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Roy Upton, Herbalist

1995-present Executive Director, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia®. Oversee management and development of national standards for quality control of botanicals for use in dietary supplements and herbal medicines and management of critical reviews of therapeutic and safety data. Editor, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia®.

1988-present Director of Herbal research, Planetary Formulas, Scotts Valley, CA. Duties include product development, writing and editing label copy and product literature, raw material sourcing, quality control, development of raw material standards or identity, purity, and quality, consumer and staff education, legislative issues, liaison to the Standards, Raw Materials, and Analytical Committees of the American Herbal Products Association.

Education and Related Experience
1975 Graduated Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, Peabody, Massachusetts
1976-1980 Military service (Vietnam Era): U.S. Army. Accelerated promotions throughout term. Two Army commendation medals, 8 letters of outstanding service, honorable discharge. Rank: Sergeant E-5.
1980-1981 Study of ethnobotany of the Western Shoshone. Meta-Tantay Indian Foundation, Carlin, Nevada
1981-1982 Study of the ethno-botany of the Tewa. Santa Fe, Taos and Cochiti Pueblos, New Mexico
1982-1985 Study of ethno-botany of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Distance learning programs in herbal and nutritional studies
East-West School of Herbal Medicine, Santa Cruz, CA
Wild Rose College of Natural Healing, Calgary, Canada
Humbart Santillo -Master Herbalist Course, Phoenix, AZ
Werner Hoferlin Academy of Natural Medicine, Karlsrhue, Germany
Nutrition Studies-American College of Holistic Nutrition, Birmingham, AL
Certificate of Completion-Nutrition Institute of America
1985-1988 California state-approved, 3-year, 2200-hour clinical tutorial in traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture. East-West Acupuncture and Herb Center. Clinical supervisor, Michael Tierra, L.Ac., OMD.
1986-1988 Cabrillo Community College—Required pre-medical course work for clinical tutorial including nutrition studies.
1987-1988 Five Branches College of Traditional Chinese Medicine-Santa Cruz, Ca.
1997 Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China. 120-hour program in traditional Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture; 120-hour hospital acupuncture residency, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai, China.

Biographical Information
Born May 23, 1957 in Boston, Massachusetts, Roy began his study of herbal medicine in 1981 after fulfilling a three-year term in the United States Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant (E-5).

His interest grew while traveling among different Native American communities throughout the Western United States. This study began while living at Meta-Tantay, a Native American community in Carlin, Nevada with a Cherokee man, Rolling Thunder, and a Western Shoshone woman named Spotted Fawn, both renowned for their knowledge of herbs. During this time, Roy learned the medicinal uses of the local plants, how and when to pick and prepare them. From there he continued his study on the Spokane Indian Reservation in the state of Washington, learning the traditional local uses of plants of the Pacific Northwest with various people including Ojibwa Sun Bear and Norma Meyers from Canada. Roy's travels brought him to New Mexico where he spent most of his time between Taos and Cochiti Pueblos studying the Native American ethnobotanical use of medicinal plants.

From the Southwest, Roy spent four years studying the ethnobotany of the United States Virgin Islands from local West Indian people including Emmanuel Regis, Mary Francis and, most notably, the late Arona Peterson, one of the most well respected herbalists in St. Thomas. During this time, Roy had a private herbal consulting practice seeing approximately 30-40 clients per week. He then came to Santa Cruz, California and engaged in a formal, state approved three year training program in traditional Chinese medicine, which included two years pre-medical studies, training in Five Branches College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, three years residency with noted herbalist, author and licensed acupuncturist, Michael Tierra, and training at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Shanghai, China.

Roy was a co-founder of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), the only organization in the United States for herbalists specializing in the medicinal use of plants. He served as AHG president for four years, was the legislative liaison for 8 years, and was vice-president from 1996-2010. In 1996, Roy founded the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, a 501(c)(3) educational corporation dedicated to the development of quality control standards for botanicals as well as the development of comprehensive and peer reviewed therapeutic monographs to encourage the highest degree of safety and effectiveness when using botanicals. The monographs of the American herbal Pharmacopoeia have been acknowledged as among the best in the world and are widely used and accepted by academic and regulatory authorities in the Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States.

In 2004, Roy was the recipient of the James Lind Scientific Achievement Award as recognition for his scientific work with botanicals as well as his political advocacy for natural health care. In 2012, Roy was awarded the prestigious Varro E. Tyler Excellence in Botanical Research award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy for his many efforts in establishing a strong foundation for botanical medicine in the United States. Roy is one of the foremost experts in the country on the regulation, use, manufacture, quality control requirements, and practice of herbal medicine. He is also a member of the Botanical Expert Advisory committees of AOAC International, NSF International, and American Botanical Council and was a member of the General Chapters Committee of the United States Pharmacopeia from 2005-2010.

Roy has worked for the California based herbal company Planetary Formulas since 1985. A company specializing in the manufacture of traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic and Western herbal compounds, Roy's duties have included all aspects of product development, manufacturing, sourcing raw materials, quality control, product education and research. Roy was co-author of the AHPA Botanical Safety Handbook, published by CRC Press. In addition, Roy has published two other popular herb books, one on St. John's wort and the other on Echinacea, both by Keats Publishing, is a co-author and editor of 25 American Herbal Pharmacopoeia monographs and has authored numerous published articles and numerous book chapters.

An avid lecturer, writer, advisor for numerous publications, and perpetual student of Chinese medicine Roy resides in Soquel, California.

Scientific and Popular Publications (partial)
Avula B, Sagi S, Gafner S, Upton R, Wang YH, Wang M, Khan IA. 2016. Ginkgo Biloba Supplements Adulteration Identification Using HPTLC And UHPLC-QTOF-MS. Planta Medica DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1578621

Lin LZ, Harnly JM, Upton R. 2009. Comparison of the phenolic component profiles of skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and germander (Teucrium canadense and T. chamaedrys), a potentially hepatotoxic adulterant. Phytochemical Analysis 20: 298-306.

Russo E, Scicchitano F, Whalley BJ, Mazzitello C, Ciriaco C, Esposito S, Patane M, Upton R, Pugliese M, Chimirri S, Mammi M, Palleria C, De Sarro G. Hypericum perforatum: Pharmacokinetic, Mechanism of Action, Tolerability, and Clinical Drug–Drug Interactions. Phytotheraoy Research DOI: 10.1002/ptr.5050.

Upton R. 1997. Herbal monographs push natural medicines into the 21st century. JACM. Winter; 3(4):397-399.

Upton R. 1999. Compounding: The basis of herbal healing. Taste for Life. February.

Upton R. 1999. Additional information and comments on guidelines for selecting an herbalist. JACM. Dec;5(6):503-504.

Upton R. 1999. Traditional Chinese medicine and the dietary supplement health and educational act. JACM. Apr;5(2):115-118.

Upton R. 2001. Valerian Root: A Photoessay. JACM. Feb;7(1):15-17.

Upton R. 2001. Use of herbal medications before surgery. JAMA. Nov 28;286(20):2543-4 (letter to editor).

Upton R. 2003. The "author" of the Nei Ching. JACM. Feb;9(1):535-538 (letter to editor).
Xie P, Chen S, Liang YZ, Wang XH, Tian RT, Upton R. 2006. Chromatographic fingerprint analysis—a rational approach for quality assessment of traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Journal of Chromatography A, Volume 1112, Issues 1-2, 21 April: 171-180.

Upton R. 2007. Natural alternatives to sleep medications. Taste for Life.

Upton R. 2006. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, 1st ed. contributed chapters; Astragalus, Angelica sinensis. Informa Healthcare.

Upton R. 2010. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, 2nd ed. contributed chapters; Astragalus, Angelica sinensis. Informa Healthcare.

Upton R. 1995. Essays on American Herbalism. American Herbalists Guild, Contributed chapters.
Gray DE, Upton R, Chandra A, Porter A, Harris RK. 2006. Quantitative analysis of flavonol glycosides in Ginkgo biloba: a comparison of two analytical methods. Phytochem Anal Jan-Feb:17(1):56-62.

Wu KM, Farrelly JG, Upton R, Chen J. 2007. Complexities of the herbal nomenclature system in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM): Lessons learned from the misuse of Aristolochia-related species and the importance of the pharmaceutical name during botanical drug product development. Phytomedicine. Apr; 14(4):273-279.

Scientific Honors and Awards
American Herbal Products Association Herbal Insight Award 2011.
American Herbal Products Association Herbal Insight Award 2012.
James Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award (Technical) from the American Botanical Council 2011 Recipient.
James Lind Scientific Achievement Award 2004 recipient.
Varro E. Tyler Excellence in Botanical Research award 2012 recipient from the American Society of Pharmacognosy.


Membership in Professional Organizations
American Herbalists Guild
American Society of Pharmacognosy

Board of Directors, Member
American Herbalists Guild-Past President, Secretary; current Vice president, Legislative Liaison, and Public Relations Liaison 1989-present
American Herbal Pharmacopoeia® 1994-present (President)

Editorial Committees
American Herbal Pharmacopoeia® (editor), 1995-present
Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, Marcel Dekker, Inc., 2004
Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: MaryAnn Liebert Publishing, 1999-present
Journal of the American Herbalists Guild, 1999-present
Institute of Medicine: Dietary Supplements: A Framework for Evaluating Safety (reviewer)
Taste for Life, 1998-present

Advisory Committees
American Botanical Council, Austin, TX
American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Standards Committee, Analytical Committee, Botanical Raw Materials Committee, 1991-present
American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP): Co-organizer, satellite conference on botanical pharmacognosy, 2004
AOAC International: Task Force on Dietary Supplements, 2002-present
California Association of Naturopathic Physicians (CANP): Advisory Board, 2000-present
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), State of California: Task Force for Importation of Products, 1997-1999.
International Conference on the Science of Botanicals (ICSB). National Center for natural Products research, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS.
Institute for Nutraceutical Advancement (INA): Methods Validation Program (member), 1997-present
Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Therapies, Mary Ann Liebert Publication: Editorial Advisor, 1999-present
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): May 14, 2001. NCCAM Industry Colloquium. Colloquium Co-organizer
National Institutes of Health, Office of Alternative Medicine, Federal Food and Drug Administration: Botanicals—A Role in U.S. Healthcare. Washington, DC Dec. 14-16, 1994. Conference Co-organizer
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements: Consultant—A Strategic Plan for the Office of Dietary Supplements. 1996
NSF International: Joint Dietary Supplement Committee, 2001-present
United States Pharmacopeia: Expert Advisory Committee on Botanicals: General Chapters, 2002-2007.

Visiting Instructor in Botanical Medicine
American Academy of Nutrition, Knoxville, TN
American College of Herbalism, Santa Cruz, CA
Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA
East-West School of Herbalism, Santa Cruz, CA
Hong Kong PolyTechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Northwest Institute of Botanical Medicine, Seattle, WA
Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China
Tai Sophia Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Bethesda, MD
University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
University of Southern California, School of Pharmacy,Los Angeles, CA
Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC

Authored Works (texts)
Astragalus: Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Botanical Safety Handbook, CRC Press (co-author/editor)
Dang gui: Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Echinacea: Good Herb Series, Keats Publishing
Essays on American Herbalism, Crossing Press (contributing author)
St. John's Wort: Good Herb Series, Keats Publishing

Editor and/or co-author: American Herbal Pharmacopoeia monographs: Ashwagandha root, Astragalus root, Bilberry fruit, Black Cohosh root, Black Haw bark, Cannabis, Chaste Tree Fruit, Cramp Bark, Cranberry fruit, Dang Gui root, Echinacea purpurea root, Ginkgo Leaf, Ginkgo Leaf Dry Extract, Goldenseal Root, Hawthorn Leaf with Flower, Hawthorn Berry, Reishi Mushroom fruiting body, Schisandra berry, St. John’s wort herb, Valerian Root, Willow Bark

Lectures and Presentations (partial)

1st International Symposium on Echinacea. Sponsored by the American Herbal Products Association. Moderator: Quality Control, Regulation and Substantiated Structure and Function Claims. Kansas City, MO. June 4-6 1999.
1st International Symposium on Saw Palmetto Serenoa repens Sponsored by the American Herbal Products Association. Naples, FL.
1st International Symposium on St. John's Wort Hypericum perforatum. Development of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Monograph for St. John's wort. Sponsored by the American Herbal Products Association March 16-18. 1997. Anaheim, CA.
1st International Symposium on Women's Health; Moderator. Sponsored by the American Herbal Products Association. Feb. 2002.
2nd Annual Natural Pharmacy West: Herbal Medicines; Standardization, Quality Control, and Safety Issues. Marriott's Rancho Las Palmas, Palm Springs June 4-6th 1999.
Alpha Chemical and Biomedical Laboratories: Adulterants or Acceptable Substitutions. Workshop; 2000.
American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Regulation of Herbal Medicines in the United States, Chicago, IL.
American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine: 1994. Chicago, IL Regulation of Botanical Products in the US.
American Herbalists Guild Annual Symposium of Herbal Medicine: 1987-2002.
Botanical Quality Control and the Need for Multiple Methods of Detection and Quantitation. Analytical Methods for Botanicals and Dietary Supplements. June 6, 2002. Sponsored by NSF International, Las Vegas.
Breitenbush Herbal Gathering 1984-1992.
California Acupuncturists Association. Legal and Regulatory Issues of Herbal Products.
California Dietetic Association: San Jose Peninsula February 27, 1999. Trends in Nutrition: Popular Medicinal Herbs.
California Dietetic Association: San Jose Peninsula February, 1998. Trends in Nutrition: Popular Medicinal Herbs.
Complimentary Medicine Symposium: Integrative Approaches to Management of Cancer: Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA. May 30-31, 2000.
Drug Information Association: 1998, 2001.
Earthwatch: Preservation and Recording of Herbal Medicine of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Project informant and field co-coordinator. 1991
Green Nations Herbal Gathering. 1999.
Herb Fest-American Herbalists Guild 1995: Rediscovering Our Roots. Norway, IA. Herbalism in the 21st Century and Management of HIV+ and AIDS.
Hong Kong PolyTechnic University. Regulation of Herbal Products in the United States. 2004.
International Conference on Chemometrics and Bioinformatics. Interface of Chemometrics and Quality Control of Chinese Herbal Medicines. Shanghai, China, 2004.
International Conference on the Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1999. Beijing, China.
International Conference on the Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2000. Guangzhou, China.
International Conference on the Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2001. Chengdu, China.
International Conference on the Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2002. Hong Kong, China
International Conference on the Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2003. Hong Kong, China
Knowledge Foundation: Applying scientific methods to ensure and market the integrity of your product—a scientific forum. Conference Co-Chair. October 25-26, 1999. Baltimore, MD
Knowledge Foundation: Development, substantiation, and harmonization of analytical methods. Applying scientific methods to ensure and market the integrity of your product—a scientific forum. October 25-26, 1999. Baltimore, MD.
Medicines for the Millenium: 10th Annual Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Convention; California Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. March 26-29, 1999. San Francisco, CA.
Medicines from the Earth: Jun 1-3 1996. Natural Health Care Management of HIV and AIDS: A Review of Clinical Protocols Used Throughout the United States.
Medicines from the Earth: Jun 3-5 2001. Rediscovering the Roots of Herbalism. Blue Ridge Assembly Black Mountain North Carolina: Traditional Approaches to Chronic Disease: A Focus on Asthma; Herbal Formulation: Traditional Chinese and Western Approaches; Introduction to Traditional Chinese Diagnosis.
Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Chengdu, China. Nov 4-7, 2002
National Institutes of Health, Office of Alternative Medicine, Federal Food and Drug Administration: Panel discussion: How Can We Know That These Botanicals Are Safe? Botanicals: A Role in U.S. Healthcare. Washington, DC Dec. 14-16, 1994.
National Institutes of Health, Office of Alternative Medicine, Federal Food and Drug Administration: Panel discussion: How Regulations Affect the Marketplace and Impact the Cost of Health Care. Botanicals: A Role in U.S. Healthcare. Washington, DC Dec. 14-16, 1994.
National Institutes of Health. Workshop on Analytical Methods Development. Bethesda, MD. April 2001.
National Nutritional Foods Association. 1999. Standards in herbals and Botanicals. July 9. Las Vegas, NV.
National Nutritional Foods Association. Traditional Use of Caribbean Medicinal Plants. 2000. Lecture cruise Cozumel, Mexico.
National Nutritional Foods Association-Northwest, Quality Control in the Herb Industry. October 20, 2001.
Nutracon 1999 Las Vegas: The Role of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia in Establishing National Standards of Quality Control.
Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine 1996: Scottsdale, AZ. Natural Health Care Management of HIV and AIDS: A Review of Clinical Protocols Used Throughout the United States.
Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine 1996: Scottsdale, AZ. Traditional Chinese Principles for the Treatment of Gynecological Imbalances.
State Drug Administration: Regulation of Herbal Products in the US. March 2001. Beijing, China.
Thin Layer Chromatography and Quality Control of Botanical Raw Materials. Feb 2001. Guangzhou, China. Sponsored by State Drug Administration, China.
University of Vienna, Institute for Pharmacognosy. Regulation of Herbal Products in the US. 1999.
Validation and harmonization of analytical methods: Natural Products: Applying Scientific Methods to Ensure and Market the Integrity of Botanical Products—A Scientific Forum. Sponsored by the Knowledge Foundation, Boston, MA. Oct. 25-26, 1999 Baltimore, MD.