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Nonprofit Consortium Publishes Review of Skullcap Adulteration
Date:2/21/2012

hamaedrys) due to morphological similarity between S. lateriflora and T. canadense."

Foster recommends using the AHP monograph as a guide for properly identifying skullcap and germander species. "The most comprehensive and detailed information source on the topic is the 2009 AHP skullcap monograph which includes exhaustive information, illustrations, photographic images, and chromatograms on authentication, morphological difference, and chemical differences … of S. lateriflora, with an extensive discussion of adulterants."

The HerbalGram article contains some line drawings from the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) on parts of skullcap and germander to help distinguish them, as well as author Foster's beautiful 4-color photography of both plants. The drawings are taken from a book on botanical identification produced by MBG and ABC.(5)

The proper identification of herbal ingredients is paramount in helping prevent adulteration and protecting consumers. As Foster concludes, "Persistent, long-standing instances of adulteration and mislabeling of improperly identified botanicals, such as in the instance of skullcap adulteration with T. canadense, must be resolved to ensure that consumers get the herbal products they expect."

"In our view, all manufacturers of herbal dietary supplements and herbal teas, in the U.S. and globally, should read this article and the AHP monograph on skullcap to ensure that they are taking adequate measures to confirm that their skullcap raw material has not been confused with germander," said ABC's Blumenthal.

Foster's article is the second in a series of publications to come from the ABC-AHP-NCNPR (National Center of Natural Products Research) Botanical Adulterants Program, a nonprofit educational consortium that includes numerous third-party analytical laboratories and experts on
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SOURCE American Botanical Council
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