Newswise: Can Ancient Botanical Therapies Help Treat COVID-19?. “A novel study is assessing whether medicinal mushrooms and Chinese herbs provide therapeutic benefit in treating acute COVID-19 infection. MACH-19 (Mushrooms and Chinese Herbs for COVID-19) — a multi-center study led by University of California San Diego School of Medicine and UCLA, in collaboration with the La Jolla Institute for Immunology — is among the first to evaluate these specific integrative medicine approaches using the gold standard of Western medicine: the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.”
UCLA: UCLA researchers digitize massive collection of folk medicine. “A project more than 40 years in the making, the Archive of Healing is one of the largest databases of medicinal folklore from around the world. UCLA Professor David Shorter has launched an interactive, searchable website featuring hundreds of thousands of entries that span more than 200 years, and draws from seven continents, six university archives, 3,200 published sources, and both first and second-hand information from folkloric field notes.”
BBC: Coronavirus: WHO sets rules for testing African herbal remedies. “The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed rules for the testing of African herbal remedies to fight Covid-19. Sound science would be the sole basis for safe and effective traditional therapies to be adopted, it said. Any traditional remedies that are judged effective could be fast-tracked for large-scale manufacturing.”
Smithsonian: Mapping Armenia’s Edible Landscape, One Wild Bilberry Bush at a Time. “A few years ago, Serda Ozbenian and two friends were hiking, searching for bezoar goats around southeast Armenia’s Smbataberd Fortress, when they noticed a patch of wild stinging nettle growing near the ruin’s entrance. While most visitors come to this centuries-old hilltop site for a dose of history and mountain views, the three self-proclaimed food enthusiasts were, at least for the moment, more taken with the edible plants. As they gathered bunches of nettles, applauding their luck and discussing recipes for yeghinchov abour (nettle soup) and jingalov hats—an Armenian stuffed-bread filled with wild nettle and dill — an idea was born: Why not create a user-friendly database to help other foragers find caches of edible herbs?”
Hong Kong Standard: Database rates Chinese medicine. “Chinese University of Hong Kong researchers have developed Asia’s first global online database on the effectiveness of Chinese medicine. The bilingual evidence-based platform, ‘Integrative Medicine Clinical Evidence Portal,’ comprises more than 200 experiments on how effective Chinese medicine is in different situations.”
From the British Library: An illustrated Old English Herbal. “This manuscript (Cotton MS Vitellius C III) is the only surviving illustrated Old English herbal, or book describing plants and their uses. The text is an Old English translation of a text which used to be attributed to a 4th-century writer known as Pseudo-Apuleius, now recognised as several different Late Antique authors whose texts were subsequently combined. The manuscript also includes Old English translations of Late Antique texts on the medicinal properties of badgers and other animals. Together, the herbal and the text on four-legged animals are now known as part of the so-called ‘Pseudo-Apuleius Complex’ of texts.” Don’t miss the really weird looking elephant.
The American Botanical Council has created a complete digital archive of its journal, HerbalGram. “All issues of HerbalGram are now available as PDF files. Previously, only issues 85 through the latest issue were available in this format. The first 21 issues are available as PDF files only, while all subsequent issues also include HTML versions of individual articles. Issues 93 through the current issue are also available in a ‘page-flip’ version, a reader-friendly format that was added to the ABC website in 2012.”
Now available: a database of herbs used in Chinese medicine. “The series of online databases under the Chinese Medicine Digital Project is a Hong Kong first and allows free access to a bilingual website that documents more than 420 herbs commonly used in Chinese medicine. Images, general properties and macroscopic structures of each type of drug recorded by the Chinese medicine school and its university library are just a click away.”