Don’t Be Fooled. Not All Supplements Are Equal.

Are Practitioner Only Supplements Different Supermarket Supplements?

1. Firstly Let’s Look at the Quality

I go to great lengths to find the supplements and companies to deal with. Also, each company has to have a high level of quality assurance and use independent quality control laboratories.

2. Purity and Identity

Each company must use independent laboratories to analyse and check purity and identity: 

  • Appearance and Colour.
  • Smell Texture.
  • The content of specified actives.
  • Identify the exact herb with “Thin Layer Chromatography fingerprinting”.
  • Microbial levels.
  • Amount of other material.
  • Pesticides and herbicides.
  • Heavy metals.
  • Aflatoxins.
  • Radiation levels.

3. Stringent Safeguards

Each company I deal with has to have stringent safeguards against:

  • Herbal substitution: Where a cheaper variety herb substitutes the real one.
  • Adulteration: Due to, a cheaper herb is mixed in with a high-quality one.
  • Poor quality: As a result of different growing methods. Also storing herbs can be far from ideal. And then, it may change the therapeutic effect.

4. Is Quality Control That Important? 

There been safety issues with substitutions? Unfortunately in 2002, in Australia, a substitution occurred with the replacement of Skullcap with Kava and two other herbs. The implication was severe with this substitution linked to a death. As a result of the “Therapeutic Goods Administration” TGA moved quickly to remove all the related products from the market.

By the way, keep an eye on this post. I do update it from time to time when I not with patients.

Supplements aren’t Supplements like Oils aren’t Oils

Despite common framing technics. The raw ingredients like herbs can vary wildly in quality and potency depending on growing conditions and manufacturing processes. In comparison here are the three main ways to attain herbs:

Wildcrafted Herbs

On the whole, wildcraft herbs come from the wild where they grow naturally.

  • They are not always the best. 
  • Who knows where they are grown, maybe in a city near a polluted river. 
  • May be contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.
  • Not picked for optimal levels of potency. 
  • Harvested methods may contaminate the herb with weeds and insects. 
  • Stored methods, are they free of moisture, fungi, and is it partially fermented.

Trade Herbs

Trad herbs, is where conventional farming techniques are employed.

  • Don’t know what you are getting. 
  • The source of the herbs can come from anywhere.
  • Some people are unscrupulous there could use cheaper varieties.
  • Contamination from, moisture, fungi, partially fermented, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals. 

Organically Growing Herbs

Organic herbs are grown with no use of synthetic or toxic substances.

  • Organic does not mean the best harvesting practices.
  • Was it tested to have the active activity constituents before harvesting?
  • Organic farmers can still use natural pesticides and herbicides. 
  • Organic herbs are expensive.
  • Price is no guarantee of quality. That kind of thinking is miss-founded.

Are you inspired and feeling passionate about this article?

Let me know. I would love to hear from you. Furthermore, if you think of a friend or someone special that you would like to read this story, feel free to share it with them. It might be the change they are looking for. Ultimately, my goal is to provide you with the knowledge to make an informed decision on the way to best support your health goals.

If there are any aspects of your diet or health, you would like to discuss or clarify. Contact us through this website or if it is of a more private nature contact me directly.

In wisdom and good health
Phone: 0409 278 320

Written by: Brendon Groves Clinical Naturopathic Practitioner and Founder of Groves Naturopathics

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