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Austinites are leading the way in herbal medicine use

Photo: HerbalGram coverEvery year more American consumers are choosing to integrate herbal remedies in their health care regimen. Concern over the high cost of prescription drugs and negative side-effects of many drugs are convincing more and more Americans to try herbal remedies.

Austin is no different. The percentage of Austinites using herbal supplements is among the highest in the nation.

"One of the basic reasons people use herbs and have used herbs for centuries is because herbs work," said Mark Blumenthal of the Austin Botanical Council. "There are chemicals in herbs, chemicals in plants that have beneficial effects and in some cases adverse effects depending on how they are used."

Photo: Prescription drugsIn 1983, Blumenthal started the HerbalGram, a newsletter that compiles the latest information about herbal medicines. Now media outlets, scientists, doctors and others interested in herbal remedies from all over the world rely on information from the herbal journal and the American Botanical Council.

For more than 20 years the American Botanical Council -- located in North Austin -- has presented the latest information about herbal medicines. But few Central Texans know that it's taken root in our own back yard.

Logo: American Botanical Council"We here at (American Botanical Council) feel we are one of Austin's best kept secrets," says Mark Blumenthal. "We are known nationally and internationally for the work we do in the field of herbal medicine."

The American Botanical Council is just one more example of what makes Austin, Austin.

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Produced by Tom Spencer and Domenique Bellavia.

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