / kg
5000~12482 INR / Quintal
$0.83~$2.07 / kg
(modal price: 11298 INR /
(modal price: $1.88 /
6100~10252 INR / Quintal
$1.01~$1.70 / kg
(modal price: 9900 INR /
(modal price: $1.64 /
Botanical name: Withania somnifera / Sanskrit name: Asvagandha (v'oxa/kk)
Pharmacopoeial name: Withaniae Somniferae Radix
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) inflammatory disorders; b) phthisis
(any wasting or atrophic disease, weakness, diseases due to vata dosha);
and c) male impotence.
Traditional Siddha Medicine: a) oligospermia; b) lancinating pain; c) loss
of body strength; d) anemia; e) convulsions/seizures/fits; f) disordered
humor; g) eczema; h) edema/swelling; and i) tuberculosis.
Traditional Unani Medicine: a) leucorrhoea; b) spermatorrhoea; c)
decreased viscosity of semen; d) sexual debility; e) lumbago; f) arthritis.
TO US$ / kg
6000~27002 INR /
$1.00~$4.48 / kg
Pradesh Mandi
Quintal (conventional)
US$7.00 / kg
$7.00 / kg
(Qty: >10,000 kg;
certified organic)
Botanical name: Lycium barbarum / Chinese name: gou qi zi (枸杞子)
Pharmacopoeial name: Fructus Lycii
Traditional Chinese Medicine: a) general debility with deficiency of vital
essence manifested by aching of the loins and knees, dizziness and
tinnitus; b) diabetes caused by internal heat; c) anemia; d) impaired vision.
TO US$ / kg
(Ningxia origin)
(380 Grade)
$8.57 / kg
Chengdu mkt.
52.65 CNY / kg
(Xinjiang origin)
(380 Grade)
$8.63 / kg
Anguo market
53.00 CNY / kg
Botanical name: Acorus calamus
Chinese name: zang chang pu (藏菖蒲) / Nepalese name: Bojho / Sanskrit name: Vaca
Pharmacopoeial name: Rhizoma Acori Calami
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) colic pain; b) epilepsy; c) asthma; d)
constipation; e) mania; f) flatulence; g) otorrhoea; and h) weak memory
Traditional Chinese Medicine: a) to tonify stomach yang; b) treat
maldigestion and food stagnation; c) diphtheria.
TO US$ / kg
100 NPR / kg
$1.02 / kg
133 NPR / kg
$1.36 / kg
Botanical name: Swertia chirayita
Nepalese name: Chiraito
/ Sanskrit name: Kiratatikta
Pharmacopoeial name: Swertiae Herba
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) fever; b) thirst; c) burning sensation;
d) inflammation; e) skin diseases; f) ulcer; g) intestinal worms; h) itching;
and i) excessive flow of urine.
TO US$ / kg
600 NPR / kg
$6.13 / kg
656 NPR / kg
$6.70 / kg
New Jersey
Botanical name: Vaccinium macrocarpon
Pharmacopoeial name: Fructus Macrocarponii
Traditional Western Herbal Medicine: to help prevent recurrent urinary
tract infections
TO US$ / kg
US$2.25 / lb
$4.96 / kg
(Min. qty: 1,000 lbs)
(Min. qty: 454 kg)
Botanical name: Foeniculum vulgare
Chinese name: xiao hui xiang (小茴香) / Hindi name: Saunf / Sanskrit name: Misreya
Pharmacopoeial name: Fructus Foeniculi
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) digestive impairment; b) colic pain; c)
cough; d) vitiated blood; e) dysentery; and f) piles.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: a) treatment of scrotal hernia with pain
and cold extremities; b) dysmenorrhea with lower abdominal pain and cold
sensation; and c) distending pain in the epigastrium with anorexia.
Traditional European Medicine: a) symptomatic treatment of mild,
spasmodic gastrointestinal complaints including bloating, and flatulence;
b) symptomatic treatment of minor spasm associated with menstrual
periods; and c) as an expectorant in cough associated with cold.
TO US$ / kg
Chennai Market
120.00 INR / kg
$1.99 / kg
Tamil Nadu
US$1,470 / MT
$1.47 / kg
Egyptian Port
(Qty 12.5 MT / 20’ FCL)
US$1,920~$2,100 / MT
$1.92~2.10 / kg
(Qty: 14 MT / 20’ FCL;
certified organic)
Yumen Market
10.00~10.50 CNY / kg
$1.63~$1.71 / kg
Botanical name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Chinese name: hu lu ba (胡蘆巴) / Sanskrit name: Methi
Pharmacopoeial name: Trigonellae Foenugraeci Semen
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) malabsorption syndrome; b) fever; c)
increased frequency and turbidity of urine; and d) loss of taste sensation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: a) cold syndrome of the kidney due to
yang deficiency marked by pain and coldness in the lower abdomen; b)
hernia; and c) weakness and edema of the legs caused by cold-damp.
Traditional European Medicine: a) (oral) temporary loss of appetite; b)
(cutaneous) symptomatic treatment of minor inflammations of the skin.
TO US$ / kg
Chennai Market
70.50 INR / kg
$1.17 / kg
Tamil Nadu
Gondal Market
3655~5605 INR /
$0.61~$0.93 / kg
US$1080 / MT
$1.08 / kg
(Sortex clean; certified
Botanical name: Zingiber officinale
Chinese name: gan jiang (干姜) / Nepalese name: Sutho (
) / Sanskrit name: Sunthi
Pharmacopoeial name: Rhizoma Zingiberis
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) digestive impairment; b) flatulence;
c) anemia; d) asthma; e) abdominal diseases; and f) rheumatism.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: a) epigastric pain with cold feeling,
vomiting and diarrhea accompanied with cold extremities and faint pulse;
Luoping County
Yunnan Prov.
Shizong County
Yunnan Prov.
Cochin Market
Kerala, India
and b) dyspnea and cough with copious expectoration.
Traditional European Medicine: a) symptomatic relief of motion
sickness; and b) symptomatic treatment of mild, spasmodic
gastrointestinal complaints including bloating and flatulence.
TO US$ / kg
19.00 CNY / kg
$3.09 / kg
20.00 CNY / kg
$3.26 / kg
307.50~325.00 INR /
300.00 NPR / kg
$5.11~$5.40 / kg
$3.07 / kg
US$5300.00 / MT
(Qty: 14 MT / 20’ FCL;
certified organic)
$5.30 / kg
Botanical name: Centella asiatica
Chinese name: ji xue cao (积雪草) / Sanskrit name: Mandukaparni (
Pharmacopoeial name: Centellae Asiaticae Herba
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) inflammation; b) tastelessness; c)
fever; d) cough; e) itching; f) skin diseases; g) excessive bleeding
disorder; h) excessive flow of urine; i) asthma; j) anemia; k) blood
Traditional Chinese Medicine: a) jaundice caused by damp-heat; b)
heat stroke with diarrhea; c) urolithiasis and hematuria; d) carbuncles and
boils; e) traumatic injuries.
TO US$ / kg
US$3000 / per MT
$3.00 / kg
Mumbai Port
(Qty: 1-20’ FCL)
Spot Price
Botanical name: Plantago ovata
Pharmacopoeial name: Plantaginis Ovatae Semen
Well-established uses: a) for the treatment of habitual constipation; and
b) for conditions in which easy defecation with soft stool is desirable, e.g.
in cases of painful defecation after rectal or anal surgery, anal fissures
and hemorrhoids.
TO US$ / kg
10475.00 INR / quintal
$1.74 / kg
Botanical name: Nardostachys jatamansi
Chinese name: gan song (甘松) / Nepalese name: Jatamansi (
) / Sanskrit name:
Jatamansi / Pharmacopoeial name: Nardostachyos Radix et Rhizoma
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) diseases of skin; b) erysipelas; c)
burning sensation; d) mental disorders; e) insomnia.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: a) epigastric and abdominal distension
with anorexia and vomiting; b) external use for toothache and swelling of
the foot.
31.00 CNY / kg
TO US$ / kg
$5.05 / kg
600.00 NPR / kg
$6.13 / kg
1280.00 NPR / kg
$13.08 / kg
Botanical name(s): Glycyrrhiza uralensis, G. inflata, or G. glabra
Chinese name: gan cao (甘草) / Sanskrit name: Yasti
Pharmacopoeial name: Glycyrrhizae Radix et Rhizoma
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) cough; b) hoarseness of voice; c)
phthisis (any wasting or atrophic disease, weakness, diseases due to vata
dosha); d) ulcer; and e) gout,
Traditional Chinese Medicine: a) weakness of the spleen and the
stomach marked by lassitude and weakness; b) cardiac palpitation and
shortness of breath; c) cough with much phlegm; d) spasmodic pain in the
epigastrium, abdomen and limbs; e) carbuncles and sores; and f) often
added to formulas to reduce drastic or toxic effects of other drugs.
Traditional European Medicine: a) for the relief of digestive symptoms
including burning sensation and dyspepsia; and b) used as an expectorant
in cough associated with cold.
TO US$ / kg
(Gansu origin)
13.50 CNY / kg
$2.20 / kg
Anguo, Hebei
(Inner Mongolia
10.00 CNY / kg
$1.63 / kg
origin) Anguo,
Hebei market
(Xinjiang origin)
16.00 CNY / kg
$2.61 / kg
FOB Mumbai
US$3000 / per MT
$3.00 / kg
(Qty: 1-20’ FCL)
Botanical name: Nigella sativa
Hindi name: Kalaunji (कलौंजी) Sanskrit name: Upakuncika
Pharmacopoeial name: Nigellae semen
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) abdominal lump; b) flatulence; c)
diarrhea; d) worm infestation.
TO US$ / kg
FOB Mumbai,
US$2900 / per MT
$2.90 / kg
(Qty: 18 MT / 20’ FCL;
certified organic)
Price Sources
Chengdu Traditional Chinese Medicine Price Index:
Chinese Medicinal Herb E-Commerce Office:
Private companies
Agmarknet, Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (DMI), Ministry of Agriculture,
Government of India:
Madhya Pradesh State Agricultural Marketing Board (Mandi Board):
National Multi-Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (NMCE):
Private companies
Spices Board India:
Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources:
Private companies
6. Selected Events
September 13-19, 2014
International Conference on “Industrial Crops and Products” and “26th Annual
Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC)”
There will be a number of practical sessions on the effects of different drying methods on the
composition and quality of selected medicinal plants. There will also be a meeting of the
USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Medicinal and Essential Oils Crop Germplasm
Committee (MEOCGC),
Athens Greece
September 17-25, 2014
XII International Ethnobotany Symposio Peru 2014
Conference focus will be nutritional and medicinal plants, naturopathy, traditional medicine.
Lima and Cusco, Peru
September 18-19, 2014
National Seminar on Contemporary Importance of Intercropping of Medicinal and
Aromatic Plants
Main topics to be discussed at this national seminar taking place at the Dr. Sarvepali
Radhakrishnan Rajasthan Ayurved University and sponsored by the Government of India
National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) include ancient techniques of intercropping of
medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), mixed intercropping and MAPS, row cropping and
MAPs, tropical multi-tier system, and the overall importance of intercropping for MAPs.
Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
September 23-25, 2014
BÉNÉFIQ - International Rendezvous on Health Ingredients Conference and Exhibition
Bénéfiq 2014 will include an exhibition with suppliers of natural ingredients used in natural
health products, functional foods, medical foods and cosmeceuticals.
Québec City Convention Centre, Québec, Canada
September 29 – October 4, 2014
8th International conference on Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (CIPAM 8)
The 8th International conference on Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (CIPAM 8) will address
the development of Caribbean plants under the themes Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge,
Innovative techniques and active ingredients, Economic issues, and Legislation.
Creole Beach Hotel & Spa, Gosier 97190, Guadeloupe French West Indies
October 6-10, 2014
Supply Side West
One of largest trade shows with 1,700 of the world's top health ingredient suppliers and
equipment companies, as well as lab-testing firms, logistics and packaging experts.
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
October 8-10, 2014
Health Ingredients Japan 2014
There will be over 800 exhibitors specializing in functional, natural & organic ingredients,
food additives, cosmeceuticals and more.
Tokyo, Japan
October 9-11, 2014
HERBAL ASIA 2014: The 8th International Trade Show & Conference for Herbal, Green
& Natural Industry - Co-located with Herbal Asia Packaging & Health Ingredient Expo
and Herbal Asia Career Fair
Exhibitors will include growers and suppliers of botanical raw materials, traders, finished
herbal product manufacturers, herbal product retailers, industry associations and relevant
governmental agencies. Attendees may also register for the Buyer Seller Meeting as well as
the Career Fair with opportunities for knowledge workers in the herbal industry.
MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
October 12, 2014
III BioTrade Congress @ CBD COP 12
The III BioTrade Congress: Promoting Sustainable use through Business Engagement will
discuss key trends and emerging approaches for the sustainable production and
commercialization of biodiversity-based products and services.
Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea
October 14-16 2014
3rd European Workshop on Sea Buckthorn (EuroWorkS 2014) “Producing Quality Sea
Conference themes include technology for cultivation and quality control of seabuckthorn
berries and products in Europe.
Naantali, Finland
October 14-17, 2014
7th Int. Conf. and Exhibition on Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods
Istanbul, Turkey
October 16-17, 2014
Shanghai International Conference on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Natural
Hosted by the Modern Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Office of Shanghai
Municipality, the conference theme is technology innovation and industry development.
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
October 27-30, 2014
The 11th International Symposium on Ginseng 2014
In addition to the scientific program there will be an exhibition.
Seoul, Korea
November 5-7, 2014
National Conference on Herbal Drug Research: Opportunities and Challenges
One of the highlights of this seminar will be an emphasis on Good Agricultural and Collection
Practices (GACPs) for medicinal plants, authentication and standardization, making the
connection between quality assurance systems for herb production and quality and efficacy
of herbal medicinal formulations and products.
B. V. Patel Pharmaceutical Education and Research Development (PERD) Centre,
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
November 17-21, 2014
VIth International Congress of Ethnobotany (IECB 2014)
IECB 2014 symposia topics include agrobiodiversity, traditional knowledge, ethnobotany and
economic botany as a tool for innovation.
Córdoba, Spain
November 24 – December 6, 2014
The 2nd Pure Grenada Nutmeg and Spice Festival
A two week nutmeg, mace and spice festival sponsored in part by the Caribbean Export
Development Agency including a Nutmeg & Spice Fair & Expo on December 5th.
St. George, Grenada
December 2-4, 2014
Health ingredients Europe (HiE) & Natural ingredients (Ni)
Health ingredients Europe (HiE) & Natural ingredients (Ni) is one of leading global events for
ingredients used in dietary supplements, nutraceuticals, functional foods and healthy
Amsterdam, Netherlands
December 4-8, 2014
NHI KOREA 2014, NHE & BIO-Pharma 2014
Natural Health Ingredients, Extracts, Nutraceutical Products & Bio-Pharma Expo 2014
— co-located with World Food Expo 2014
Exhibitor profile: Suppliers of Botanical Extracts, Essential Oils, Nutraceutical and
Pharmaceutical Ingredients, Health Food Ingredients, Herbal Preparations, Food Additives,
Seasonings, and more.
KINTEX (Korea International Exhibition Center), Gayong City, Republic of Korea
March 6-8, 2015
Engredea 2015 — co-located with Natural Products Expo West
Exhibitor profile: Suppliers of botanical and other natural ingredients, packaging,
technologies, equipment, and services.
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California USA
May 5-8, 2015
The 15th International Congress of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology
Topics will include Arab-European intercultural ethnopharmacology, Biodiversity and
ecological aspects of ethnobotanical sources, Ecopharmacognosy and the Globalization of
Traditional Medicines, Quality assurance, and Traditional and modern herbal medicinal
products, among others.
Petra, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
7. Herb Profile: Ajowan fruit
In India, ajowan fruit, also known as ajmo, ajwain, or ajwayan, among other trade names, is
used as a medicinal ingredient in systems of Traditional Medicine including Ayurveda,
Siddha, Tibetan (Sowa Rigpa) and Unani medicines as well as in regional folk medicine
But the fresh or dried fruits also have various culinary uses as well as the extracted oleoresin
and/or distilled essential oil. In India, ajowan is a frequently used spice, for example as a
flavour-enhancing component of pungent dishes. In Ethiopia, it is used similarly as a spice in
bread but also as a component of alcoholic beverages.2
Pharmacopoeial name(s):
Trachyspermi ammi fructus or Ajowani fructus
Botanical name(s):
Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague; Fam. Apiaceae;
Syn. Carum copticum Benth et Hook. f. ex C.B. Clarke
Common names:3
ajwan or ami
xi ye cao guo qin
ajowan (U.S.) or bishop’s weed (India)
Origin, Distribution and Cultivation
Although the precise origin of this species is uncertain, it is believed to have originated in
India but possibly other parts of Asia and Northern Africa, particularly Egypt.
According to Flora of Pakistan, its range of distribution includes parts of southern Asia
(Afghanistan, India and western Pakistan), republics of the former Soviet Union, parts of the
Middle East and Northern Africa (Egypt).4 Other sources claim that Trachyspermum ammi is
a native of Egypt but is cultivated in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (e.g. states
of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar and West
Bengal).5 According to Spices Board India, the major ajowan producing states in India are
Rajasthan and Gujarat, where Rajasthan produces about 90% of India's total production. 6
According to Flora of China, this species is apparently native to India but is adventive in dry
open ruderal areas in the western parts of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where it is
also cultivated.7
Ved, D.K.& G.S.Goraya (2008). Demand and Supply of Medicinal Plants in India, Bishen Singh, Mahendra Pal
Singh, Dehra Dun & FRLHT, Bangalore, India.
Teuscher E et al. Medicinal Spices: A Handbook of Culinary Herbs, Spices, Spice Mixtures and their Essential
Oils. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publishers.2006;51-53.
Sorting Trachyspermum names. In: Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database:
Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague. In: Flora of Pakistan:
Bairwa R, Sodha RS, Rajawat BS. Trachyspermum ammi. Pharmacognosy Review. 2012;6(11):56-60, doi:
Bishop’s weed. In: Spices Board India:
Trachyspermum ammi (Linnaeus) Sprague. In: Flora of China, Vol. 14:
Teuscher et al (2006) states that while India is the main exporting country, other areas
where cultivation occurs include parts of Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia), eastern Asia (China),
southern Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan), south-eastern Asia (Indonesia), western Asia
(Yemen), and parts of the Russian Federation.8
Production technology for ajowan [including information on soil and climate requirements,
varieties, inputs, cultivation (propagation, irrigation and inter-culture, plant protection against
major insects and major diseases, harvesting and yield)] are provided in the book:
Farooqi AA, Vasundhara M, Agarwal A. Ajwain. In: Production Technology of Medicinal and
Aromatic Crops, 4th Edition. Bangalore, India: Trust for Medicinal Plant Research &
Development (TMPRD). 2004.
Therapeutic uses in systems of Traditional Medicine
Trachyspermi Ammi Fructus
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine: a) flatulence with a gurgling sound; b)
distension of abdomen due to obstruction to passage of urine and stools;
c) diseases of abdomen; d) abdominal lump; e) intestinal parasites; f)
sharp piercing pain.
Traditional Unani Medicine: a) flatulence in the stomach; b) gastric pain;
c) anorexia; d) colic; e) pertussis; f) diarrhoea; g) hysteria; h) cholera.
Export Trade
Republic of India is a main producer and exporter. In the 2012-2013 agricultural year (AprMar), India exported 1,732,590 kg of ajowan fruit (under Indian Trade Classification (ITC):
HS 0910.99.14) and 1,129,650 kg in the subsequent 2013-2014 year, mainly to Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of
America, and Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. These four countries accounted for
nearly 80% of India’s ajowan exports for both of the past two years. India does import some
quantities of ajowan from neighbouring Islamic Republic of Pakistan, for example 267,230 kg
in 2012-2013 season and 624,020 kg in the 2013-2014 season. Table 1 lists the top 20
importers of India’s ajowan fruit in terms of quantity (thousands of kgs).
Table 1:
India exports of Ajowan Fruit (ITC HS 0910.99.14)
Apr-Mar 2012-2013 / Apr-Mar 2013-2014 / Unit: Thousands of KGS / %Growth
Quantity in thousands of kgs
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Republic of India total exports ITC HS 0910.99.14
United Arab Emirates
People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Republic of South Africa
Teuscher E et al. Medicinal Spices: A Handbook of Culinary Herbs, Spices, Spice Mixtures and their Essential
Oils. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publishers.2006;51-53.
Republic of Fiji
Federal Republic of Germany
State of Kuwait
New Zealand
Republic of Mauritius
State of Israel
Kingdom of Spain
Kingdom of Bahrain
Commonwealth of Australia
Republic of Singapore
Republic of Kenya
Source: Government of India, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Department of Commerce, Export
Import Data Bank Version 7.1 – TRADESTAT:
Quality Standards
For the quality control testing of ajowan as an active medicinal ingredient, there are national
pharmacopoeial monographs published in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part I,
Volume I (API I 1990)9, Indian Pharmacopoeia 7th Edition (IP 2014)10, and Unani
Pharmacopoeia of India, Part I, Volume VI (UPI VI 2009),11 any of which can be utilized as
the basis for the establishment of quality specifications.
Additionally there are specifications available for grades of ajowan appropriate for evaluating
quality when used as a food or spice, for example the Government of India’s AGMARK
Standard “Ajowan Seeds (Whole and powdered) Grading and Marking Rules, 1997,” which
provides specifications for three different quality grades.12
Table 2 compares pharmacopoeial quality standards of ajowan fruit (Indian Pharmacopoeia
(IP) and Unani Pharmacopoeia of India (UPI)) and AGMARK Grade I quality.
Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee. YAVANI. In: The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part I, Volume I.
New Delhi, India: Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Ayurveda, YogaNaturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy (AYUSH). 1990 (reprint 2001);129.
Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission. Ajwain. In: Indian Pharmacopoeia, 7th Edition (IP 2014). New Delhi, India:
Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. 2014
Unani Pharmacopoeia Committee. Ajwain (Fruit) In: The Unani Pharmacopoeia of India, Part I, Volume VI.
New Delhi, India: Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Ayurveda, YogaNaturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy (AYUSH). 2009;7-8.
Government of India. AGMARK Standard: Ajowan Seeds (Whole and powdered) Grading and Marking Rules,
Table 2: Comparison of quality standards for ajowan fruit; AGMARK, IP and UPI
Ajowan Agmark Grade I
The dried ripe fruits of the
plant Trachyspermum
ammi (L.).
Ajwain IP
The dried fruits of
Trachyspermum ammi
Mill. (Fam. Apiaceae).
Taste and smell shall be
fresh and normally
associated with the
produce. It shall not give
rancid taste and musty
NLT 3.5 per cent volatile
Colour: greenish-brown
to yellowish-brown;
Odour: characteristic
Taste: sweet aromatic.
Organoleptic evaluation
(appearance, colour,
odour, taste).
Foreign matter
Organic extraneous
matter: NMT 1.0%;
Inorganic extraneous
matter: NMT 0.25%
Shrivelled, immature,
weevilled, damaged and
discoloured fruits: NMT
NMT 10.0 per cent.
Powder: NMT 7.0 per
cent by mass.
Powder: NMT 0.5 per
cent by mass.
No requirement.
No requirement.
Loss on drying
Total ash
Acid-insoluble ash
Water-soluble extractive
Non-volatile ether
Crude fibre
Powder: NLT 20.0 per
cent by mass.
Powder: NMT 14.0 per
cent by mass.
Pack in clean, sound and
dry containers that are
securely closed and
Ajwain UPI
The dried fruits of
Trachyspermum ammi
(Linn.) Sprague ex Turril
(Fam. Apiaceae),
uprooted and thrashed for
collecting the fruits.
Colour: greyish-brown;
Odour: characteristic,
Taste: pungent
NLT 1.0 per cent w/w of
thymol, calculated on the
dried basis (by gas
1) Macroscopic
2) Microscopic
3) Thin layer
chromatography test
NMT 2.0 per cent.
NLT 2 per cent volatile oil.
NMT 10.0 per cent.
NMT 15.0 per cent.
No requirement
NMT 9 per cent.
NMT 7.0 per cent.
NMT 0.2 per cent.
NLT 15.0 per cent
NLT 2.0 per cent.
NLT 13 per cent.
NLT 2 per cent.
No requirement.
No requirement.
No requirement.
No requirement.
Store protected from light
in well-filled containers, at
a temperature not
exceeding 30º C.
No specification.
2) Microscopic
3) Thin layer
chromatography test.
NMT 2 per cent.
8. Company Profile: Heiveld Co-operative Ltd., South Africa
Organisation name:
About Heiveld Co-op:
Heiveld Co-operative Ltd.
The Heiveld has 64 members, all of whom produce rooibos (Aspalathus
linearis) herb in the Suid Bokkeveld. 3 of the members are small
businesses owned by groups that have gained ownership of farms through
the government's land reform programme.
Since 2001 Heiveld Co-operative has worked with small-scale rooibos tea
farmers to provide organic and fair trade certification, as well as support
with market access. In response to climate variability, farmers are
cultivating drought-resistant varieties of rooibos. Collaborative work with
research institutes has led to an industry-wide code of conduct on the
sustainable harvesting and production of rooibos. The cooperative invests
revenues back into community water access, education and health
projects. Local rooibos tea farming incomes have increased by 400
percent, while soil erosion has been reduced in thousands of hectares of
drylands where the tea is cultivated.
Heiveld case study:
Oettle, N., Goldberg, K., Koelle, B. (2009) The Heiveld Co-operative: a
vehicle for sustainable local development. Drynet/ Both ENDS, Amsterdam:
Heiveld presentation:
PO Box 154, Nieuwoudtville 8180, Republic of South Africa
Alida Strauss: General Manager and Financial Manager
Rene Marinus: Export and Office Manager
Zelda De Wee: Administrative Officer
+27 (0)27 218 1318
+27 (0)27 218 1318
[email protected]
The needle-like leaves and fine stems of the plant Aspalathus linearis in three grades:
Supergrade Rooibos: high quality Rooibos, medium cut
Superfine Rooibos: High quality Rooibos, fine cut, suitable for high quality tea bags
Coarse grade: Medium strength, suitable for ice teas, flavoured teas and extracts
Certification Agent: FLO-CERT
FLO ID: 2585
Certification Agent: EcoCert S.A.
Certification Number: 1252ZA
Certification Agent: EcoCert S.A.
Certification Number: 1252Za1200Z1E (NOP)
2014 Equator Prize in
The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize and advance local
the category of
sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient
'Sustainable Land
Management in SubThe Equator Initiative is a multi-sector partnership that brings together the
Saharan Africa’:
United Nations, governments, civil society, and grassroots organizations.
http://equatorinitiative.or Current partners to the Equator Initiative include: Conservation
International, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Ecoagriculture
m_winners&view=winne Partners, Fordham University, The German Federal Ministry for Economic
r_detail&id=186&Itemid Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Government of Norway, IUCN=683&lang=en
International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy,
PCI Media Impact, Rare, Swedish International Development Cooperation
Agency (Sida), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations
Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development
9. Medicinal Plants & Natural Ingredients Sector Organizations
Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP)
Agricultural Export Council (AEC) Egypt, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Committee
American Botanical Council (ABC)
American Council for Medicinally Active Plants (ACMAP)
American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)
Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB):
Association for African Medicinal Plants Standards (AAMPS)
Association for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Southeast European Countries
Association pour les Plantes Médicinales et Aromatiques de Guadeloupe
Association pour les Plantes Aromatiques et Medicinales de la Réunion
(APLAMEDOM- Réunion)
Associazione Italiana fra Coltivatori, Raccoglitori, Trasformatori, Importatori,
Esportatori, Grossisti e Rappresentanti di Case Estere di Piante Medicinali,
Aromatiche, Spezie, Estratti Vegetali, Oli Essenziali e loro derivati (ASSOERBE)
Canadian Herb, Spice and Natural Health Products Coalition (CHSNC)
Central Herbal Agro Marketing Federation of India (CHAMF)
Chamber of Herbal Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (CHIPI)
Egyptian Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (EMAP)
European Herb Growers Association (EUROPAM)
European Herbal Infusions Association (EHIA)
Federazione Italiana dei Produttori di Piante Officinali (FIPPO)
Filière biologique des plantes de santé du Québec
Instituto Peruano de Productos Naturales (IPPN)
International Council for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ICMAP)
International Trade Union of Genuine Regional Materia Medica (TUGRMM)
Jadi Buti Association of Nepal (JABAN)
National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB)
PELERO CZ o.s. (Association of the Producers and Processors of Medicinals and Aromatic
Plant and Spices)
Phytotrade Africa
Polski Komitet Zielarski (Polish Herbal Committee)
Regional Network for Medicinal and Aromatic plants in the Near East and North Africa
Singapore Chinese Medicines and Health Products Merchant Association
Société Marocaine des Plantes Aromatiques et Médicinales (SOMAPAM)
Verein für Arznei- und Gewürzpflanzen (SALUPLANTA e.V.)