Supplement Secrets


The supplement industry has secrets just like any other business. In this section you will learn how important the manufacturing process is to your health and well-being. Since you are looking at natural ways to improve your overall health, it indicates that you are intelligent and proactive. Now more than ever we must do more to protect ourselves from toxins.

1. QUALITY - Demand quality and look for supplements made with certified organic or wild crafted herbal ingredients. You will protect yourself from neurological problems and other degenerative disease when you use supplements of this quality. If you want a premium supplement look for the manufacturer that will use "Tilth" standard certified organic herbs in their products. What this means is the herbs were grown in soil that has not been touched with fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or ethylene oxide gas (which is a carcinogen)for at least five years prior to planting. The quality starts with the soil and herb companies that understand that are committed to producing supplements that deliver power, benefits and results. As you can guess this will make the product a little more expensive but it is well worth the investment. You'll find more information on Product Quality here.

2. IMPORTS - Avoid herbs from overseas. When they arrive at their destination they are either fumigated, irradiated or sprayed with ethylene oxide to destroy pests and E. Coli. The U.S. Department of Agriculture enforces these steps especially if herbs are from China, Eastern Europe, Egypt, Mexico and Spain where they have the worst growing and harvesting methods. The supplement industry will pay very little for herbs of this quality, whereas the Tilth standard herbs are between $20 - $50 per pound.

3. FORMULATION - Using top grade herbs is just the beginning in making supplements that work. Potency is key and formulas need a very tight ratio of 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 with regards to the volume of herbs and the catalyst they are soaked (aged) in. Look for manufacturers who use a tight ratio in their formulas.

4. PROCESSING - How do you ruin a perfectly good herbal supplement? You expose it to heat. Herbs are very heat and light sensitive and that is why you will see herb supplements in dark amber glass bottles. A majority of supplement manufacturers expose their products to heat in the manufacturing process. Some companies will cook their herbs into ash before using them. If you are looking into how herbal extracts or tinctures are made; the proper way is to naturally age them and cold press them for the very best potency. However, big supplement companies skip the aging process and force extract the herb liquids creating friction and heat. This allows them to make herbal tinctures in three days what should take 30 days. Press grapes today and you have grape juice; let it age and you have a Bordeaux wine. If you want a potent herbal supplement insist on naturally aged and cold pressed products.

5. FLAVOR - The consumer should become a connoisseur of herbs. Every herb has a signature taste. In other words, become familiar with what herbs should taste like so you know what you are getting. Herb products which are masked with flavorings are less potent.

6. WHO MAKES IT? - Your large pharmaceutical companies are in the herb supplement business. Supplement companies that reference any pharmacopeia and hire researchers to make the products are producing inferior products. How inferior? They will be one tenth the potency of an herb formula made by an experienced herbalist. Herbalists are genuinely interested in herbs, have hands-on experience and learn how to layer herbs for different benefits. Would you prefer an auto mechanic do your heart surgery? Likewise, why go to a pharmaceutical company for your herbs.

Most of the supplement brands are made quickly to get the product to market. A product like that on a scale of zero to 100 will score about a 20. Now you know what most consumers don't know about supplements.

Excerpt from The Power Herbs e-book written by Herbalist Wendy Wilson  

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