A Guide to Avoid Adulterated Medicinal Herbs
I am going to let you in on a secret! The majority of herbal supplements on the market in the United States are made by factories that are not GMP Certified. This has severe consequences for the consumer because about 30% of the herbal supplements are adulterated. Why?
This is because the raw materials suppliers are not covered under the same more stringent regulations as the supplement factories are.
Raw material ingredient suppliers are currently regulated under 21 CFR 117, formally 21 CFR 110. However, they are not subjected to 21 CFR 111 since ingredient suppliers may send their ingredients to companies that use the ingredients in multiple commodities such as fragrance, foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and dietary supplements.
As everyone knows in the industry, the raw material suppliers are not quality conscious. They don’t really care if their herbs are what they say. They give us, the manufacturers, a nice-looking Certificate of Analysis for the herbal extract sold. This COA is often lacking in several ways:
- The COA is a photocopy of a photocopy
- An inappropriate test method is noted on COA
- COA has been tampered with to hide the address of the original supplier
When we analyze herbal extracts and raw powders, we discover that about 30% of the herbal extracts sent to us are adulterated.
They have what we call an identity crisis! They are not what is claimed on the COA. They are either from the wrong plant part, wrong species, or have been extracted already and therefore lack the actives desired in the compound.
What is HPTLC?
We have for many years used an advanced technology called High-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) is, an enhanced form of thin-layer chromatography (TLC). It performs three main functions.
- HPTLC will identify the species of the herbs we receive.
- HPTLC will identify if the label is correct in recognizing the herb is made from which part of the plant. It also confirms if the herb included matches the label on the bottle to identify which part of the plant the herb is made of.
- HPTLC will identify if the herb has been “spent” already.
You will have seen Herbal Extracts on supplement labels, herbal extracts are created when certain actives are extracted out of the herbs. However the manufacture is supposed to throw the rest of the herbal mass away but sometimes they turn around and sell it. We don’t want those herbs in our products. . When we first started using it we rejected over 30% of all herbal compounds we received. The suppliers soon learned to send us only “top shelf” herbs, presumably sending what they could not sell us to our competition.
Ask your brand if they manufacture in a GMP Certified factory and I guarantee that they will say yes! However, 70% of them a simply lying to you or have been lied to and don’t know any better.
Here is the question to ask them instead: Show me the GMP Certification of the factory you had this product made in. It should either come from NSF or UL or both.
Then you ask the brand for the COA for the product you are considering purchasing, especially the HPTLC identity test performed on all the herbs in your product.
They should cooperate. If they don’t at least prove that your brand is made in a GMP-certified factory, you best not buy from this brand.
Below is a guide on how you can validate those certifications.
Growth in the use of herbal remedies has been significant over recent years. The World Health Organization estimates that 80% or about 4 billion people currently rely on natural healing methods like herbs for some form of healthcare or herbal cleansing kits like herbal kidney cleanses, and this number is only expected to grow. Additionally, there has also been an increase from 130% to 382%, reflecting a growth rate much faster than in other areas such as high-dose vitamins (up 140%) and general supplements (wisely increases 380%).
So, it is fair to say that people are paying more attention to their health and wellness, especially after increasing unhealthy and dangerous environmental conditions. Not only that, the hectic routine, busy life, and house chores are making it hard to focus on a healthy diet and life. All of this combined not only lowers the body’s nutrients but also makes it more susceptible to complications. This is why it is better to keep your diet healthy and partake in exercise and activities to keep the body healthy and safe. But if a pesky organism does attack and cause problems, consider herbal remedies your first choice before shifting to more complex medications.
What are the benefits of Herbal Medicine?
Medicines derived from plants, botanicals, and herbs used to maintain a good health plan and treat disease are herbal medicines.
Herbal remedies are often seen as safe because they come from natural sources, but this isn't necessarily true. Just like conventional drugs can have negative side effects and interact with other medications, so can herbal supplements. In addition, they can affect your body differently if not taken correctly. So, it is better to consult your physician about dosing and requirements.
Moving on, herbal products come in many different forms, including tinctures and traditional medicinal teas. Herbs can also be taken as a powder or capsule; these combinations provide relief for thousands of people who suffer from chronic illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes mellitus type 2 or 3, high cholesterol levels, to name a few, and show excellent antibacterial or antiviral properties.
Herbal preparations are not just a way to soothe your stomach and pass the time; they also have been used for centuries as medicine. They contain active ingredients that can be unknown. However, practitioners in herbalism believe that this makes them less effective when taken alone without its other parts such as leaves or roots (or any combination thereof).
For instance, Salicylic acid is a bactericidal compound naturally occurring in the plant meadowsweet. Aspirin can cause the stomach lining to bleed when made with this ingredient. However, by including other compounds found within it, there will be no irritation from its use due to their presence at lower concentrations than salicylates.
Some Examples of Herbal Medicine
While many herbal supplements are safe and beneficial, it is essential to use caution if you plan to add them to your life to avoid side effects or no results at all. However, for most over-the-counter medications, you should be able to find something with little risk of having adverse reactions if taking them correctly. If you are doubtful, approach your doctor and ask about the right product for your problem and the instructions for use. For example - getting the best herbal parasite cleanse for the removal of toxins from the gastrointestinal tract.
Moving on, here are some examples of herbs and their medicinal benefits.
Chamomile has been used to heal wounds and reduce inflammation or swelling in body tissues (such as an allergic reaction). Moreover, it helps you relax during stressful events like surgery and sleep induction when taken before bedtime.
Black Walnuts have a strong flavor and contain the highest protein level. Black walnuts herbal uses provide several health benefits, including vascular reactivity, and help decrease bad cholesterol and high sugar levels in the blood. Moreover, it aids in reducing gallstone risk, preventing obesity, and the black walnut hull also works against parasites.
Green tea herb has been used for centuries to battle fatigue, prevent arteriosclerosis and certain cancers. It also lowers cholesterol levels which can help you lose weight quickly.
Garlic has been used to help reduce high cholesterol and triglyceride levels associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disorders. It is also used in various herbal parasite cleanses to remove intestinal parasites.
Herbal supplements are often a good option for people looking to add supplements to their diet for beneficial effects, healing, nutrition, or just for clear breathing. However, it's essential to know about the risks associated with these products and understand what you're taking so that any side effects can be treated accordingly.
Always remember, the best way to get the nutrients your body needs is by eating food. However, you may not have time for meal prep or just want an extra boost in certain areas. Still, it is better to consult your physician and use natural care medicines for optimum effects.
The key to using herbal supplements safely is knowing what you're taking. If there is any doubt, don't take it. The best principle to follow is to use those which don't cause unwanted side effects and target an appropriate goal with minimal risk overall.