Medicinal Plants and the Health Benefits of Phyto-Actives

To find out about medicinal plants and the health benefits of phyto-actives, we put some questions to Dr Ezio Bombardelli of the University of Milan Department of Biotechnologies

Q. What are ‘Phyto-actives’?

A. It is the ‘active ingredients’ in traditional medicinal plants that give them their therapeutic value. These active ingredients are called ‘Phyto-actives’, and they are the most powerful ingredients in traditional medicinal plants.

Medicinal plants were and still are one of the best source of drugs. Twenty-five percent of the actual allopathic drugs on the market are deriving from plants very often used in form of extracts since immemorial time. In the extracts the active principles are naturally present normally in complexed form with their physiologic vehicles to improve the bioavailability.

Q. How are Phyto-actives extracted and how is their purity maintained?

A. The quality of ‘Phyto-actives’ depends on the way in which they are extracted from medicinal plants. This is both an art and a science. ‘Phyto-actives’ ideally need to be extracted in their purest form, without distorting the natural balance in which they are present in nature.

The extracts are prepared by extraction with water or solvents like ethanol or fluids according to the international regulations or with gases in supercritical or subcritical status. The standardised extracts prepared in GMP are analysed with suitable analytical methods for determination of the active ingredients or markers. On the extracts stability test are periodically carried out to guarantee the conservation of the active principles and the physical homogeneity over the time.

In a few words, by creating a standardised environment and by respecting the natural ratios observed over time, we can guarantee a certain level of purity in Phyto-actives.

Q. How does AlchemLife extraction process differentiates with the others?

A. AlchemLife’s solutions are backed by more than 80 years of R&D dedicated to extracting ‘Phyto-actives’ in their purest form, without disturbing the natural balance in which they are found in nature. This expertise has over the years led to the development of its proprietary Phytoadvance plant molecular extraction technology.

Alchemlife’s extraction process adapting specific technology for each plant allows to obtain standardized extracts containing inside all the active principles identified through the long experience and knowledge of the traditional medical use.

Q. When it says “Clinically Tested” what does that imply? What are the requirements for a company to have such a label of quality?

A. Clinically tested means that a given extract or its combination with other ingredients is formulated (tablets, capsules, ointments) according to conventional methods and administered to patients after presentation of a clinical protocol to the Ethical Committee where the target of the trial must be clearly indicated along with the modality of administration and timing.

The number of the patients to be treated must be calculated in advance in order to allow a statistical evaluation of the data obtained. Usually the clinical test is carried out against placebo of a reference drug. If the results are positive it is possible to put this indication on the label.

In order to claim that AlchemLife’s PhytoRelief helps support the immune system and respiratory tract, several clinical studies have been completed and published in the International Journal of Pharma (Minerva Medica) in June 2016.

Q. What are the best ways of fighting cold symptoms naturally? Are there any dietary recommendations?

A. The best way of fighting cold symptoms, especially during cold season is to avoid contact with other people because viruses are commonly and naturally present in man and cold weather produces inflammation. To reduce this risk, vitamins C and B are useful, and can be found in broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.

However, the best way to fight cold and maintain stable health during uncertain times is to boost your natural defence: your immune system.

If you seek natural “from the kitchen” boosters, you can look into ginger and turmeric or pomegranate; containing many benefits for the body.

Yet, drops containing antibacterial and antiviral agents and compounds stimulating the immuno system like Phytorelief may be more efficient at times, providing the right balance ratio between ingredients.

Q. What can be the causes of stiff joints?

A. The causes of stiff joints are the damage of the joint cartilage and the surrounding tissue mainly to the age or strong use of the same like in sport or debilitating work. Damage from mechanical stress with insufficient self-repair is believed to be the primary cause of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthrosis and osteoarthritis are the causes of the joint pathology.

The actual nature of the pain in arthritis comes from local inflammation and a decrease of biosynthesis of macromolecules that have a lubricant effect and without which you may endure consequent pain.

A. How is FlexiQule different to other joint supplements?

A. This formulation harnesses the combined benefits of two powerful natural active ingredients BoswelliaG301 and GingerG321 extracts to manage the body’s inflammatory response and maintain joint health.

Ginger, being the first cultivated plant since 5000 years for joint pain, it helps manage inflammatory response and the Boswellia plant is known historically to be the Three Kings gift to Jesus, has been shown in studies to reduce pain and help to maintain cartilage and prevent the formation of leukotrienes in the body, which trigger inflammation and joint pain.

The mechanism of action of this formulation is totally different from that of Nonsteroidal, including Aspirin, modulating specific pain and inflammation receptors, which ensures a safe long term use, with no side effects.

Q. What are the benefits of PhytoRelief?

A. The benefits of Phytorelief are: prevention of cold and flu if you are using the product in cold seasons. The three components of Phytorelief are all endowed with antiviral and mainly antibacterial activity due to increased biosynthesis of lysozyme, a physiologic antibacterial agent. In addition it is reported in published studies that the polyphenolic components of pomegranate naturally and incommutably protects against viruses, and all cold & flu related virus types including mutant strains.

Pomegranate extract stimulates the immuno-system increasing the biosynthesis of interferon-gamma, meaning, it creates a protective defence barrier in your saliva directly. Excellent formulation for supporting your immune system throughout the year.

Q. How does Ginger help with the respiratory tract?

A. Ginger has been used for over thousands of years in Far Asian medicinal practises. Its amongst the highest consumed home remedies against cold and flu.

A clinical trial published in 2013 mentioned that gingerol protects the upper and lower respiratory tract against HRSV. Several papers shows that Ginger extract which are rich in 6-gingerol possesses anti-viral activities. We can witness Ginger’s activity in both upper and lower respiratory tract. Thus, Ginger has protective effects throughout the entire respiratory tract. A clinical trial published in 2015 emphasized the antibacterial effects against certain airway pathogens.

Q. What is the background of Alchem International?

A. Founded in 1935, Alchem International Pvt. Ltd. is a pioneer in the field of Phytochemicals with over 80 years of experience in providing plant derived active ingredients to the Pharmaceutical, Cosmetic and Nutraceutical industries across 35 countries globally. Alchem International has over 1000 employees worldwide, with three manufacturing sites across India and four International divisions; with offices in India, Europe, Hong Kong and the United States. The company successfully filed regulatory dossiers in over 20 countries, and exports 90 percent of the production out of India.

Alchem International Pvt. Ltd. is an export orientated company with sales in over 35 countries. Visit www.alchemlife.com/uk for more information.

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