Richters HerbLetter


Date: 98/06/20
Contents
1. Call to Save European Wild Medicinal Plants
2. Study Finds Garlic Does Not Lower Cholesterol
3. Garlic Study Not Applicable to Most U.S. Garlic Products
4. Manufacturer Denies Ephedra Product Caused Death
5. Family of Student Who Died from Herbal Ecstasy Settles Suit
6. Herbal Mystic Carlos Casteneda Dead
7. China’s "Golden Triangle" to Get Major Investment in Herbal Medicine
8. U.S. Herb Importer Launches Court Challenge to Stop FDA Interference
9. St. Johnswort Harvest Begins
10. North American Study to Test St Johnswort Against Severe Depression
11. The Bud In This Beer Is A Bit Of Marijuana
12. Kava Root is Hot Herb for Anxiety
13. Adverse Reactions to Herbal Products Monitored in California
14. Herb Business News

1. Call to Save European Wild Medicinal Plants
By Karen Edwards

LONDON, June 18, PA News -- British consumers who are turning to herbal remedies for aches and pains are causing a major environmental headache for other countries, a report claimed today.

More than 150 European wild plants are in danger of being wiped-out because they are being over-harvested in their natural habitat to meet demand for herbal products - which is especially strong among people in the UK, according to the report.

And the only way to combat the crisis is to grow and harvest the plants commercially, instead of plundering them from the wild.

The report has been produced by Traffic - the wildlife trade monitoring programme set up by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature and The World Conservation Union (IUCN).

None of the endangered species grows in Britain where rare wild plants are protected species. But Britain is one of the world’s top importers of wild plants, together with France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

A current rise in demand for licorice, which grows wild mainly in Turkey, means it is at risk of dying out.

Another species which could be wiped out is the Pheasant’s Eye Adonis vernalis which is already extinct in Italy and the Netherlands and is considered vulnerable in the rest of Europe.

The report, Europe’s Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Their use, Trade and Conservation, by Dr Dagmar Lange, follows in-depth studies in eight countries: Albania, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Spain and the UK.

It shows that nearly 1,300 of Europe’s wild plants are used on a commercial basis in medicinal and herbal remedies, cosmetics and toiletries and cleaning products.

A spokeswoman for Traffic said the 75-page study shows that Britain has about 3,000 products on the market that use wild plants. About 25% of British consumers said they preferred to use them.

Tom De Meulenaer, director of Traffic Europe, said: "There is no doubt that the long-term survival of some of these species is at risk.

"Legislation to protect endangered species is present in almost all European countries, but one alarming trend is that conservation efforts usually begin only after a species becomes threatened. For some populations, it’s just too late."

A spokeswoman for Traffic added: "Today roughly one in four of all prescriptions dispensed by western pharmacists is likely to contain ingredients derived from plants.

"The message is not to stop buying them, but that what we need to do is start harvesting them and planting them commercially."

The report is available throughout Europe and will be discussed at the First International Symposium on the Conservation of Medicinal Plants in Trade in Europe, taking place at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on June 22 and 23.

The WWF today also called for a change in the market to protect Europe’s medicinal and aromatic plants.

A spokeswoman said: "The UK is among the world’s top 12 importers of medicinal and aromatic plants, importing over 700 different plants for the herbal medicine trade alone, of which 200 come from Europe.

"The trade is largely unmonitored and many populations of these species are at risk. The herbal medicine trade has been booming for a number of years and 1 in 4 people in the UK now use herbal remedies on a regular basis."

Traffic is calling for: Enhanced trade monitoring, International trade controls, improved legislation and law enforcement, development of management programmes, raised public awareness, protected areas and certification for plant material from sustainable sources.


2. Study Finds Garlic Does Not Lower Cholesterol
By Lindsey Tanner

CHICAGO, June 17, AP -- Hold the mouthwash. A new study disputes the notion that eating garlic can lower cholesterol.

The 25 participants in the German study had high cholesterol and swallowed either a placebo or the equivalent of three to four cloves of garlic every day for six months.

There were no significant changes in the participants’ overall cholesterol levels, nor in their levels of "good" cholesterol or "bad" cholesterol.

"We were actually surprised how clearly negative the results were," said Dr. Heiner K. Berthold, a clinical pharmacologist at the University of Bonn. The findings were published in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

Garlic, a folk remedy dating back at least as far as the ancient Egyptians, is thought by some to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

The bulbous herb contains allicin, which some studies have said acts as an antibiotic. The Egyptians used garlic on wounds, infections and intestinal parasites. British Army surgeons used it to control infection among soldiers in World War I.

The garlic used in the study was an oil preparation in pill form at a dosage high enough to produce breath odor and higher even than in some previous studies that found modest cholesterol-lowering benefits.

"The failure of this study to detect any significant effect in our view is certainly not surprising," said Dr. Ronald Krauss, chairman of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee and head of molecular medicine at the University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

"This study qualifies as a solid scientific study. It’s what people should be basing their thought-processes on," instead of on folklore.

Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington group that favors alternative therapies, said that the study was too small to be definitive and that the researchers examined only a garlic-oil preparation.

The results have no bearing on other forms of garlic, he said.


3. Garlic Study Not Applicable to Most U.S. Garlic Products
AUSTIN, Texas, June 17, Herb Research Foundation -- Today JAMA published a study erroneously concluding that garlic is not helpful in lowering cholesterol. The study was based on a garlic oil product that does not contain one of garlic’s key therapeutically active compounds, allicin. "It’s obvious that the active principle deteriorates in the steam-distilled oil preparation, so they shouldn’t expect any significant biological activity, unless the product is prepared fresh for each usage," said Varro Tyler, former Dean of Pharmacy at Purdue University and a trustee of the American Botanical Council.

Tyler is senior author of an herbal medicine textbook widely used in pharmacy schools, and co-author of Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician’s Guide to Herbal Medicine. The book states that according to clinical studies published in Germany, where the JAMA study originates, preparations made from garlic oil are not as effective as garlic powder.

"Steam-distilled garlic oil is not chemically identical to fresh garlic or dried garlic powder," asserts Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council. The placebo-controlled study published in JAMA involved administration of 5 mg oil capsules twice daily, on and off for six months. Based on the study’s results, the JAMA article reaches the following conclusion: "The commercial garlic preparation investigated had no influence on serum lipoproteins, cholesterol absorption, or cholesterol synthesis. Garlic therapy for treatment of hypercholesteremia cannot be recommended on the basis of this study."

"The authors draw an illogical conclusion," comments Blumenthal. "Garlic oil does not represent all garlic preparations, or even the benefits of whole garlic as a food." The leading garlic product in Europe, Kwai, manufactured by Lichtwer Pharma of Berlin is made of a standardized garlic powder. This powder contains the chemicals alliin and alliinase which produce another compound, allicin, the focus of much of the European research on garlic. The majority of clinical studies on Kwai do suggest a cholesterol-lowering activity, especially of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

The JAMA study’s primary author, Dr. Heiner K. Berthold, claimed that the garlic oil was chemically similar to powdered garlic preparations, and included allicin. Dr. Joerg Gruenwald, head of PhytoPharm Consulting in German and former director of research at Lichtwer Pharma in Berlin, and an acknowledged expert on garlic research, said, "Products based on the steam-distilled oil of garlic do not contain the chemical alliin which is essential in forming allicin." He stressed that various garlic products contain different chemical composition and biological activity.

According to Jeanette Schubert of Lichtwer Pharma USA in Pittsburgh, "There are at least 12 clinical studies indicating beneficial cholesterol-lowering activity of Kwai, the leading European garlic product. In addition, there are 46 clinical studies on other cardiovascular effects of Kwai."

A manufacturer of a leading garlic product from Japan was clear about the implications of this study. Bill Stirling, Director of Marketing at Wakunaga, makers of Kyolic garlic, said "These negative results do not apply in any way to Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract. All research on Kyolic is published in peer-reviewed journals independent of company influence and show that Kyolic consistently helps drop cholesterol levels. We would much rather talk about the positive science on Kyolic than these negative results on lesser products."

Blumenthal pointed out that this issue raises the need for responsible assessment of research on herbs. "Not all herbal products are alike. The method of preparation of various commercial herbal products has a major influence on their activity in the hum an body."


4. Manufacturer Denies Ephedra Product Caused Death
WASHINGTON, June 18, PRNewswire -- Today dietary supplement manufacturer Twinlab responded to recent media reports that incorrectly linked the April 1998 death of a California teen with Ripped Fuel(R), a product manufactured by Twinlab.

Twinlab President Ross Blechman pointed out that Santa Barbara County, California coroner’s office attributed the death of 15-year-old Rosanna Porras to a pre-existing heart defect called ‘bland-white-garland syndrome.’ The girl’s heart defect led to the massive heart attack that caused her death following her collapse while playing soccer.

"Some early media accounts following Rosanna Porras’ unfortunate death implied that she died after taking ephedra based dietary supplement Ripped Fuel(R), a product Twinlab has marketed safely to consumers for years," Blechman said. "In fact, the coroner’s office found no medical evidence she took or had taken Ripped Fuel(R). Therefore, there is no evidence that Ripped Fuel(R) played any role in this tragic occurrence."

"Twinlab deeply regrets the death of young Rosanna Porras and our sympathies go to her family and loved ones," said Twinlab President Ross Blechman.

Twinlab is a 30-year-old family-run company that markets over 900 dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals, sports nutrition products, herbs and herbal teas.


5. Family of Student Who Died from Herbal Ecstasy Settles Suit
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., May 26, AP -- The family of a student who died from an overdose of an herbal product that mimics the illegal street drug Ecstasy agreed Tuesday to settle with manufacturers for $2.5 million.

Peter Schlendorf, 20, a student from State University of New York at Albany, died March 1996 from an overdose of Ultimate Xphoria while on spring break in this Florida Panhandle city. A month later, Florida and New York banned the sale of the pill and other ephedrine-containing stimulants.

"It was an egregious case because this was a product that had not been analyzed by its makers," said lawyer Virginia Buchanan, who represents Schlendorf’s parents.

The two Tempe, Ariz.-based companies -- American Supplement Technologies Inc. and Alternative Health Research Inc. -- had no comment.

Makers of such stimulants often claim they heighten sexual awareness and enhance athletic performance.

The Food and Drug Administration classifies ephedrine as a dietary supplement often used in weight-control products. But the FDA also warns ephedrine can cause heart attacks, seizures and psychosis.


6. Herbal Mystic Carlos Casteneda Dead
LOS ANGELES, June 19, AP -- Best-selling author Carlos Castaneda, whose books about Don Juan and drug-induced mysticism attracted millions of New Age followers, has died of liver cancer. He was believed to be at least 66.

Castaneda died April 27 at his Westwood home, attorney Deborah Drooz said today. No funeral was held and his cremated remains were taken to Mexico.

For more than three decades, Castaneda claimed to have been the apprentice of a Yaqui Indian sorcerer named Don Juan Matus. His first book, "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge," described peyote-fueled journeys with a sorcerer who could bend time and space.

Castaneda argued that reality is a shared way of looking at the universe that can be transcended through discipline, ritual and concentration. The sorcerer, he said, can see and use the energy that comprises everything -- but the path to that knowledge is hard and dangerous.

While his 10 books sold millions of copies worldwide -- and continue to sell in 17 languages -- critics doubted that Don Juan existed.

Castaneda always maintained that his experiences were real.

"This is not a work of fiction," Castaneda said in the prologue to his 1981 book, "The Eagle’s Gift." "What I am describing is alien to us; therefore, it seems unreal."

Castaneda was obscure on such matters as his birth. Immigration records indicated he was born Dec. 25, 1925 in Cajamarca, Peru, while various resource books place his birth exactly six years later, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"He didn’t like attention," Drooz told the Los Angeles Times. "He always made sure people did not take his picture or record his voice. He didn’t like the spotlight."

Castaneda, who held a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles, said he met Don Juan in Arizona in the early 1960s while researching medicinal plants. He followed when the shaman moved to Sonora, Mexico.

His first book was a best seller when it appeared in 1968, as were several sequels that purported to track Castaneda’s 12-year apprenticeship.

The books were critically praised -- author Joyce Carol Oates called them "remarkable works of art" -- and even debunkers liked his heady visions of mysticism. "It is a con touched by genius," one critic wrote in the Saturday Review.

In recent years, Castaneda’s disciples offered seminars and books on "Tensegrity," a discipline composed of martial arts-like movements that Castaneda once said allowed ancient Mexican shamans to "perform indescribable feats of perception."

He claimed that Don Juan recommended it as a way for him to lose weight. "The movements force the awareness of man to focus on the idea that we are spheres of luminosity, a conglomerate of energy fields held together by a special glue," he told the Times in a 1995 interview.

Castaneda himself rarely made appearances and never allowed himself to be photographed or tape-recorded.

"A recording is a way of fixing you in time," he once said. "The only thing a sorcerer will not do is be stagnant."

While Castaneda contended that Don Juan did not die but rather "burned from within," he had no doubt about his own mortality.

"Since I’m a moron, I’m sure I’ll die," he told the Times. "I wish I would have the integrity to leave the way he did, but there is no assurance."


7. China’s "Golden Triangle" to Get Major Investment in Herbal Medicine
GUIYANG, June 16, Asia Pulse via COMTEX -- China will invest heavily in developing a 250,000-square-kilometer area in its southwest region, known as a "Golden Triangle".

The 250,000-square-kilometer area is located in an area, where Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces meet, and abounds in land, sunshine and water resources ideal for developing efficient agriculture.

According to Lu Liangshu, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Chinese government has listed the area into one of the key areas for overall agricultural development.

Under plan, the area will develop traditional farming with the focus on the production and processing of herbal medicine, food, aquatic products, flowers, trees, silk, tobacco, sugarcane and starch. It will introduce new agro-techniques, new varieties, equipment, and management in line with the local conditions.

Guizhou Province plans to invest 10.35 billion yuan in constructing a package of projects to increase the grain output by 1.975 million a year.

Yunnan Province will designate and develop the dry land in the valley of the Jinsha River, a main tributary of the Yangtze River, to become a state-level tropical crop production base. The base will concentrate on the development of meat, grain, vegetable, tobacco and flowers.

Sichuan Province will transform low-yield farmland in southern Sichuan including Panzhihua and Xi’chang prefectures into another granary after the Chengdu Plain in the province.

With abundant sunshine, the area is ideal for growing tropical cash crops from South Asia.

According to Lu, the area has a 30,000-square-kilometer area, which is known as the largest "natural greenhouse" in China’s hinterland.

Laboratory tests show that the sugar content of sugarcane grown in the area has reached as high as 14.5 percent.

Lu noted that the development of the area requires not only funds but also advanced agrotechniques, and welcomed foreign business people to make an investment in this area.


8. U.S. Herb Importer Launches Court Challenge to Stop FDA Interference
SALT LAKE CITY, June 15, AP -- In a case that challenges the government’s ability to regulate natural remedies, a federal judge is considering when a dietary supplement crosses the line into medicine.

Pharmanex, which markets a yeast powder under the name Cholestin, asked U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball on Monday to stop the Food and Drug Administration from interfering with the company’s imports.

The maker of the dietary supplement claims the red yeast rice powder from China ‘promotes healthy cholesterol’ and that an FDA ban on its import over legal concerns, not safety, is choking business.

The judge indicated he could rule as early as today on the request to lift the FDA ban.

The FDA is concerned that the over-the-counter Cholestin contains the powerful, albeit natural, ingredient lovastatin, the key component of Merck & Co.’s blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug Mevacor, which requires a prescription.

The dispute is the first challenge to the FDA’s powers under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which provides for the widespread sale of herbs, teas and capsules containing ingredients that are not FDA-approved as safe and effective.

But the law also set two major restrictions. First, any FDA-approved drug ingredients cannot also be sold as dietary supplements unless they were sold as a supplement or food before the drug’s approval.

Second, supplement manufacturers may claim only general benefits for the ingredient, rather than cures, prevention or treatments of diseases.

FDA regulators say Cholestin runs afoul of the law on both counts: It was not sold as a supplement before Mevacor was approved, and Pharmanex has made improper claims about its effectiveness.

The safety of Cholestin is not being questioned.


9. St. Johnswort Harvest Begins
PITTSBURGH, Pa., June 15, PRNewswire -- June 24th is the day St. John the Baptist’s birthday is traditionally celebrated. It is also the time of year that the plant that bears his name, St. John’s Wort, blooms and is then quickly harvested.

There are over 60 species of St. John’s Wort. But by far, the one that has become most popular this past year is the Hypericum perforatum L species.

This species of St. John’s Wort is a hearty but small perennial shrub with golden yellow flowers. It grows about two feet high and has dark green leaves that, when crushed, secrete a dark red oil. The plant’s leaves have little tiny holes that give the illusion of "perforations," as alluded to in its Latin name.

During last year’s harvest, Lichtwer Pharma, the world’s largest seller of St. John’s Wort supplements, harvested more than 620 acres, which yielded about 187 tons of plant. The plants then went through an advanced production process to manufacture LI 160(TM), the only St. John’s Wort formulation that has been proven effective in more than 20 clinical studies to maintain a healthy emotional balance and well-being. During harvesting time, the company produced 625 million LI 160(TM) tablets.

In anticipation of increased demand for St. John’s Wort all over the world, Lichtwer Pharma has planned its planting schedule through the rest of this century. The company plans to plant at least 2,000 acres of St. John’s Wort, yielding about 3,000 tons of dried plant.

"While St. John’s Wort grows wild all over Europe and the United States, Lichtwer Pharma follows strict guidelines for the controlled, integrated cultivation of our St. John’s Wort crop. These guidelines relate to things like soil and climatic requirements, crop rotation and sowings to ensure that, in the end, consumers receive the same standard product every time," said Bernd Rosemann, Materials Manager, Lichtwer Pharma AG.


10. North American Study to Test St Johnswort Against Severe Depression
TORONTO, June 11, PRNewswire -- The unique St. John’s Wort extract LI 160 has a major role to play in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression, say experts meeting in Toronto for the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting. But they caution consumers that not all extracts of St. John’s Wort are the same and that only one extract known as LI 160 has extensive clinical evidence to support their recommendation.

"It’s important to know which St. John’s Wort extracts have been clinically tested and to recommend only these to patients," says Dr. Jacques Bradwejn, psychiatrist at The Royal Ottawa Hospital. Dr. Bradwejn helped design the first North American head-to-head study which will compare the clinically proven St. John’s Wort special extract LI 160 against a placebo, as well as a standard SSRI anti-depressant medication for more serious forms of depression. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

"There is good clinical evidence to support the use of the LI 160 St. John’s Wort preparation for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression," says Dr. Michael Evans, staff physician at the Toronto Hospital and the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, referring to several LI 160 studies published in Europe. "If my patients ask for a recommendation, I go where there is real evidence of its success."

In European clinical studies, Kira(R) with LI 160 special extract (the preparation being used in the NIMH study) appears to be as effective as conventional anti-depressants for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. The NIMH study will determine the efficacy of St. John’s Wort LI 160 in more severe forms of depression.

"We’re very excited about this study because it will provide answers that can be integrated into mainstream mental health treatment," says Dr. Bradwejn. The three-year study will enroll hundreds of patients with depression who will be randomly assigned to one of three treatment arms -- special St. John’s Wort extract LI 160, a traditional SSRI anti-depressant or a placebo.

Dr. Jonathan Davidson, Director of the Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Center at Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina and Principal Investigator of the NIMH study says, "St. John’s Wort is a good choice for a study because there is a reasonable body of evidence from Europe to suggest that this herbal extract can help people with depression." Since 1990, over 25 clinical studies have been published in Europe using the special extract LI 160 formulation, involving over 5,600 people. Kira(R) with special extract LI 160 is the most tested St. John’s Wort formulation on the market and the only St. John’s Wort supplement proven in extensive and ongoing research to help people maintain a healthy emotional balance.

Commenting on the current use of St. John’s Wort in the clinical management of mild-to-moderate depression, Dr. Evans says, "There are two scenarios where I recommend St. John’s Wort -- for patients who don’t meet all of the criteria for major depression and for patients who will not take traditional anti-depressants." Dr. Evans sees the role of the physician to be that of an educator, providing the pros and cons of self-medicating with alternative treatments, a role that requires physicians to continually learn about new evidence-based alternative treatments for patients.


11. The Bud In This Beer Is A Bit Of Marijuana
By Greg Steinmetz

BERLIN, May 26, Wall Street Journal -- Asbjoern Gerlach brews his beer with water, malted barley, yeast, hops -- and marijuana. In Germany, that last ingredient raises eyebrows, but not for the reason you might think.

Since 1996, low-tetrahydrocannabinol hemp has been legal here and is now one of the country’s fastest-growing cash crops. Mr. Gerlach, a 30-year-old brewer in Berlin’s rough-and-tumble Kreuzberg neighborhood, adds low-THC Cannabis sativa, the flowering buds of the hemp plant, as a flavoring in his brew. He has been doing it on a small scale ever since hemp was legalized and now sells his beer to pubs as far away as London.

The police don’t care; the hemp in his beer is very low in the active ingredient people smoke marijuana for. But Germany’s image-conscious big brewers last month threatened to sue him. If Mr. Gerlach should lose in court, he could be fined $6,000 a bottle for violating the country’s strict beer-purity law.

The Reinheitsgebot law, enacted in 1516, is one of the first consumer-protection measures in history. It requires that beer be made from malt, hops, yeast and water -- and nothing else. If you want to call it beer, you can’t use flavorings. No chocolate, no cinnamon, no tequila and certainly no marijuana.

The law was relaxed in 1993 so foreign brewers such as Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Miller Brewing Co. can sell their "beer" in Germany, additives and all. But the old rules still apply to domestic brewers like young Mr. Gerlach, who looks like a snowboarder in his ragged sweater and baseball cap. "They are so proud of their stupid law," he complains.

Hemp in beer goes way back. In the Middle Ages, before Germany passed the beer-purity law, brewers commonly used it, among various other herbs. They liked the aromatic weed because it gave beer a fruity taste and acted as a preservative. People who drank it "liked the feeling," Mr. Gerlach says.

Mr. Gerlach revived the tradition several years ago while earning his brewing degree at Berlin’s Technical University. Hemp was illegal. Breaking the law made his home brew even more popular at student parties. "We kept it kind of secret," he says. He apprenticed at some big brewers, but when he graduated and couldn’t find a job, he opened a shop for hobby brewers that sold craft beers, beermaking supplies and beer he brewed himself.

He had to keep it quiet until 1996 when Germany legalized hemp production following intense lobbying from what one government official called "hippies." Hemp advocates argued that German agriculture could benefit from a revival of the plant, which is easy to grow and which can be used to make all sorts of things, from rope to paper to clothing. Such products are now sold all over the country, in "hemp stores" and otherwise. In 1997, the second year for legal hemp in Germany, 7,163 acres were under cultivation.

The German government agreed to legalization after imposing some tough conditions. Germany allows only nonhallucinogenic varieties to be grown. To keep farmers honest, it requires them to register with agriculture officials and submit to surprise testing of THC levels in their hemp.

Mr. Gerlach figured even legal hemp would add character to beer -- and be a good sales gimmick. Immediately after the law passed, he brewed a batch for a hemp trade fair here. A few months later, with volunteer help from marketing students at the University of Potsdam, he began commercial production under the name Turn. The beer is sold in 80 pubs in Berlin and distributed in Leipzig, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. Some bottles are exported to Britain, Denmark and Spain.

The only high anybody gets from drinking Turn comes from alcohol. "You have to drink 3,000 liters to feel the hemp, but by then you are dead from the alcohol," Mr. Gerlach says. But the beer’s label, a blue marijuana leaf, is suggestive, as is Mr. Gerlach’s slogan, "Turn your mind."

Mr. Gerlach insists he isn’t trying to fool anyone. The hemp leaf is what it is, he says. As for the slogan, "It’s our way of saying turn your mind to the hemp plant for industrial uses."

Compared to Lowenbrau, Becks and countless other big German beers, Turn is nothing. Mr. Gerlach produces just 26,400 gallons a year, enough to produce only 140,800 bottles. But the German Beer Association, the industry’s trade group, is determined to shut him down. Peter Stille, the group’s executive director, says a connection between beer and drug abuse could damage Germany’s reputation for quality beer.

To put a stop to Turn, the trade group invoked the beer-purity law. But Mr. Gerlach thought he had that covered. Nowhere on the label is Turn called beer. Rather, it is an "alcoholic drink with hemp buds."

But the brewing association points out that the label says the product is "brewed like a traditional beer." Also, Mr. Gerlach’s enterprise is called The Beer Company.

As chemical analysis would show, Mr. Stille says, "It’s beer. But it’s forbidden beer." If the trade group failed to crack down on Turn, he says, it would have to make exceptions for other brews with unusual ingredients. "One bad apple can spoil the whole basket. We don’t allow exceptions," he says.

Other brewers have had problems with the beer law. Rudolf Wahl, 59, has been brewing for 36 years. Two years ago, he came out with a hemp beer called Cannabia and, like Mr. Gerlach, innocently believed that he would not run afoul of the law as long as he called it a "hemp drink." But authorities cracked down. Mr. Wahl still makes Cannabia, but, taking advantage of a loophole in the beer law, he now mixes it with lemonade. He has had no legal trouble since then because, all agree, beer mixed with another drink is no longer beer. "I’m in favor of the law," Mr. Wahl says. "But in this case it’s schizophrenic."

Peter Fritsch’s headaches arise from the fact that he adds sugar to sweeten his beer, Neuzelle Klosterbrau. The recipe, he says, comes from monks who for centuries had been brewing in the town of Neuzelle, near the Polish border. When the brewery association came down on him, he fought back and hired experts to analyze his drink and declare it a beer. He is dumbfounded by the trade group’s objections. "It’s like saying that coffee becomes something else after you add sugar," he says. He is still in court.

Mr. Gerlach is confident that Turn will survive. He has hired a lawyer and has had help from Berlin’s environmentalist Green Party, which won him some time by arguing that he is creating jobs. Mr. Gerlach only has four employees at his Kreuzberg location, but every job counts in a neighborhood with a 30% unemployment rate.

Mr. Gerlach also has a fallback plan. He has been scouting out locations in Poland and the Czech Republic with the intention of shipping his beer back to Germany as an import exempt from the purity law. In the meantime, he has enough beer to survive a few more months of legal wrangling. "We have 50,000 bottles in storage," he says.


12. Kava Root is Hot Herb for Anxiety
By Judy Foreman

BOSTON, June 15, Boston Globe -- Traditionally, whenever the people of the South Pacific islands wanted to welcome a visitor or provide a social lubricant for communal rituals, they drank a potent potion made from the roots of an intoxicating pepper plant, kava kava.

The jaw-breaking job of turning the tough root of the Piper methysticum into homemade brew fell to young virgins -- male or female, depending on the island -- who spent hours chewing the root, then spitting out the masticated mush into a communal pot, where it was left to mature for several hours before being quaffed.

The effects, says herbal "medicine hunter" and kava promoter Chris Kilham, were nearly instantaneous: a feeling of profound well-being and relaxation.

What more could one ask? Okay, maybe a little scientific validation. And access.

Westerners are beginning to get both. In fact, although there are other herbs that are said to allay anxiety, it’s kava that seems poised to take off like St. John’s Wort, the herbal antidepressant that was virtually unheard of a couple of years ago in North America and now commands $200-million a year in sales.

"The kava market has come out of nowhere. It’s gone from next to nothing to $40-million to $50-million in sales in one year," says Thomas Aarts executive editor of the Nutrition Business Journal in San Diego. At that, it’s still a small chunk of the booming dieatary-supplements business, which has grown 14 per cent a year for the past three years to $11.5-billion, driven in part by the popularity of herbals. (In Canada, kava is available in liquid, capsule or tablet form in many health food and herbal-remedy stores.)

Proponents say kava induces a state of relaxation without fogging the mind as some prescription tranquillizers can. Kava produces "a delightful feeling," enthuses Mr. Kilham, who consults for herbal-products companies that import or market kava.

Since many things that sound too good to be true are, some caveats: The scientific evidence on the benefits and possible risks of kava is still limited. There have been 38 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on St. John’s Wort, also known as Hypericum, says Dr. Harold Bloomfield, a California psychiatrist who has written a book on it. By comparison, there are only half a dozen decent studies on kava, he says. "We need many, many more -- this is preliminary research at best."

Dr. Steven Hyman, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, agrees, calling the kava data "quite weak." But NIMH is intrigued enough that it may finance research on it.

If the research is not yet there, the need is: An estimated 23 million Americans wrestle with crippling, life-wrecking, chronic anxiety, and millions more suffer milder forms.

Granted, there are mainstream treatments available, including anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium, Xanax and Klonopin, which are often effective but can cause physical dependence. Non-habit-forming drugs such as Prozac, an antidepressant, also work against anxiety, as do cognitive-behaviour therapy and other "talking" psychotherapy.

Despite all this, there’s still enough angst out there that the potential demand for herbal tranquillizers is huge. You should, of course, consult your doctor before self-medicating for severe anxiety -- or any other serious medical problem. But if you decide to try kava, here’s what you need to know.

The active ingredients in kava go by two interchangeable names: kavalactones or kavapyrones. Check the label -- it should say each capsule is "standardized" to roughly 75 milligrams of kavalactones or kavapyrones, meaning the concentration is consistent from batch to batch. (Note: kava pills come in varying strengths -- from 100 to 250 mg -- and the percentage of kavalactones also varies. A 250-mg capsule of 30-per-cent extract would contain 75 mg of kavalactones.)

The German Commission E, a government-appointed panel that reviews herbal remedies, has approved kava to combat remedies anxiety, stress and restlessness and recommends a dose of 60 to 120 mg a day of kavapyrones.

Gail Mahady, a pharmacist and plant medicine specialist at the University of Illinois, adds that side effects are apparently rare. A monograph she’s writing for the World Health Organization will endorse the use of kava for anxiety symptoms.

Some people are allergic to it, however, especially those with known allergies to pepper, and kava can cause a temporary yellowing of the skin if used too long. The German commission recommends using it for not more than three months and says pregnant or nursing women and people with serious depression should not take it at all.

Kava is not only a potent muscle relaxant; it also acts, just as alcohol and prescription anti-anxiety drugs do, on the brain’s GABA receptors, which regulate anxiety. Kava may also quiet a brain region, the amygdala, which also governs anxiety.


13. Adverse Reactions to Herbal Products Monitored in California
SAN FRANCISCO, May 29, BW HealthWire -- Consumers need to be extremely cautious about drinking or eating off-the-shelf products that promise weight loss, increased energy, or enhanced athletic performance, advise experts with the California Poison Control System (CPCS).

"In early April, the death of a woman in Southern California allegedly was linked to her use of a product containing several stimulants known to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Since news of that tragedy, we have received several calls about these types of products, which are often sold as ‘dietary supplements’ or ‘metabolic enhancers,’" said Christine Haller, M.D., a consultant with CPCS and a fellow in medical toxicology at UC San Francisco and the SF Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

"People should not assume that any dietary supplement is safe just because it is labeled ‘natural’ or ‘herbal,’" she said. "Many contain active ingredients that can be dangerous to certain individuals because of their current health condition or because of medications they are taking. Any person considering using one of these products should consult a physician first."

Since Jan. 1, CPCS has been monitoring its calls about adverse reactions associated with dietary supplements as part of a nationwide multi-center trial. Haller is collaborating on the study with Kent Olson, M.D., a CPCS medical toxicologist and UCSF professor of pharmacy, medicine and pediatrics.

Many of these products are marked "thermogenic" and marketed with claims of being able to alter one’s metabolism, according to Haller. Product ingredients often include ma huang, a Chinese herbal product that contains the drug ephedrine, and guarana, a plant seed that contains caffeine.

"The combination of ephedrine and caffeine is known to cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as nervousness, insomnia, nausea, and vomiting," said Haller. "Adverse effects related to products that contain ephedrine have included stroke, heart attack, seizures, and even death."

Olson emphasized that consumers need to be aware that dietary supplement products are considered neither food nor drugs from a legal standpoint. "Therefore, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are solely responsible for product quality, and toxicity may be related to product impurities, contaminants, or high levels of active ingredients," he said.

CPCS is under the administration of the UCSF School of Pharmacy and serves all 33 million California residents.

The CPCS toll-free hotline service has four sites across the state: Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno, UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, UC San Diego Medical Center, and the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital.


14. Herb Business News
Global Health Sciences: First Quarter Sales Up 20%

NEW YORK, May 29, PRNewswire -- Global Health Sciences, Inc. reported improved first quarter results with Net Sales of $46.8 million up 19.7% from $39.1 million in the first quarter of 1997. Operating income of $11.4 million is a 11.7% improvement over the $1O.2 million in the first quarter of 1997.

EBITDA for the quarter ended March 31, 1998 was $11.6 million, or 24.8% of sales compared to EBITDA of $10.5 million, or 26.9% of sales in the first quarter of 1997. The drop in margin is primarily attributable to the pricing adjustment in the new Herbalife Supply Agreement, which became effective in January, 1998.

Sales to Herbalife grew by $3.3 million (11.2%) from $29.4 million in the first quarter of 1997 to $32.7 million in the first quarter of 1998. After adjusting for the effect of the pricing adjustment in the Herbalife Supply Agreement, Company sales to Herbalife for the first quarter of 1998 increased 23.6%.

Sales to customers other than Herbalife grew by $4.4 million (45.4%) from $9.7 million in the first quarter of 1997 to $14.1 million in the first quarter of 1998. Sales to our second largest customer, EAS, continue to grow with that company’s strong performance. Approximately 7% of the sales growth came from new customers primarily as a result of the focus and attention on expanding the customer base.

In April, the Company signed a lease on a 286,000 square foot facility in Anaheim, CA. The new space will allow the consolidation of the three plants currently used in the manufacture of powders and will expand the manufacturing space from 155,000 square feet currently available. Occupancy is planned for August 1998. This will allow for continued growth and improved efficiency.

Four new tablet presses were ordered in May 1998. This will increase our total tablet making capacity to 1.4 billion tablets per month, a 15% increase over current capacity.

The Company believes the additional capacity will allow substantial growth.

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La Jolla Diagnostics: Process Enhances Heat Stability of Feverfew Products

LA JOLLA, Calif., May 28, PRNewswire -- La Jolla Diagnostics, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: LAJD), announced today that it has developed a process that enhances the heat stability of its solutions which contain the herb feverfew.

Feverfew is the common name for Tanacetum Parthenium, a flowering plant related to the chrysanthemum, whose leaves have been used for centuries in herbal remedies for the treatment of various conditions including migraine headaches. It is traditionally recommended that feverfew be kept in a cool environment or refrigerated when stored for a long period of time.

This new process should enhance the Company’s ability to distribute and market its feverfew products. It may also have broad ramifications on other products the Company is developing.

La Jolla Diagnostics is a company engaged in the development and marketing of diagnostic tests and consumer health care products, and the licensing of drug delivery systems.

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Shaklee: `Living Library’ of Plants From Around the World

SAN FRANCISCO, May 28, BW HealthWire -- May 28, 1998--Shaklee Corp. will break ground today at 10:00 a.m. for its new corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, Calif., at Hacienda Business Park.

The 28-acre site will provide a campus setting for a phased building program with construction to start in June, 1998. The site is designed to permit the ultimate consolidation of Shaklee’s various San Francisco and Hayward divisions. The new campus headquarters will reflect Shaklee’s business and corporate culture by utilizing the natural setting to include open space, gardens, learning and fitness centers.

An estimated 400 Shaklee employees from the Bay area will attend the ground breaking ceremony that will be followed by a tour of the Pleasanton area and a buffet lunch at the Hilton Hotel. The ground breaking ceremony will include remarks from Shigeo Morioka, chairman of the board of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Shaklee’s parent company, and Charles L. Orr, president and CEO of Shaklee Corp.

Additional participants include Earl F. Cheit, Ph.D., chairman of the board of Shaklee Corp., James H. Whittam, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Shaklee Companies, and the mayor of Pleasanton, Ben Tarver.

The first and second construction phases will include an administration building and learning center to be followed by a research and development laboratory, cafeteria and warehouse center totaling approximately 235,000 square feet. Allowing for future growth, subsequent phases will include an additional three office buildings, laboratory expansion and fitness center.

According to Kay Childs, Shaklee’s vice president of human resources, the first 106,400 square foot office building should be completed within eighteen months. Initially, an estimated 275 employees are expected to occupy the first administration building in the fall of 1999. An additional 150-175 employees will occupy the research and development facility.

One, two and three story buildings totaling 625,000 square feet are included in all phases of the current master plan. Said Childs, "The phasing of construction for the Hacienda Campus makes economic sense and allows for future growth. The capacity exists for eventually tripling the number of headquartered employees."

Nearly ten acres have been dedicated to an ecosystem native to the Livermore Valley containing open space, informal meadows, forested areas and landscaped courtyards. Special demonstration gardens will create a `living library’ of plants from around the world used to create herbal products, including those used in creating Shaklee health care products.

In line with Shaklee’s commitment to the wise use of resources, buildings on the site will be designed to maximize the use of sunlight and will employ energy conservation measures.

Charles L. Orr, president and CEO of Shaklee Corp. said, "We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to bring together our San Francisco and Hayward employee groups in an environment that will facilitate learning and teamwork."

Shaklee Corp., founded in 1956, is a diversified consumer products company with multilevel marketing, research and development technology under the Shaklee name, and direct mail products sold through Bear Creek Corp. Bear Creek Corp. includes Harry and David, famous for its gourmet fruits and foods, and Jackson & Perkins, the largest rose grower in the world.

In 1989, Shaklee was purchased by Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., one of the largest and most profitable pharmaceutical companies in Japan with worldwide operations. In partnership with Yamanouchi, Shaklee operates the Yamanouchi Shaklee Pharma Research Center at the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto, Calif., and is currently building a second manufacturing facility in Norman, Okla.

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Chai-Na-Ta: Receives Grant to Study Anti-oxidant Properties of Ginseng

LANGLEY, British Columbia, May 27, Business Wire -- Chai-Na-Ta Corp.--President & CEO Gerry Gill announced today that the company has received a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to further its research into the health benefits and efficacy of its North American ginseng.

The research study, a collaborative project between industry and the University of British Columbia (UBC), will extend the company’s current research into the 2nd phase of anti-oxidant properties of North American ginseng. The study will examine the functional and physiological effects of North American ginseng, including Chai-Na-Ta’s standardized extract, CNT 2000, and the impact of certain commercial processing technologies on product efficacy. Chai-Na-Ta’s goal is to demonstrate the positive health benefits associated with CNT 2000. Documented results will enable the company to make functional claims for the product.

The UBC project will be funded 19 percent by industry and 81 percent by NSERC over a three year period. NSERC will contribute up to $215,000 to the study.

President Gerry Gill commented: "This level of support is very encouraging -- we see it as a strong vote of confidence in our work." He added, "Testing standardized product is an important step in realizing the therapeutic potential of North American ginseng. The results of the first phase of the study on its anti-oxidant properties are very promising."

Anti-oxidants are compounds which combat free radical molecules in the body. Free radicals are generated by pollution, stress, ultraviolet radiation and other factors and are known to cause the breakdown on healthy cells which can lead to aging and initiate various degenerative diseases including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Other research projects currently underway have shown that the chemical properties of North American ginseng have specific health-enhancing effects, including the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Chai-Na-Ta Corp. is the world’s largest grower of North American ginseng. The company distributes North American ginseng and other herbal health products worldwide.

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Herbalife: Adds Nutritional, Personal Care Products

LOS ANGELES, May, Dow Jones -- Herbalife International Inc. (HERBA) released eight nutritional products and eight additions to its personal-care line.

In a press release Tuesday, Herbalife said the products were launched in the U.S. and are expected to be introduced to the majority of its markets within 18 months.

The nutritional products include Thermojetics Protein Bar, Ultimate Ginkgo dietary supplement, Mega Ginseng dietary supplement, Extreme C and Extreme C chewables, Ocular Defense Formula, Woman’s Choice dietary supplement and Ultimate Prostate Formula supplement.

The personal-care products include Made in the Shade tanning mist and lotion, DinoKids shampoo, detangler, bubble bath and body lotion and Body Mist and Fragrant Body Powder.

Herbalife markets food supplements and personal-care products.


10. Herb Business News
Rexall Sundown: Sales Increase 101% and Net Income Advances 103%

BOCA RATON, Fla., June 17, PRNewswire -- Rexall Sundown, Inc. (Nasdaq: RXSD) today announced record results for the three months ended May 31, 1998.

Net sales for the third quarter rose 101% to $151.0 million from $75.0 million for the same period in fiscal 1997. Pro forma net income of $19.4 million for the three months just ended increased $9.8 million or 103% compared to last year’s third quarter. Diluted earnings per share for the third quarter were $0.26 compared to $0.13 in the third quarter last year.

In making the announcement, Chris Nast, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are very proud to have achieved this dramatic level of sales and net income growth. Sales to retailers rose 156% compared to the same period last year, and Rexall Showcase International, the Company’s direct sales division, continued its success, posting a strong sales gain of 45% compared to the prior year’s quarter. More impressive is the fact that our third quarter operating margin of 19.8% increased 1.7 points, compared to the third quarter of fiscal 1997, despite the increase in our investment in advertising, research and product development and manufacturing capacity."

For the nine months ended May 31, 1998, net sales increased 87% to $377.2 million from $202.0 million in the previous year. "The Company’s year over year sales growth continues to significantly outpace that of the overall industry and reflects the leadership we are bringing throughout the entire category. Our products continue to be well received by consumers and our distribution continues to expand," Mr. Nast said.

The Sundown(R) Vitamin and Herbal product lines remain the number one selling brands in the total U.S. food, drug and mass markets and the Company’s Osteo Bi-Flex(TM) product remains the third best-selling nutritional supplement in the country. The Company continues to expand its sales to existing retail customers while adding new customers. Also contributing to the Company’s record results was the Rexall Showcase International division which launched new products such as the ProPortion(TM) Bar, expanded its Aestival(TM) personal care product line and continued to increase its distributor base.

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Rexall Sundown: Upbeat About Growth Opportunities Despite Walmart’s Move

By Meera Somasundaram

MINNEAPOLIS, June 11, Dow Jones -- Recent word that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) plans to expand its own private-label vitamin and herb business isn’t a competitive threat to Rexall-Sundown Inc. (RXSD), according to the company’s top executive.

After a presentation at the Piper Jaffray investor conference here, Rexall Sundown Chief Executive Chris Nast told Dow Jones that Wal-Mart has always been in the private-label business and that the retailer expands or contracts it depending on its needs.

"We’re very supportive of their business," Nast said. "We aren’t concerned about that."

Besides, Rexall vitamin supplements are the lowest priced among branded vitamins in the industry, he said.

"Where would the major impact be?," Nast asked. "Would it be with us or would it be with those people who are priced higher?"

About one-third of Rexall’s sales have come in recent periods from sales of its pills to Wal-Mart. About 46% of its products are distributed through food, mass and drug retailers.

In The Wall Street Journal’s "Heard on the Street" column in March, some investors expressed concern about the expansion at Wal-Mart. The article also said some on Wall Street are questioning whether vitamin stocks can stay pumped up much longer.

But at the presentation here, Nast painted an upbeat growth picture for the company.

He said sales and earnings are expected to grow 25% to 35% annually, surpassing the industry growth.

"This is a very vibrant category," he said. "It’s very strong and has been a strong category like this for years. It’s not a flash in the pan."

Nast also pointed to the recent news that Rexall has entered into an agreement with Dollar General Corp. (DG) to sell Rexall’s vitamins and herbal products at all of Dollar General’s 3,285 stores in the U.S.

Nast also said he’s "very comfortable" with Piper Jaffray analyst Allan F. Hickok’s fiscal 1998 earnings estimate of 92 cents a share. The company posted earnings of 53 cents a share in fiscal 1997, according to Hickok.

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PharmaPrint: Herbal Product Deliveries to Commence

IRVINE, Calif., June 9, BUSINESS WIRE -- PharmaPrint Inc. (Nasdaq:PPRT) Tuesday announced fourth quarter and 1998 fiscal year-end results.

PharmaPrint also announced the receipt of multiple purchase orders from American Home Products Corp. (NYSE:AHP) for the company’s herbal supplement products that are expected to be launched by AHP under the Centrum brand name this year. Accordingly, PharmaPrint expects to make significant product deliveries during the coming weeks and record manufacturing revenue for the deliveries.

For the year ended March 31, 1998, the company reported a loss of $14,320,000, or $1.26 per share, excluding non-cash stock compensation expense charges of $3,795,000, or 33 cents per share. Including these charges, the company’s net loss was $18,115,000, or $1.59 per share.

For the year ended March 31, 1997, the company reported a loss of $5,899,000, or 60 cents per share, excluding non-cash stock compensation expense charges of $5,333,000, or 55 cents per share. Including these charges, the company’s net loss was $11,233,000, or $1.15 per share. No revenues were reported in either period.

PharmaPrint’s chairman and chief executive officer, Elliot P. Friedman, said: "Our 1998 results reflect the significant investment we made in the research and development of our DSHEA herbal supplements and our herbal pharmaceutical products that require FDA approval.

"This is a very exciting time for PharmaPrint as we near the commercialization of the high-quality herbal supplements developed utilizing our proprietary PharmaPrint Process. The upcoming product launch under AHP’s Centrum brand name will enable the company to participate in the growing $3.6 billion U.S. herbal supplement market."

Friedman added: "We are currently in Phase II studies for PPRT-321, a saw-palmetto-derived pharmaceutical, and expect results later this year. Developing a herbal pharmaceutical remains a high priority for the company and represents a significant opportunity to influence the medical community’s outlook on herbal medicines when provided in a FDA regulated and approved pharmaceutical form.

"We believe that proven efficacy and dosage parameters coupled with a herbal’s safety profile will drive physician acceptance and market penetration."

PharmaPrint is applying its proprietary development and manufacturing process technologies to develop high-quality dietary supplement products and pharmaceuticals from natural plant extracts.

The company’s technology enables it to identify and quantify the bioactive molecules within plant sources that are believed to provide therapeutic benefits and to produce dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals having consistent batch-to-batch quantities of these bioactives.

PharmaPrint is currently developing a line of dietary supplement products to be marketed by American Home Products. Additionally, the company is in Phase II clinical trials for one of its pharmaceutical candidates PPRT-321, a pharmaceutical product derived from saw palmetto, intended to be used to treat the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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Alta Natural Herbs: Distributes Hepatitis Remedy Free to Sufferers

VANCOUVER, June 8, Canadian Corp News -- Alta Natural Herbs and Supplements Ltd. wishes to announce that its herbal remedy, HEPATICO, is now being distributed without charge, to approximately 100 hepatitis sufferers in Canada and the USA to demonstrate its effectiveness in fighting hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.

The Corporation is grateful to the HepC Bulletin, the newsletter linking Hepatitis C sufferers across Canada, for publishing an article on the Corporation’s offer in its June Newsletter. The positive response from the HepC Bulletin’s subscribers has allowed the Corporation to move quickly and launch its demonstration program immediately.

The Corporation is offering HEPATICO to individual sufferers providing they each inform their personal doctor and seek their doctor’s opinion, and support, in arriving at a decision to use HEPATICO. All registered participants to date have reported that their doctor is going to monitor their health profiles, and provide feedback to their patient, and the Corporation’s Medical Directors, on changes in the hepatitis condition over the period they are consuming the herbal remedy.

HEPATICO, a herbal dietary supplement, has been shown to aid immuno-rehabilitation, healing and the restoration of normal liver function in persons suffering from viral and toxic hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver in Eastern Europe. The Corporation is very confident that it will soon duplicate HEPATICO’S positive benefit in North America and provide a new relief for hepatitis and cirrhosis sufferers.

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Pharmaton: Applauds Decision on Limits to Dietary Supplement Advertising

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., June 5, PRNewswire -- Pharmaton Natural Health Products applauds the NAD’s decision as a landmark in applying good advertising principles to the rapidly growing and changing Dietary Supplement Industry. The first principle affirmed today is that all herbal extracts of a given species are not necessarily alike, and may not have the same effects. A manufacturer cannot "borrow" the clinical research of a different extract to support advertising claims for its brand. In this case, they have ruled that the extensive clinical work behind our GINKOBA Egb 761 extract cannot be cited as proof of efficacy for the extract in the Pharmanex BioGinkgo brand.

Secondly, the NAD has ruled that the presence of more compound in the bloodstream does not prove that the product works better in any way -- or even works as well as the compounds compared. Pharmanex used blood level data in rabbits to support a claim of superior efficacy in humans and NAD has asked them to discontinue this claim in advertising.

Pharmaton Natural Health Products and other companies have invested heavily in research to prove activity and safety of their products in humans and "we are pleased that this NAD decision has helped protect the proprietary nature of that research" the company stated.

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Pharmaceutical Laboratories: Sales Increases 200 Percent

ARLINGTON, Texas, June 18, BUSINESS WIRE -- Pharmaceutical Laboratories Inc. (OTCBB:PHLB) is a Texas-based company with offices in Arlington, Corpus Christi and Harlingen, Texas, which specializes in the development, manufacturing and marketing of liquid and liquid sublingual vitamins, minerals, herbal and aloe vera products.

The Company markets its products under its own "Liquid Solutions" brand name. These can be found in major chain drug stores, independent pharmacies and health food stores on a national basis. Many products are also marketed through private label and mail order.

Pharmaceutical Laboratories Inc. announces record growth in sales and profit. Monthly sales increased from $175,000 in January to $632,000. Year-to-date sales are $1.8 million and profit is running at 11% of sales.

"We are pleased with the Company’s sales and profit to date," stated President and CEO Jerry McClure, "especially considering that the Company spent the end of 1997 and the beginning of 1998 gearing up the ‘Liquid Solutions’ product line for shipments that seriously began in February. This of course lessened the profit for the month of January, but has paved the way for continued growth and profit."

McClure additionally stated that he expects sales and earnings to improve in the third and fourth quarters of 1998 due to the addition of 15 new sales and service representatives who will be concentrating on new markets.


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