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Phytotherapy is increasingly in demand to help to solve the most common health problems. The scientific development of this discipline and the employing of innovative technologies have led to natural products with a denser concentration of active ingredients and therefore higher quality and efficiency.
In this article we discover the clues about how to choose a safe, effective and qualitative natural product.
Are all products effective?
Obviously, no. As in other areas, the quality of the raw material is decisive in the benefits the product will generate. It is therefore not the same to acquire one or another. The effectiveness depends on the amount it contains of the so called active ingredient that triggers the desired therapeutic effect. If the dosage of the compound or compounds is insufficient, the result is incomplete or zero. If it is too high, side effects may occur.
How can we differentiate an effective product from one which is not?
The best way is that the consumer informs himself and selects the products from a brand with guarantees. A consumer should not trust of those who do not identify the manufacturer's name in the package, as well as those who do not report the content of active ingredients, since this shows that the product and its ingredients are not analyzed. Even so, there are plenty of others that do feature details but without having the expected quality. This is due to the fact that many manufacturers do not make analytics in successive batches in order to cut costs. Moreover, in the case of plant extracts, companies that do not have their own crops and equipment necessary to prepare the extracts are forced to buy them supposedly standardized.
Usually, the provider reports the content of active ingredients and the producer only adds a fixed amount of the extract in the formula without the need for quantitative studies in different series. Our experience tells us that about 80 and 90 percent of these extracts have a much lower actual concentration than the one declared.
What other factors influence the quality of a phytotherapeutic product?
Apart from the concentration of active ingredients that should be quantified with the best possible methods, the consumer must take into account the sanitary safety of the product. It is common to find in the market capsules, tablets, drops or syrups of medicinal plants with widely differing prices.
Obviously not all are efficient; they are differentiated by their quality. It can not cost the same having a product containing plants of poor quality, harvested two or three years before, mixed or not with impurities or other cheaper plants, from which the active ingredients have been removed to produce extracts and that also lack of analytical tests (microbiological, heavy metals, pesticides, radioactivity ...), than others from freshly harvested plants from organic crops under continuous and periodic evaluations.
The consumer should value, above all, that the purchased product is completely safe, that it in no case will harm their health, and that ensures the therapeutic effect.