Richters HerbLetter

Date: 98/07/25
1. Michigan Doctor Convicted for Injecting Cancer Patient with Essiac
2. Rare Fungus Threatens California Rain Soaked Garlic Crop
3. Thousands Flock to Garlic Festival
4. Natural Products Industry Market Capitalization Reaches $15 Billion
5. Herb Gardens Stir Romance
6. Chinese Herbal Medicines Gaining Smooth Entry into Western Markets
7. Vancouver Island Hemp Farmer Has Crop in Field, Feet on Ground
8. Dinosaur Grazed on Culinary Herbs
9. Commercial Herb Growing Conference Set for October 24
10. Herb Business News

1. Michigan Doctor Convicted for Injecting Cancer Patient with Essiac
ALLEGAN, Mich., July 17, UPI -- A state prosecutor says the involuntary manslaughter conviction of a Michigan doctor who injected a patient with herbal tea sends a stern warning to practicers of experimental medicine.

A jury found Dr. Sandor Olah guilty Thursday in the 1996 death of a woman who had terminal leukemia. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Olah’s attorney had argued during the four-day trial that 54-year-old Petra Hall wanted the tea injection in a last-ditch effort to live.

A forensics expert for the defense testified she died from pneumonia, not the herbal concoction sold by a Colorado company called Native Legend Tea.

But prosecution witnesses said Hall died two weeks after the injection from damaged lungs and shock. They testified the tea has no medicinal value.

State Assistant Attorney General Mark Blumer tells today’s Grand Rapids Press, "The message here is that a doctor better not experiment on his patients unless he’s got a very good idea what he’s doing to them."

After the death Olah gave up his medical practice of 20 years in the southwest Michigan town of Hamilton. He’s also being sued by Hall’s survivors.

Blumer says, "This was alternative medicine applied in an absolutely reckless manner."

While Blumer acknowledges, "There’s no evidence in this case that Dr. Olah ever intended to hurt anybody," he says, "The case was about negligence."

Blumer plans to consult with State Attorney General Frank Kelley before recommending a sentence. A sentencing hearing is set for Sept. 18.

2. Rare Fungus Threatens California Rain Soaked Garlic Crop
SAN FRANCISCO, July 23, Reuters -- El Nino may achieve what mouthwashes and breath mints have tried in vain to do -- reduce the incidence of garlic breath.

Garlic experts said on Thursday that this winter’s drenching El Nino rains have given rise to a rare fungus that will likely destroy at least a third of the garlic crop in California, the largest U.S. producer of the bulbous herb.

The almost continuous rains that struck northern California in January and February created ideal conditions for garlic rust disease, an orange-coloured fungus that prevents the bulbs from developing but that is not toxic to humans.

Don Christopher, president of the Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, California, the largest shipper of fresh garlic in the United States, estimated that the fungus would reduce the size of California’s crop by about 35 percent.

While garlic rust disease was seen in California in 1934 and 1940, it had not been a significant threat to the crop in the intervening years, Christopher said.

"It does occur from time to time, but it never has caused an economic loss like this year," said Steven Koiko, a plant pathologist with the University of California cooperative extension service in Salinas, California.

Koiko said he had seen some fields that had suffered 100 percent losses as a result of the fungus.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said the state produced about 542 million pounds of garlic in 1996, with a total market value of $145.6 million.

3. Thousands Flock to Garlic Festival
By Catalina Ortiz

GILROY, Calif., July 20, AP -- Garlic farmer Val Felice remembers the time a driver stopped by his field to ask directions, then wrinkled her nose. "What’s that terrible smell?" she demanded.

That was before the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which made the town famous and helped whet Americans’ appetite for the "stinking rose." Nowadays, visitors still sniff, but no longer in disdain.

More than 120,000 people are expected to follow their noses July 24-26 to Gilroy for the 20th celebration, eager to savor the pungent herb in dishes from soup to nuts. Not to mention such offbeat concoctions as garlic wine, chocolate-dipped garlic cloves and garlic ice cream.

Since 1979, 2.2 million people have attended the garlic gala, one of the nation’s biggest food festivals.

Organizers give the festival much of the credit for the increase in Americans’ fresh garlic consumption over the past two decades, from one head per person per year to three.

Gilroy, about 80 miles south of San Francisco, is just the place to honor Allium sativum, the boldest member of the lilly family. Most of California’s crop is grown in the Central Valley, but Gilroy still boasts many a fragrant field and remains a major processing center.

Even decades ago, the town’s aroma was noteworthy. Gilroy is "the only town in America where you can marinate a steak just by hanging it on the clothesline," quipped humorist Will Rogers.

Although Gilroy proclaims itself "Garlic Capital of the World," and remains a major center of production and processing, most of California’s crop -- and the nation’s -- is now raised in the Central Valley.

Of course, most attendees already are believers. Over the 19 previous festivals, visitors have consumed 285,000 pounds of beef, 152,000 loaves of garlic bread, 133,000 pounds of calamari, 103,000 pounds of pasta and 57,000 pounds of scampi.

Pepper steak sandwiches and calamari remain the festival’s most popular dishes. Pasta with pesto sauce and chicken dishes also get gobbled up. For the more adventurous there are escargots as well as alligator, kangaroo or wild boar on sticks, garlic tea and garlic ice cream.

"That’s where the tongue becomes most firmly planted in the cheek, if you ask me," said Jeff Martin, president of the festival association. But Martin and others point out that the festival has raised more than $5 million for 130 local charities.

A new lighthearted touch is the Burning Bulb, a 6-foot replica of a head of garlic emitting a butane flame. The bulb, sitting along U.S. Highway 101 in the parking lot of the Garlic World store, was lit last month. On the morning of July 24, a runner will light a torch from the bulb, then ignite the grills at Gourmet Alley.

"Yes, it’s corny, but it’s what we’re about," Martin said. "We’re fun people. Garlic is fun."

4. Natural Products Industry Market Capitalization Reaches $15 Billion
BOULDER, Colo., July 20, BW HealthWire -- The market capitalization of publicly held companies in the natural and organic foods and herbal and dietary supplements industry increased 42% from $10.47 billion in July 1997 to $14.89 billion in July 1998.

Also, stocks increased 13.8% in value for the first six months of 1998 for the 63 companies comprising the Natural Business Composite Index(TM).

Additionally, this year the natural products industry has raised or is in the process of raising an estimated $880 million in investment capital from public stock offerings, a four-fold increase from $202 million raised in 1997.

According to the 1998 Financial Market Overview, appearing in the August issue of Natural Business, the Journal of Business and Financial News for the Natural Products Industry, retail sales of natural and organic products reached $15 billion in 1997, based on industry estimates. Of the $15 billion total, dietary supplements accounted for $6.5 billion; organic food sales were $4.0 billion; and sales of natural foods and other related consumer products reached $4.5 billion. In addition to this total, an estimated $6.5 billion in dietary and herbal supplements were sold through direct distribution channels such as multi-level marketing, catalogs and the Internet, creating an overall $21 billion market for "healthy living" products.

Sales growth for natural and organic Food and Beverage companies slowed from 22% in 1996 to 15% in 1997, according to the study, conducted in cooperation with Nature’s Equity in New York and with figures supplied by Nationsbanc Montgomery Securities. Sales for Dietary and Herbal Supplements, which had a banner year of 36% growth in 1996, declined to 22% in 1997. "That is still very impressive growth, and overall dollar-volume of sales continues to increase," says Steven Hoffman, publisher of Natural Business. "The slowing growth rate may be a sign of the industry’s continued consolidation and maturing process as it attracts the interest of larger food and pharmaceutical concerns and institutional and individual investors."

The 1998 Financial Market Overview will also be presented at the second annual Natural Business Financial and Investment Conference, Aug. 3-4, 1998, at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley, Calif. The two-day event is produced by Natural Business Communications LLC, of Boulder, Colo., publisher of the Natural Business journal, and will attract more than 250 executives, entrepreneurs, marketers and investors in the market for healthy living products.

5. Herb Gardens Stir Romance
By George Bria

POUND RIDGE, N.Y., July 16, AP -- "I’m in love with the romance of it," a young woman who is creating her own herb garden told me.

Jennifer Lawton, 26, director of the Pound Ridge Historical Society Museum, voiced the sentiments of many of us who nurture these lore-rich plants. But she is luckier than most in getting acquainted with them. She works at the John Jay Homestead in nearby Katonah, site of one of America’s premier herb gardens.

Outlined by broad gravel paths and edged with brick, the garden, designed by author Page Dickey, recreates a 19th-century setting at the home of the first Chief Justice of the United States.

It contains an extraordinary collection of culinary, medicinal, fragrance, dye and pest-repellent herbs as well as shrubs and ground covers. The garden, open to visitors, is maintained by volunteer gardeners of the New York Unit of the Herb Society of America.

A blessing to the cook and vital in medicine, herbs have also notoriously served magicians, witches and poisoners in life and literature. Who doesn’t remember Shakespeare’s Friar Laurence concocting an herbal potion to put Juliet into her death-feigning sleep?

This background has fascinated Ms. Lawton in starting her own home garden. She is growing culinary basics like thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, sage and tarragon, but said she is also highly interested in "crossover" plants like betony and horehound, which double as medicinal plants.

She said she makes tea out of dried betony flowers, which bloom in July and August, and uses it as a headache remedy. In the Middle Ages, she recalled, betony "was believed to have spiritual powers. It was planted in churchyards and hung around people’s necks as an amulet to ward off evil spirits."

"I use horehound in cough medicine recipes, but it also tastes very good in stews and salads," she said. "I candy it, too. They used to do that on the John Jay homestead."

Basically, candying involves boiling the flowers in a sugar mixture. When they dry, the sugar hardens onto the flowers.

The Otsego Indians of upstate New York made tea from bee balm "and so do I," said Ms. Lawton. "I also make bee balm ice cream. Delicious!"

Ms. Lawton is also growing a few fragrance herbs like Florentine iris and lavender and catnip for her two cats.

"I use them as sachets and also float them in bowls of water," she said.

She also partially dries herbs and burns them as incense in her house. "I just discovered recently that the Greeks burned thyme as incense in their temples," she said.

Florentine iris, also known as orrisroot, features a root that develops a violet fragrance while drying. It take two years to get the best effect. Devotees praise it as a rinse that restores hair color and removes dandruff.

Ms. Lawton, who majored in history at the State University of New York in Purchase, says most of her interest in growing herbs is historical. "I’m reviving older customs of native Americans and Europeans in using herbs for more than just cooking," she said.

In literature about the John Jay garden, she learned, for example, that such a commonplace cooking herb as rosemary was burned in medieval times as protection against the plague called the black death. And up to the middle of our own century, rosemary leaves were combined with juniper berries to fumigate hospitals in France.

A brochure handed to visitors at the garden recalls that tansy was used by early American housewives to discourage ants and was hung in kitchens and rubbed on tabletops. And pennyroyal was relied upon to chase away fleas.

Ms. Lawton is also intrigued by the role of herbs in witchcraft in Europe and colonial America. She worked for a while in a museum at the witch-famous town of Salem, Mass., and showed me a tiny charm she made based on an illustration of a book she saw there.

Barely an inch and a half long, it consisted of dried yarrow stems wrapped in a cloth and tied with a ribbon. She called it a "true love charm. You put it on your pillow and dream about the person you’re supposed to marry."

6. Chinese Herbal Medicines Gaining Smooth Entry into Western Markets
BEIJING, July 12, Xinhua -- Despite the buffeting of the Asian financial turmoil, exports of Chinese medicines and health products will have a bright prospect in the long run, the Business Weekly today quoted experts as saying.

According to Zhao Chunhua, president of the China Chamber of Commerce of Medicines and Health Products Importers and Exporters, since East and Southeast Asian countries are traditional markets for Chinese medicines and health products, such exports dropped by 12.5 percent to 120 million US dollars during the first five months of this year.

Nonetheless, Chinese herbal medicines and health products, with their special charm, have opened the gates of the US market, which consumes 35 percent of the world’s annual drug output, and some European countries.

Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the first time approved a Chinese medicine to be sold on the US market after clinical confirmation. Another Chinese herbal treatment recently received the FDA’s preliminary approval, and still another is expected to get the FDA approval soon.

Meanwhile, related authorities in Germany and Australia have also approved a dozen traditional Chinese medicines.

7. Vancouver Island Hemp Farmer Has Crop in Field, Feet on Ground
By Greg Middleton

Hugh Lakeland, a Vancouver Island farmer has broken new ground with Canada’s first legal hemp farm. Changes in March to the federal Controlled Drugs and Substance Act have made it possible to grow hemp commercially. Lakeland’s first crop is to produce seeds which is used in everything from hemp beer to medical products. The 100 kilos of seed he got from Europe for about $1,000 should bring him a return of $12,000. The Victoria hemp co-op Trans Global Hemp Products is negotiating to set up a hemp-fibre mill here to make cloth.

8. Dinosaur Grazed on Culinary Herbs
July 25 -- Reuters and Associated Press reported today that DNA fragments of several herbs have been found in fossilized feces of a giant sloth-like dinosaur that lived 19,000 years ago. Scientists from the United States, Britain, Germany and Sweden have discovered the DNA fragments in Nevada and Arizona cave system, known as "Poop Park", a reference to Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster dinosaur movie, Jurassic Park. The evidence suggests that the dinosaur, Nothrotheritops shastensis, had a taste for capers, mint, mustard, mint and borage, along with grasses and lilies. The plants found in the dinosaur dung suggest that the climate was much cooler and wetter than it is now in the area of the caves.

9. Commercial Herb Growing Conference Set for October 24
GOODWOOD, July 25 -- The growing demand for herbs has spurred phenomenal growth in the commercial herb growing industry. With the natural products industry now reaching $15 billion market capitalization in the U.S., there is no question that herbs are big. Even the world’s biggest over-the-counter drug company, Bayer, maker of Aspirin and many other health-care staples, is getting into herbs with its own "One-A-Day" herbal supplement line. Most companies are reporting double-digit growth rates through the 1990s, and have expanded production capacity. All this means that the dried herb botanicals are in big demand, and buyers are getting deperate for quality suppliers.

"The time has never been better to get into the business of herb farming," says Conrad Richter, Vice-President of Richters Herbs, a major supplier of seeds and plants to the industry. Growers are finding receptive buyers looking for quality herbs from reliable producers. North America is becoming a growing force in herb production, as acreage expands by an estimated 20% annually.

The problem for herb farmers has been where to find reliable information about growing and marketing crops. While there are a few books on commercial growing, there is not enough hard data out there for farmers who want to get started in herbs or expand their existing operations to new herbs.

The third annual Richters Commercial Herb Growing Conference, scheduled for October 24 in Richmond Hill, Ontario, near Toronto, is designed to help fill the gap in reliable data on how to grow herbs and market them successfully. Sixteen speakers will cover topics from field production of St. Johns Wort, goldenseal, echinacea, and fresh herbs, to greenhouse production of hydroponic herbs and potted herbs.

"Last year you could not find any St. Johns Wort herb anywhere," says Mr. Richter, "and any one growing it made a lot of money." Since last year, the acreage under production has at least doubled or tripled, and still the demand is not likely to be satisfied this year. St. Johns Wort is one of the crops to be covered at this year’s conference.

But it is not simply a matter of throwing some seeds on the ground. Buyers are demanding higher quality, and asking farmers to supply certificates of analysis to prove active constituent levels meet standards. In addition, buyers are asking for proof of botanical identity, and even demanding that seeds come from "certified sources." Dr. Allison McCutcheon of the Canadian Herb Society will discuss recent developments in the area of herbal quality assurance and certification of echinacea seed. "It is important for growers to be sure of their seed source, to make sure that they do not plant the wrong seeds," according to conference organizer, Helen Snell.

Other herbs to be covered are goldenseal, burdock, black cohosh, catnip, and others. In addition, there will be marketing and business finance seminars by leading experts in the herb industry. Key speakers from the industry will include Richard Alan Miller of Northwest Botanicals, Sal Gilbertie of Gilbertie’s Herbs, and Tim Blakney of Frontier Herbs. A special feature of the conference will be The Idea Exchange Room where speakers can be engaged for more informal and indepth discussions. The trade magazine, The Business of Herbs, has called this conference "the best of its type anywhere."

The one day conference will attract growers and buyers from around the world. Last year’s conference attracted over 300 from Canada, the U.S., Israel, Europe and South America. For more information visit or email to

10. Herb Business News
Bayer: Joins Herbal Bandwagon

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., July 16, Business Wire -- The Bayer Corporation Consumer Care Division will become the first major over-the-counter (OTC) drug manufacturer in the world to introduce a line of herbal supplements in the United States. The launch of the company’s new One-A-Day Specialized Supplements is set to ship to all major retail outlets nationwide in mid-August.

"Our Specialized Supplements represent a unique entry into the category," said Jay Kolpon, the division’s vice president, brand management. We are taking the best herbal ingredients and combining them with the optimal vitamins and minerals to address specific consumer health needs."

"Consumers will no longer have to sort through a mind-boggling array of herbs and vitamins to try to figure out which ingredients to use to maintain their good health," said Jim Kindel, category director of nutritionals at Bayer. "We’re making it a lot more convenient for consumers. We’ve done the homework - and even the legwork - so they don’t have to."

The "Cold Season" formula, for example, is a special blend of vitamin C, zinc, and the herb echinacea to help support the body’s natural defenses, while the "Tension & Mood" formula combines St. John’s Wort, Kava Kava and essential B-vitamins to promote emotional balance and sense of calm.

Bayer’s herbal formulations are standardized to ensure that each Specialized Supplement contains a consistent percentage of all ingredients. "The standardization process is quite expensive and time consuming, but it helps us ensure that our customers will receive the highest quality herbal product possible," said Kindel.

One-A-Day Specialized Supplements, available in food, drug and discount stores nationally starting in early September, will be supported by a television and print advertising campaign, full-page free-standing insert and a cross-couponing promotion with One-A-Day brand multivitamins. The average retail price for each of the products is expected to be less than $10.

One-A-Day Specialized Supplements are a product of the Bayer Corporation Consumer Care Division based in Morris Township, N.J. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Bayer Corporation is a research-based company with major businesses in health care and life sciences, chemicals and imaging technologies. Bayer Corporation is a member of the worldwide Bayer Group, a $32.4 billion chemical and pharmaceutical company based in Leverkusen, Germany.

Nature’s Sunshine: Opens $7 Million Plant

PROVO, Utah, July 18, Business Wire -- Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc. (NASDAQ:NATR), a leading manufacturer and marketer of encapsulated herbs and vitamins, today announced the opening of a new $7 million manufacturing and warehouse facility that will allow the Company to double its current production capabilities over the coming years.

"This new plant addition will enable us to continue supplying our growing distributor sales force around the world with quality products delivered in a timely fashion," said Daniel P. Howells, President and CEO.

The 130,000-square-foot facility is located adjacent to the Company’s present manufacturing and warehousing facility in Spanish Fork, Utah, approximately 10 miles south of Provo. Nature’s Sunshine produces virtually all its own products. In addition to expanded production and warehouse capacity, it also will provide added space dedicated to product development and quality assurance, both key components of the Company’s program.

Nature’s Sunshine will phase in production over time and has immediate plans to utilize part of the warehouse space to consolidate inventory from leased storage facilities now in use. "The expansion was financed entirely from internally-generated funds and is not expected to have any impact on current earnings," said Mr. Howells.

"This is a significant move for us, and our decision to build the facility in Spanish Fork was reached after studying numerous options," noted Mr. Howells. "Nature’s Sunshine is now well-positioned from a production viewpoint to efficiently meet our needs as our Company continues its growth."

Nature’s Sunshine Products manufactures and markets through direct sales encapsulated and tabulated herbal products, high quality natural vitamins and other complementary products. The Company, in addition to marketing in the U.S., has operations in Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Ecuador. The Company also has exclusive distribution agreements with selected companies in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Norway.

Paracelsian: Applies for Patent for Herbal Quality Assurance Tests

ITHACA, N.Y., July 15, Dow Jones -- Paracelsian Inc. (PRLN) applied for a patent covering its BioFit functional quality assurance testing program.

In a press release Wednesday, the company said the program tests the functionality of herbal and other dietary supplements for consistent biological activity relevant to the benefit claims on its label.

Paracelsian said products that are confirmed as having the appropriate levels of biological activity described on their labels will receive BioFit certification.

The certification allows use of the BioFit logo on product labels, packaging and promotional materials.

Naturade: Introduces Chinese Herbal Remedies

PARAMOUNT, Calif., July 15, PRNewswire -- Naturade, Inc.’s (OTC Bulletin Board: NRDC) recently appointed Chairman, Ronald Ahrens, and Chief Executive Officer, Bill Stewart, will announce the introduction of the company’s new, innovative Chinese herbal medicines.

Naturade(TM) is introducing the Chinese Way(TM) product line, which are clearly differentiated products and will be available for shipment this fall to health-food retailers such as GNC, Wholefoods and Wild Oats.

The Chinese Way(TM) products contain herbs sourced in China and then manufactured in the United States under U.S. purity standards. Consumer testing of the idea, brand name and packaging has been very favorable. The four new natural products all contain Chinese botanicals. The products are: an immune boosting product, the active ingredient of which has had successful clinical trials in South America and Europe, is supported by a unique, natural, long chain polysaccharide adjuvant; a head and chest support product using a special blend of herbs recently developed by the Chinese; a non- stimulatory sinus product; and a soothing line of throat lozenges that contain a proven Chinese herb. "These are not just ordinary herbs, they’re used widely in China where they are part of the public health-care system and often reimbursed by insurance companies," said CEO Bill Stewart. They were introduced to Naturade through their partner, Taishan Pharmaceuticals, which has entered into a joint venture agreement with China’s Ministry of Health.

Mr. Ahrens is the immediate past CEO of Merck Consumer Healthcare, Inc., and was responsible for supervising the Johnson & Johnson Merck joint venture which successfully introduced Pepcid AC(TM), the leading OTC switch product acid blocker. Prior to joining Merck, Mr. Ahrens served as the president of Bristol Myers Products Division and Richardson Vicks Health Care Division where he was responsible for such brands as Nyquil(TM) and Oil of Olay(TM). Mr. Stewart is a 16 year Richardson Vicks veteran where he was Director of Sales, before becoming President of the Thompson’s Minwax Company, where he directed the increase of sales of the company from under $40 million to over $180 million annually.

Naturade, founded in 1926, is one of America’s original natural health- care companies. The company is the leading provider of low carbohydrate, high protein powders in the United States, with eight of the top selling ten brands including the N-R-G(TM) brand, the number one protein powder. In addition to protein powders, the company distributes a complete line of high concentrate Aloe-Vera based skincare products using a base of a minimum of 80% aloe vera extract.

Paracelsian: Collaboration to Test Chinese Herbal Anticancer Extracts

ITHACA, N.Y., July 14, Dow Jones -- Paracelsian Inc. (PRLN) signed a collaborative research agreement with Southern Research Institute, a center that researches and develops anticancer drugs.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

In a press release Tuesday, Paracelsian said Southern Research will invest in testing a series of traditional Chinese medicine herbal extracts from Paracelsian’s library for "in vivo" (live) antitumor activity against human breast cancer and prostate cancer tumors in mice.

The target extracts were selected based on their high level of activity in Paracelsian’s "in vitro" anticancer assays.

If initial testing is successful, Paracelsian and Southern Research will collaborate to isolate key compounds and develop them into drugs. The two companies will also partner in securing funding for ongoing research and development.

Southern Research has facilities in Birmingham, Ala., Research Triangle Institute, N.C., and Frederick, Md. Paracelsian is a biotechnology company.

Celestial Seasonings: Reports 67% Revenue Increase

BOULDER, Colo., July 23, PRNewswire -- Celestial Seasonings, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTEA) today reported revenue during its third quarter ended June 30, 1998 increased by 67.4 percent to $19.4 million from $11.6 million in the same quarter last year, and that diluted earnings per share for its third quarter were $0.03 per share as compared to $0.02 per share for the period ended June 30, 1997.

The company said that sales of its new herbal supplements line were $6.9 million in the quarter ended June 30, 1998, up from $0.8 million in the same quarter last year. Steve Hughes, CEO and President said, "During the quarter we invested to support our new line of herbal supplements. We continue to build toward our distribution targets in supplements."

The company also said net sales from its tea products increased by 16.8 percent to more than $12.5 million and operating income increased to $1.6 million from $0.2 million. The net sales increase in tea products was driven by increases in Natural Foods sales of 28 percent and International sales of 18 percent. Hughes added, "We are pleased by the progress shown in our tea business, in particular our green teas and wellness teas. Our line of green teas accounted for more than 14 percent of tea case volume in the quarter."

Celestial Seasonings, Inc. is the largest manufacturer and marketer of specialty hot teas in the United States. The company makes Sleepytime(R) America’s favorite herb tea -- and over 50 other unique blends.

Herbalife: Reports 14 Percent Increase in Second Quarter Sales

LOS ANGELES, July 22, Business Wire -- Herbalife International, Inc. (Nasdaq NM: HERBA)(Nasdaq NM: HERBB) today reported a 14 percent increase in earnings per share for the second quarter ended June 30, 1998, representing the company’s eleventh consecutive quarter of comparable period increases in sales and earnings.

Net income for the second quarter increased 12 percent to $15.3 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, from $13.7 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 1997. Retail sales increased 14 percent to $398.1 million from $350 million in the year-ago second quarter. Net sales rose to $209.9 million from $184.9 million reported in last year’s second quarter, a 14 percent increase.

Herbalife President and CEO Mark Hughes commented, "For the fourth consecutive quarter we achieved comparable sales increases across all geographic regions. Growth was particularly strong in the United States, which benefited from several successful product introductions, most of which will be introduced to other countries in the coming quarters."

"In the Asia/Pacific Rim region, we achieved double-digit sales growth in U.S. dollar terms despite the negative impact of currency devaluations throughout the region."

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