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Why Organic Whole Herbs?
Why Organic Whole Herbs?

What is the advantage of using the whole herb, rather than isolated constituents or standardized extracts?

Not only is it a generally held belief of herbalists that the most effective therapeutic agent is the whole herb, but there is evidence to support this as well.

Nowadays there is such an array of different herbal supplements available it can be a bit of a conundrum trying to decide which to use.

We are all becoming aware of the advantages of using organic produce as regards the benefits for the environment, but are organic herbs advantageous on a therapeutic level/? Well, there are therapeutic reasons to choose organic.

Firstly, herbs that have been produced organically do not contain herbicide and pesticide residues; such residues have been shown to act as xeno oestrogens (foreign or synthetic oestrogens) which can disrupt fertility and hormonal function in both men and women.

Secondly, herbs need to be subjected to healthy stress levels when they grow in order to produce the secondary metabolites which are their active constituents, produced in response to the stresses of growing in their native habitats, or a similar environment under cultivation. IF plants have it too easy with an excess of artificial fertilizer and water then they will produce a mass of lush green growth but few secondary metabolites , so organically grown herbs can contain higher levels of active constituents.

Choose locally produced herbs. We have heard a lot about food miles and the cost to the environment of shipping food thousands of miles, and the same applies to all products – by choosing products which are locally produced we reduce carbon emissions.

Also look at how much the product has been processed – the closer to the whole plant that a product is the less activity it will have lost during processing and a lower environmental impact. And finally, the closer it is to nature the more in tune with our own metabolism it will be.

* More and more research into herbal medicines is showing that whole herbs often show a better bioavailabilty (they are better absorbed and used by the body).
* that they can have reduced side effects since they contain the constituents which the plant produces to ensure that they are buffered against side effects,
* that the constituents in the whole herb act together to produce a synergistic effect.

Also, in several notable cases it has been shown that not all the active ingredients can be isolated by modern analytical techniques, in other words there are bits in there which the scientists cannot identify. So by taking the whole herb we get the benefit of everything in the plant. So Anu Organics brand which contain the herb, the whole herb and nothing but the herb.

Whole herbs also contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals which assists the human metabolic processes, and in some cases are present in significant enough
levels to act as vegetable sources of supplementation.

When standardised extracts are used which contain the whole herb, but have what is seen as the principal active constituent corrected to a higher level, problems can occur. With such products there tends to be a higher incidence of adverse events, including side effects and undesirable interactions with pharmaceutical drugs. This has been seen with herbs such as Kava Kava, St. John's Wort and Gingko biloba.

Finally, remember that we are part of nature and the natural world. We have co-evolved with the plants that provide these medicines. We are complex natural organisms, which respond well to complex natural medicines. Also, remember that by choosing these kinds of products we help to enhance the planet’s health as well as our own – an issue which is receiving some long needed attention at last!