Newton's practitioners use herbal extracts from several manufacturers, uncluding Mediherb, the Herbal Extract company, Nutrition Care, Optimal, PPC, and others. We have a range of standartised extracts, as well as traditional alcohol based whole herb extracts.
The mainstream use of herbal medicines is becoming increasingly popular, and there are many herbal products to choose from. With so many choices, it is easy to get confused about which forms of herbs are right for you. One important decision is whether to use whole herbs (traditional) or standardized herbal extracts. This can be tricky, because even the experts are split on this issue. Therefore, it is best to know the facts about the difference between the two so that you can make an informed decision.
Whole Herb or Traditional vs Standardized:
A whole herb is just what it says: the whole herb, usually preserved in alcohol or another solvent. Whole herbs contain all of the constituents of the plant and have been used for hundreds of years by many cultures. In fact, modern medicine originated with the use of whole herbs. The medicinal properties of herbs have been learned through empirical observation and the information has been passed down through successive generations of healers. Although the effects of herbs have not always been formally and scientifically researched, whole herbs have a long track record validating their safety and efficacy. The chemical makeup of an herb can vary slightly, however, depending on a variety of factors. First, the environment in which the plant has been grown has an effect on the constituents of the herb. The time of year it is harvested, the soil in which it is grown, and the weather all influence the overall quality of the final product. Second, methodology plays a role. For example, the age of the plant at harvest, the exact part of the plant being used, and processing techniques can all make a difference. Finally, each plant or population of plants has its own individual genetics, thus adding another source of end-product variation.
A standardized herbal extract is an extract that has one or more components present in a specific, guaranteed amount, usually expressed as a percentage. The intention behind the standardization of herbs is to guarantee that the consumer is getting a product in which the chemistry is consistent from batch to batch. This practice has developed out of the drug model of herbal medicine, in which modern scientists have attempted to identify the components of a plant that have definite pharmacological activity in the body.
Recommended Traditional Extracts Dose: For the vast majority of traditional herbal extracts, the dose is 1 ml (20 drops) three times a day. Some herbs, such as poke root for example, have much lower recommended dose. Please check with your practitioner prior use.
Ethanol and purified water. The power of steeping botanical in an alcohol solution was known by the Ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Indian cultures not least because drinking alcohol at that time was often safer than drinking water due to the potential for microbial contamination of water. However, alcohol wasn't and still isn't without its problems or concerns and as such, modern alchemists seek a gentler alternative to work with.
Glycerin fills the gap between water and alcohol extraction due to its inert and skin-compatible nature and high solubilizing power. Extracting plant material with glycerin is not a new thing and have a history of use in herbal medicine and are particularly prized in the medicine of the American Indians so while it is fair to say that the glycerin doesn't release as much or as diverse a range of actives from the plant material as alcohol if produced correctly it provides a gentle yet powerful alternative for those needing the alcohol free option.
At Newton's, you will find a range of alcohol free, glycerine based extracts. These are preservative free and preffered choice for cosmetic use.
Please note that not all products are listed online and it is best to contact the pharmacy for up to date information.