Refine Naturals™

What do you need to know about active ingredients found in natural health supplements?

As per the Health Canada, Natural health products (NHPs) are naturally occurring substances that are used to restore or maintain good health. They can be vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, traditional medicines like traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines, probiotics and other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids. NHPs are often made from plants, but can also be made from animals, microorganisms and marine sources. They come in a wide variety of forms like tablets, capsules, tinctures, solutions, creams, ointments and drops.

Natural health supplements are used and marketed for a number of health reasons, like the prevention or treatment of an illness or condition, the reduction of health risks, or the maintenance of good health. They must be safe to be used as over-the-counter products. Products needing a prescription are regulated as drugs.

Active ingredients Found in natural health supplements are the component of a medication or an NHP responsible for the medicinal effects. In addition to therapeutic benefit, an active ingredient can also cause side effects which can result in patient discomfort or worse. It is very important to choose constituents in an NHP in accordance to Health Canada’s monographs to ensure that all active ingredients are acting synergistically and treating/preventing the illness. Some of the active ingredients found in natural health supplements are yet known. Here is a List of few Active Ingredient found in natural health supplements:

Bacopa monnieri: Bacosides

Bacopa is a genus of 70–100 aquatic plants belonging to the family Plantaginaceae. Of these, Bacopa monnieri species (also known as brahmi, water hyssop, Bacopa monniera, and Herpestis monniera) is an herb with small oblong leaves and purple flowers, found in warm wetlands, and native to Australia and India. It is traditionally used for various ailments but is best known as a memory enhancer. The active ingredients in Bacopa is a group of triterpenoid saponins known as bacosides. As per the Health Canda’s monograph a standardised extract of Bacopa containing 40-55% of bacodsides helps support memory.

Current evidence suggests bacosides acts via increasing the blood flow in brain cells and by regulating the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.

St. John’s Wort(Hypericum perforatum): Hypericin, Hyperforin

St. John’s wort is a sprawling, leafy herb that grows throughout much of the world’s temperate regions. The use of this species as an herbal remedy to treat a variety of illnesses dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks. Since then, it has remained a popular treatment for anxiety, depression, cuts, and burns. The two main active ingredients of St. John’s wort are Hypericin and hyperforin. As per health Canada’s monograph 600-1800 mgs of St. John wort act as a calmative agent and help relieve nervousness when taken in standardised extract form containing 3-6% hyperforin and/or 0.12-.28% hypericin. Both hypericin and hyperforin act mainly by regulating the signal chemicals present inside the brain.

Gingko Biloba: Bilobides, gingkolides

Ginkgo biloba is believed to be the oldest living tree species. Ginkgo biloba is one of the most widely used and studied herbal products, and in Germany and China, it is the most commonly prescribed herbal medication. The major classes of active ingredients are the ginkgolides and bilobalides (also known as terpenes) and the flavonoids. Studies have shown that these active ingredients help improve memory by increasing the blood flow to the brain.

Panax Ginseng: Ginsenosides

Panax ginseng, also called Asian or Korean ginseng, has long been traditionally used in Korea and China to treat various diseases. The name panax means “all healing” and stemmed from the traditional confidence that ginseng can cure all illness of the human body. The major active ingredients of P. ginseng are ginsenosides, which have been shown to have a variety of therapeutic effects, including antioxidation, anti-inflammatory, vasorelaxation, antiallergic, antidiabetic, and anticancer. As per health Canada’s monograph a daily dose of 200-600 mg ginseng extract standardized to 4 - 7% total ginsenosides helps to achieve its action.

We at Refine Naturals carefully choose the ingredients ensuring they follow the Health Canada recommendations related to Active ingredients Found in natural health supplements ensuring right herb species, dosage, quality and standards.

At Refine Naturals, we realize that not all natural health supplements are created equal. We have concentrated our expertise in choosing quality and evidence based medicinal as well as non-medicinal ingredients. We keep our labels and marketing practices compliant to advertising standards, so as to never mislead consumers in their decision making.

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  6. Kim J. H. (2018). Pharmacological and medical applications of Panax ginseng and ginsenosides: a review for use in cardiovascular diseases. Journal of ginseng research, 42(3), 264–269.