Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Herbal Information Wednesday

Today has been a verrrry busy day and because of that, today's post is a pre-dinner "Hump Day" bonanza full of information, tidbits, and news you can use to help you power through the rest of your day.  I went to the chiropractor first thing this morning because of a lot of neck pain and I was out of alignment.  My right leg was significantly shorter than my left because of this and I was getting real tired of walking in a circle......  Never fear, dear readers, as I am back in fine form due to the talented  Dr. Tomas Martinez in Tulsa, OK.  I highly recommend his services if you are in the Tulsa or surrounding areas and when you see him be sure to tell him Jason said "Hello".

Today's post is something I have been working on for a while and is the result of an assortment of questions from patients, customers, friends and you, the readers.  I touched on the topic last week with my Black Elderberry post and wanted to continue here.  Many people have a mis-understanding, or perhaps are unfamiliar with herbal / natural supplements, their source, manufacture, suppliers, etc.  They may have misconceptions that could be a result of a news program on a particular company, or perhaps they heard it through the "grapevine".  My goal is to give you some information, a bit of entertainment and also satisfy your thirst for knowlege....:)  We use two main suppliers to insure the best possible quality for our customers.  This will be setup as a Q&A to give you an idea of the questions I receive.

Q: "What does it mean by the term natural or herbal product?"

A: Herbals are either processsed, dried or liquefied plants that are very high in nutrition and contain components that feed and balance the body. 

Nutritional supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, glandulars, and enzymes that serve as fuel for the body.  What people don't realize, is that many health issues such as migraines, kidney stones, and depression just to name a few, are the result of imbalances in the body. These imbalances can be the result of deficiencies or toxicities.  When using natural products instead of chemicals to achieve your goal, dangerous side effects can be avoided.

Q: "How can I find out about your suppliers and how long have they been in business?"

A: One of the suppliers that we are discussing here today is called Energique.  They are located in Woodbine, IA. and have been in business since 1987.   Energique manufactures and distributes more than 600 herbal extracts and 3,500 natural remedies to health care professionals across the United States. The product line includes herbals, homeopathics, essential oils, nutritional supplements, reactivated water concentrate, and books.  They do not sell to individuals, only health care professionals such as The Wise Alternative and others. 

Our other supplier, Nature's Sunshine, started business in 1972 and are located in Spanish Fork, UT.  They were the first company to encapsulate herbs 38 years ago and they are a direct-selling company, manufacturing and marketing tablets, encapsulated herbal products, high-quality natural vitamins, food supplements, skin care and other complementary products.  Since their humble beginning in 1972, Nature's Sunshine Products now has operations in 14 countries including the USA and also export their herbal health supplements to several other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway and the Russian Federation.

Q: "How are herbs processed for sale and consumption?"

A:  This question will address Energique's processes and some of Nature's Sunshine quality testing to give an answer as brief as possible.  Both companies use many of the same processes and are commited to the highest quality product.

Energique has produced the finest liquefied herbal extracts for over a decade.  Energique herbals are available as single herbs, herbal combinations formulated for specific health conditions, and rainforest botanicals.

Energique secures its bulk herbs from ethical and reliable suppliers around the world and prefers to use Certified Organic raw materials whenever possible. In addition, Energique uses Spagyric processing to produce liquid herbals that are highly energized, concentrated, and effective. Although this method takes time and is complex, Energique believes it is the best method of extraction for producing the highest quality liquefied herbals.

The Spagyric method used at Energique distinguishes itself from other methods.

■ The Spagyric method uses the whole plant. Alternative extraction methods (such as distillation, cold percolation, and agitation) dispose of the plant material after the extraction; they do not incorporate the oils, alkaloids, and mineral salts found in the plant matter. Herbals produced using these methods are not as concentrated and may not produce the same healing results as Spagyric method herbals.

■ In its specialized process, Energique virtually eliminates exposure of the herbal extractions to oxygen, thereby reducing the amount of oxidation that may occur. Oxidation takes place when oxygen molecules come into contact with other substances causing molecular changes. Due to the low level of oxidation, Energique® herbal extracts more reliably retain the colors of the plant — vibrant reds, purples, greens, and golds.

Nature's Sunshine has over 600 tests at their disposal to insure the quality of their products.  These tests include Microscopy, Ash testing, E. Coli testing, and Microbioligical testing to name a few.  They were awarded by NSF International, a non-profit, non-governmental organization and world leader in standards development and product certification, presented Nature’s Sunshine with the NSF Good Manufacturing Certification.
In the interest of time, I have answered the most popular questions received and tried to inform you, the readers about herbal and natural products.  If I have missed a question, or if you have any more, please feel free to let me know in the comment section or email me and I will be happy to answer them.  Enjoy!!


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