If you're using some form of herbal nutrition supplement or a multi ingredient nutritional health supplement with a number of herbal extracts in the formula, then this page will probably be of interest to you. As you read down the page you'll discover critical facts about herbal ingredients that will help you know what to look for and what questions to ask when comparing and choosing multi ingredient health/ vitamin supplements containing herbs.
You're no doubt aware that for several years now there has been a worldwide ground-swell in the use of herbs and herbal supplements to treat, cure and/or protect against degenerative diseases and medical disorders.
There is also an ever growing trend of health conscious consumers with no illness' or medical conditions, using natural health supplements containing herbal extracts, as a form of ongoing anti aging preventative health care.
They're using the well established therapeutic and anti aging properties of medicinal herbs to guard against disease, especially some forms of cancer, while at the same time promoting general wellness and longevity ensuring no disease in old age.
The aging baby boomer's generation is leading this 'preventative health care ' march. They've become fed-up with overworked doctors tendencies to write drug prescriptions rather than taking the time to discuss natural healing options. This has created a world-wide 'self-care' attitude - taking control of your own health and using new generation science-based supplements to assist in accomplishing this.
The major world markets for herbal supplements are in the US and Europe. It is estimated that herbal supplements are used by almost 50 million Americans on a regular basis. Herbal nutrition supplements account for the most dominant category in the European supplement market.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the earth’s population uses some form of herbal medicine in their health care.
In recent years there has been a resurgence of scientists re-examining herbal remedies as a complementary adjunct to western medicine drugs.
A growing body of research now supports many of the long known therapeutic activity of numerous herbs. A great deal of further research is needed however because only approximately 15 percent of the estimated plant species on the planet have been studied for medicinal use. (1)
Herbal supplements contain herbs with active ingredient compounds that offer beneficial effects on certain tissues and organs in your body – you could think of them as herbal vitamins.
Active ingredients possess potent properties such as...
... and the list goes on!
Although the benefits of herbs, (when used correctly), are well known, what is not widely known is that there are MANY variants of each herb that can and are used in a herbal nutrition supplement. This is due to different extraction methods. Additionally, the part of the plant that is used has a significant impact on its efficacy as does the percentage of extract. These are key factors to check on when considering supplements with herbal ingredients.
Potencies of herbal extracts in supplements can range from around 2 % up to 99%
There are 3 main forms of herb which can be used in a herbal nutrition supplement:
Whole herbs suggest a more holistic approach with multiple compounds in the whole of the herb working together synergistically. It’s more likely that there is more than one mechanism of action and other less potent components may act as buffers, synergists, or counterbalances to the more powerful ingredients.
The problem with this assumption is that since science to date has identified and studied only a relatively small number of the total constituents in all plant species – it’s just not known what they all do. It may be that some are actually of little to no use and are not worth having and paying for in a supplement.
A herbal nutrition supplement containing the whole form will more usually than not contain a single ingredient aimed at a particular ailment.
Now to extracts. From an extract point of view we know that research has confirmed the health benefits of specific active ingredients.
Since extracts target only actives, they are many times more powerful than those in whole herbs! A major problem exists however in that the amount of these actives can vary TREMENDOUSLY when herbs are grown and processed.
This then leads us to standardization - something you really need to check on!
Standardization is a process that professional manufacturers use to ensure batch to batch consistency of herbal nutrition supplements.
Standardization has become the industry standard (for professional companies)!
This involves identifying specific chemical markers in herbs which can be used to manufacture a consistent product. Active components are compared against a specific recognized measurement.
In the case of a herbal nutrition supplement containing herbal extracts with PROVEN actives - standardization is a CRITICAL detail that you absolutely should check up on!
There are thousands of herbal nutrition supplements in the market and their quality is farrrrrrrrr from being equal!
Here is critical BASIC Quality Assurance criteria to help you know what to look for when choosing a herbal nutrition supplement or nutritional health supplement. Any supplement which doesn't meet ALL these criteria is NOT a professional grade supplement.
Please keep in mind that of all the various nutrient categories used in nutritional health supplements, herbal ingredients are the most vulnerable to CONTAMINATION!!
All of the following criteria should be clearly laid out on a supplement company's website. If not then you're looking at weak, lower quality supplements.
First up check that all herbal extracts are standardized! This guarantees the amount of active ingredient from each herb in each batch of product manufactured. It's also vitally important to check the potencies when comparing brands. These vary a lot from product to product and the potency levels help to evaluate the value for money factor!
Many companies avoid using standardized extracts at all or include only some in this form as they are significantly more expensive than non-standardized ones.
The active ingredient amount can vary 1000's fold in non-standardized herbs. It all depends on numerous factors involved in the growing, harvesting and processing cycles!
2. Self Manufacture = Quality and Safety
Simply put, a supplement company should manufacture its own products and control the manufacturing process through ALL STAGES. Quality controls and testing protocols MUST be available on the company’s website. If not, consider this a red flag. It means they're hiding things! (probably that they contract out their manufacturing!) This is a BIG NO NO!!
If a company is proud of it's quality controls you know they're going to HIGHLIGHT it PROMINENTLY on their website!
NOW - THE FOLLOWING TWO POINTS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR SAFETY! BE SURE TO CHECK THAT ANY HERBAL NUTRITION SUPPLEMENT OR MULTI NUTRIENT HEALTH SUPPLEMENT YOU USE IS MANUFACTURED ACCORDING TO THESE CRITERIA:
1:- All raw materials must be sourced from GMP registered and audited facilities.
2:- All ingredients must have a CERTIFICATE OF ANALYSIS ON FILE FOR EVERY RAW INGREDIENT confirming it's composition and potency.
If this information is not mentioned (AND CONFIRMED) on a company's website, you absolutely should avoid that company's products!
These quality assurance measures protect you from contamination, guard your safety and ensure you receive exactly what you are paying for. Cost crazy, non-professional manufacturers don't care! All they think about is their bottom line profit. Weak industry regulations allow them to get away with it. This is well known within the supplement industry.
I worked in this industry! I know their secrets, shortcuts and product limitations!
Here are more things to check on.
A reputable supplement company will TEST, BOTH IN-HOUSE AND INDEPENDENTLY, all their raw ingredients prior to manufacture for compliance with certificates of analysis and for MICROBIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION! Once again, if this is not confirmed on a company's website avoid their products.
Disreputable manufacturers simply DO NOT TEST!
3. Pharmaceutical Level Manufacturing - Count Them On One Hand!
Any herbal nutrition supplement you are considering using should have been put together using 'PHARMACEUTICAL LEVEL MANUFACTURING'!
This is the highest (and safest) level possible! Why risk anything less?
So, check that website again. Be sure a supplement manufacturer is GMP compliant at a pharmaceutical level! Repeat - it's the highest standard possible for the manufacture of herbal nutrition supplements and all natural vitamin supplements. It ensures that each tablet in that supplement bottle is true to its label claims! (NOTE: This is one of the biggest problems in the supplement industry!! Be Aware!)
Very few companies manufacture to a Pharmaceutical level because of the extreme cost and stringent regulations. You can count the companies that do on one hand! Those are the companies whose supplements savvy consumers research and compare before buying!
Prior to releasing each batch of product a further microbiological analysis must be carried out along with a heavy metal analysis (NOTE: It's well known that many supplements in the market contain small amounts of LEAD! Lead stores up in your tissues over the years!) ONCE AGAIN - THESE CRITERIA SHOULD BE CLEARLY MENTIONED ON A SUPPLEMENT COMPANY WEBSITE!
Please take the time to check these CRUCIAL details when comparing and choosing herbal nutrition supplements and any other kinds of supplements you want to use.
What you don't know about your supplement right now could come back to harm you in years to come!
Toxic heavy metals build up in your tissues!
4. No Artificial ANYTHING
More basics to check on. A professional grade supplement contains no artificial:
Nor potential allergenic substances - lactose, gluten, wheat, yeast. Professional manufacturers always confirm this clearly on their websites and in their marketing literature.
5. 100% Money Back Guarantee - No Nasty Conditions
Lastly but by no means least, a premium grade herbal nutrition supplement will come with a 100% money back guarantee. Reputable manufacturers are prepared to stand by their products - especially if they have nothing to hide!
If your supplement company doesn't have an honest and sensible money back guarantee ask yourself why!
And 30 day guarantees don't count! That's simply a stupid period of time to give a nutritional health supplement to do its work ! A famous bio-scientist once told me that you should allow around one month for a supplement to address a medical problem (for every year which that particular problem has been there). Use this as a rough guide.
I'd like to tell you about the supplement I use. It contains over a dozen of the most recognized, broad spectrum medicinal herbs.
Actually, it's far more than just a herbal nutrition supplement. It's best described as a specialty multi nutrient nutritional health / vitamin supplement. In my opinion it's a clear market leader in this category without question, both in terms of efficacy and especially value for money. It contains virtually every nutrient mentioned in this entire site!
Read through my supplements comparisons and the supplement reviews on that same page - you'll see the proof and understand why I make such a bold claim.
Let me introduce you to Total Balance from the Xtend-Life Company. They operate and manufacture in New Zealand.
A point worth mentioning here is that the supplement regulatory environment in New Zealand is FAR STRICTER than in the U.S. (even with the 2007 updated dietary supplement regulations!) Total Balance truly rates as a SUPER SUPPLEMENT!
It was formulated by a world renowned bio-scientist, Prof. Dr. Munem, a highly qualified bio-chemist with a medical, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical background.
He is one of a select few individuals working in the supplement industry who has the expertise to understand the actions of various nutrients in the body at the molecular level and in particular how they interact with each other and with bodily fluids. This requires a pharmaceutical background in addition to expertise and degrees in natural substances.
This is something that is missing in a Physicians training! Beware of "Doctor Formulated supplements"!
Here is a very important fact - the Total Balance formula has been revved up 8 times in the past 15 years (as new developments in nutritional science come along). The large, well known multi-national supplement companies cannot do this due to their size and the huge costs incurred when up-grading a formula.
This gives the smaller supplement companies, like Xtend-Life (a family owned business), a critical advantage - THEIR FORMULAS ARE UP TO DATE!
Wouldn't you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing your supplement has been created by one of the world's most RENOWNED EXPERTS in supplement formulation?
Here are some highlights of the Total Balance formula.
Each daily dose is chocked full of:
The formula is truly UNIQUE and definitely one of a kind. To achieve it's hefty goals for your health the Total Balance formula is based on a broad spectrum of all these nutrient categories:
EVERYTHING You Need To Provide Total Nutritional Balance In Your Body
The latest 8th Generation 'PREMIUM' formulas have an incredible:
97 INGREDIENTS which target EVERY organ and system in your body, including your BRAIN.
So, if you would like to learn all the details about how Total Balance can help you take control of your health, just click this link to visit the Xtend-Life website - you'll land on the Total Balance Range overview page.
Don't forget to take a look at my vitamin supplements comparisons to see how Total Balance compares with the other industry leading health supplements.
And lastly, this link will take you to my review of Total Balance - it's a long one where I've gone into great detail and broken the formula apart to show you why I make the claim that Total Balance is the market leader for multi nutrient health supplements.
A number of the following herbs are common ingredients in herbal nutritional supplements. Follow the links to learn about the therapeutic and medicinal properties of each one.
Learn about the benefits of red clover - a natural and safe hormonal precursor for women.
Discover the benefits of olive leaf extract - a fantastic herb that boosts your immune system. The most popular herb researched by my readers on nutritional supplement truths.com!
Health benefits of aloe vera - learn about the AMAZING properties of the aloe vera plant. A truly versatile plant!
Health benefits of turmeric - this amazing medicinal herb is now being studied for its anti-cancer & tumor suppressing properties.
Evening primrose oil benefits - helps control menstrual symptoms and skin conditions.
Benefits and side effects of black cohosh - another powerful medicinal herb used by women to treat the symptoms of menopause.
Natural herbs for anxiety - learn the key anti-anxiety herbs that offer a safe alternative to harmful synthetic neurological disorder drugs.
Aloe vera and cancer - there are thousands of studies which look at the effectiveness of aloe vera in recovery from diagnosed cancer.
Bee pollen benefits - bee pollen is a natural and powerful energizer.
Natural cancer supplements - The key anti-cancer nutrients.
Balch PA. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Third Edition. 2000. 1:85