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 standartized organic fresh plant or alcohol free extracts, and the traditional alcohol based whole herb extracts. Most of these product are practitioner range only and not listed online. Please contact the pharmacy for more information.
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 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.
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.