November 24, 2021 3 min read

Hello there,

Tamim here, hope you're having an exciting day.

A short discussion from me today.

Lately I have been seeing a lot of advertisements in the Australian herbal market space and I felt I needed to shed some light on the truth.

Don't get me wrong, I love the herbal supplements here in Australia, we have some passionate people in the space doing some amazing work. And I understand that they mean well and their strengths lie in administering the herbs themselves and helping with dis-ease in humans.

They're amazing and do a great job. I am grateful to say I am able (due to my experience in manufacturing of products) to add a bird's-eye perspective on the whole situation.

Why?

So you can make informed decisions about your next herbal supplement purchase.

I think it's extremely important to know the terminology of herbal supplements as it can be quite misleading. Especially if you're buying a herb to help with anxiety, sleep, performance you HAVE to be informed on the impact it's having.

So let's get into it...

1. Herbal Extract Ratios (E.g. 10:1, 20:1, 8:1)

If you're a herbal fanatic like myself, you are probably aware of the extract ratios, found on the label.

Some companies are able to claim that their herbal is HIGH POTENCY or CONCENTRATED based on this number. Even though on paper it may seem that way but in-fact there's more to it.

The extraction ratio is only an indication of how much raw material was used to make the concentrated powder. If I have 10 oranges to make 1 glass of orange juice (10:1) and compared to say 3 oranges to make 1 glass of oranges (3:1), the finish product is the same. In fact, the 3 oranges produced a higher yield, needing less to make the same as 10 oranges.

As you can see extract ratio does not tell us much except for how much 'oranges' were used, so the claim on 'high strength' referring to this is a FALSE claim. As for the other compounds found in the oranges, does using more ‘oranges’ create more healthy compounds in the finished product? Is more always a good thing? This probably needs to be investigated further.

 

COMMENT BELOW IF YOU'D LIKE US TO DIG DEEPER INTO IF MORE IS ALWAYS BEST!

2. Standardisation of Herbals

Next up we have probably the most important sign of herbal strength which you've probably seen called 'standardisation' composition. Scientifically speaking this is the main compound(s) found in the herbal which give you the benefits you're after. Such as performance, sleep, memory, stress-fighting and so on. It is usually expressed as a percentage. When purchasing a herbal supplement this is the MAIN thing to be watching out for.

 

For example i've seen some companies mentioning that 5% and 15:1 is 'Our product is also standardised to contain 5% Withanolides (the highest on the market)' in fact their exists higher such as our Ashwagandha which has 10%, but not here to toot our own horn, but making a point of how easy it is to fool someone in this merky industry of finding great quality herbs.

3. Extraction Solvent

One last thing before I go is the solvent used in extraction. When these ingredients are processed from their original form they are submerged in a liquid (solvent) to extract all the amazing compounds that give you the benefits we love them for.

In each of these herbals, nature has created in them both water and non-water soluble compounds which to get a full-spectrum of benefits we must take them all out. The way to do this is by creating a solvent made from water and alcohol.

 

If you do not do this, (for example using only a water based solvent) you will be leaving the non-water soluble compounds 'stuck' in the herb meaning you only get 50% of the benefits.

So herbal companies claim "The product is extracted using an alcohol free extraction method that ensures our product also tastes great (many extracts are extremely bitter)." is a load of rubbish. 

You're better off purchasing a herb which uses a dual-extraction to give you what you paid for. Rant-over.

In Conclusion

As you can see purchasing a herbal medicine supplement isn’t always a simple task. I’ve only touched upon the tip of the ice-berg but this is a good foundation for what’s more to come.

In essence I will leave you with this final note. Do not get convinced by extraction ratios, DO get convinced by:

  • Bio-active composition
  • Sourcing of the material 

If you have any questions feel free to comment below or email me directly on tamimr@headhonchosupplements.com

Thank you for reading!

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