FWD 2 ABC Announces Recipients of James A. Duke Award

American Botanical Council Announces Recipients of James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award

Editor’s note: The previous version of this press release misstated the number of copies sold of the first edition of Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Approximately 40,000 copies of the text have been sold worldwide, not 7,000 as originally stated.

(AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 26, 2014) The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) is pleased to announce that two authors will be joint recipients of this year’s James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award. Co-authors, herbalists, clinicians, and researchers Kerry Bone and Simon Mills will receive ABC’s 2013 award for the significantly revised and updated edition of their internationally renowned herbal medicine clinical practice guide, Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine, 2nd edition (Churchill Livingstone, 2013). 

The ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award was created in 2006 in honor of noted economic botanist and author James A. Duke, PhD. Over the course of his long and prestigious career in economic botany and ethnobotany at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Dr. Duke authored more than 30 reference and consumer books. He is also a co-founding member of ABC’s Board of Trustees and currently serves as Director Emeritus.

The Duke Award is given annually to a book or books that provide a significant contribution to literature in the fields of botany, taxonomy, ethnobotany, phytomedicine, and other disciplines related to the vast field of medicinal plants. In 2011, due to the diversity of quality books related to medicinal plants, ABC created two distinct categories for the James A. Duke Award: reference/technical and consumer/popular. However, depending on a variety of factors, ABC may or may not choose to designate recipients for both categories each year.

Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy is widely regarded as the first comprehensive, science-based guide for herbal medicine practitioners. “From our work as educators we recognized the need for herbal clinicians and students to have a modern text that balanced both traditional practices and modern evidence,” said Bone, co-founder and director of research and development at MediHerb, and an Australia-based medical herbalist with more than 25 years of experience.

“It really was the first text that addressed our own needs in the clinic: how do we formulate for an individual who is asking for help in front of us?” said Mills, managing director of SustainCare in the United Kingdom and secretary of the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP), a multinational consortium of European experts in herbs and medicinal plants. “As we did not have a reference, we had to write one ourselves! It is still distinctive for this reason.”

Bone and Mills — who have been colleagues since 1981 when they met at the School of Herbal Medicine in the United Kingdom — previously co-authored The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety (Churchill Livingstone), which was the recipient of the inaugural ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award for 2005.

As Dr. Duke noted, Bone and Mills — who have a combined 50-plus years of experience as practicing herbalists — have a reputation for producing quality herbal medicine-related work. “The authors are … meticulously scholarly,” he said. “I, as a rogue herbalist in the herbal community, have long held them in high regard.”

Since the publication of the first edition of Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy in 1999, more than 40,000 copies have been sold worldwide and it has become an essential component of many respected, upper-level phytotherapy programs, including those at the Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute), the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and the Endeavour College of Natural Health in Australia.

Containing more than 1000 pages of practical, thoroughly referenced information, the new edition of Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy has been extensively updated with the most relevant scientific and clinical data from the past 15 years. Significant revisions were made to sections on pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, safety and herb-drug interactions, and herbal treatment for chronic disease states. In particular, the second edition contains six new herbal monographs, discussions of many additional conditions such as asthma, migraines, and prostate cancer, and innovative hypotheses on herbal therapies for inflammation and autoimmune disease.

“Biomedical science is now validating and elaborating many of the traditional insights of herbalists/natural therapists regarding the cause and treatment of disease,” noted Bone. “So there is a much better biomedical underpinning of the things we do and teach in clinical practice…. All of [this is] reflected in the second edition.”

“[T]here has been an explosion of information in the last 15 years,” added Mills. “However, most of it is laboratory based and of varying relevance to the practitioner. Our main challenge has been to wade through all this new material and process it for clinical relevance.”

“The authors are able to embrace traditional herbal use and respect science related to herbal medicine,” said Steven Foster, chair of ABC’s Board of Trustees. “Since the first edition appeared 14 years ago, scientific understanding of herb actions and use has evolved to provide practical information for the clinician which is reflected in these pages.” 

In a foreword to the new edition, ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal — who recused himself from the selection process due to his contribution to the text — similarly praised Bone and Mill’s balanced presentation of traditional herbal knowledge with modern clinical evidence. “These authors are eminently qualified to convey this information, and they do so in a lucid, non-dogmatic, rational manner,” he wrote.

Past recipients of the James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award include the following: Medicinal Plants and the Legacy of Richard E. Schultes by Bruce E. Ponman and Rainer W. Bussmann (Missouri Botanical Garden) in the reference/technical category and Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee (Scribner) in the consumer/popular category in 2012; Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, (Sterling Publishing) in the consumer/popular category and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia’s Botanical Pharmacognosy (CRC Press) in the reference/technical category in 2011; Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health by Aviva Romm, MD, (Churchill Livingstone) in 2010; An Oak Spring Herbaria by Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi and Tony Willis (Oak Spring Garden Library) in 2009; Mabberley's Plant-Book, 3rd edition, by David J. Mabberley (Cambridge University Press) in 2008; Google Book Search in 2007; Medicinal Spices by Eberhard Teuscher (MedPharm Scientific Publishers) in 2006; and The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety by Simon Mills and Kerry Bone (Churchill Livingstone) in 2005.

Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine, 2nd edition, can be purchased for $125.00 through the 
ABC e-Store and other online retailers. (ABC members receive a discount.)

The ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award will be presented to Bone and Mills at the 9th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony on March 6 in Anaheim, California. The ABC event occurs during the NEXT Innovation Summit (formerly Nutracon) nutrition, natural products, and dietary supplements conference and Natural Products Expo West. 

The ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony is underwritten by generous contributions from the following members of the herb, dietary supplement, and natural products industry (i.e., raw material suppliers, supplement and tea manufacturers, analytical laboratories, a law firm, an insurer, a media company, and a trade organization):

Alkemist Labs
Amin Talati
Christie Communications
Grifcon Enterprises
Horphag Research
Indena USA
Martin Bauer Group

Natural Factors Nutritional Products
New Chapter
New Hope Natural Media
RFI Ingredients
Traditional Medicinals
United Natural Products Alliance