Comments & technical data
05/08/17 After reading the EFSA REPORT on PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOIDS(PA), firstly understand what the alkaloids are, they are the plants defence mechanism that have developed over millions of years and are extremely effective. THE alkaloid attacks the browsing animal and causes severe liver damage and other health issues and CAN EASILY kill the browser at the correct concentration. So the use of herb material that contains Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids for use in internally used is extremely dangerous and kills the user at very low levels . LATEST REGULATIONS state that plant material containing PA’s should only be used and applied for EXTERNAL use only, because the lethal dose is extremely low, and MUST be labelled as such.
In 2017 there was a Hypericum (St.Johns Wort) product on sale , that contained Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids, first remember that Hypericum perf: does not contain any PA’s at all, so was a contaminated with the PA. The most possible way was through being collected with PA growing in the area as weeds , and not being removed before the Hypericum was harvested. The most probable PA plant involved would be Senecio jacoboaea, probably the most dangerous of the PA group, that grows very freely as a weed. It looks and smells very differently to the Hypericum, so the collection team, could not have recognised the contaminating plant, the PA. As the PA plant group increase their spread, the situation can only get worse……….. .So greater care must be applied when the herbal crop is being collected, and any PA weeds must be removed before colllection starts. The collection of herbal materials for Teas, can also be affected in the same way, so one should only buy herbal teas from safe , reliable sources..
Also the PA’s can appear in Honey, because it can be in the products collected by the bees,as nectar,etc, so if collected in an area where there is a high level of PA plants growing, the honey product must be adjusted to keep it below a certain level, or it can cause problems for human health, and possibly cause deaths.
I have put this note up, to try to make people understand that herbs are really safe, as long as they do not contain Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids………………………..And plants that contain PA’s should be treated with caution.
29/07/17 We do not understand, how it is possible to buy DNP as A SLIMMING PRODUCT , when it is an INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL, that is not considered fit for HUMAN CONSUMPTION. It has a very low toxicity level , so can easily kill the user. We consider that Dinitrophenol, should only be sold under licence, to stop further deaths, from a very toxic industrial chemical.
.28/10/16 We have found something that could be very interesting in application. When Trifolium pretense (flowering top)is extracted into an 80-20 glycerine mix at 1-3 over 60 days , the resulting extraction compound is showing signs of increasing the inflammatory response and is speeding up healing in certain topical applications. But the downside is that there is quite a lot of inflammation pain for a short period, but the action seems to be speeded up, and there is fast improvement. Also an alcohol extraction of the herb was tried, but the action was not repeated, so probably the extraction is making the difference. This has been proved when I spoke to an eminent Chemist, he explained, when you extract with alcohol , the polysaccharides, etc, are not extracted into the resulting extraction, so it is as Confucius stated, “it is not what, but how……………………..it is done”. So now you know.
21/08/16 UPDATE, the MHRA have been stating about lots of Dodgy and Fake Weight Loss products on the internet, that can at worst be LETHAL, or do nothing at all. So when you see that “quick fix” or “miracle product” , understand one thing there is no gain without some effort or pain.
You need to Look at your diet and Lifestyle,( If you are not sure , talk to your Doctor or Healthcare Professional ) ;- At Positive Herbs, WE RECOMMEND;-
Cutting out saturated fats, sugar and salt and ready made meals, & think, how do I eat my food- do I eat too fast, and do I chew my food thoroughly. And the biggest problem……………. Do I eat too late in the day, BY EATING EARLIER IN THE DAY, it is easier to lose weight.
And then the question, Am I doing enough exercise to burn off the food calories during the day, if you eat more calories that you burn off with exercise, you are going to put on weight, that is the way it is. “FAT BURNING” PRODUCTS DO NOT WORK, THE SCIENCE PROVES THAT.
Exercise doesn’t have to be in a gym, walking and running are brilliant exercise, that doesn’t cost anything to do, IT COMES DOWN TO MAKING THE TIME, BUT REMEMBER…………set achievable goals and use will-power to keep going, and don’t forget start with small achievements, then it works, AND THEN YOU ACHIEVE RESULTS.
21/08/16 UPDATE, At last, The Health Food Chain Holland & Barrett are come around to understanding that less preservatives are better , now they have a large range of dried fruits, nut etc that are preservative free and much more Natural and Safe. Also are now looking at cutting the sugar content of products, which is really good + lots of glutin free products………………..which is making life more simple for people with allergies. We eat some their preservative free dried seeds, nuts and fruits and use some of the glutin free products, in starting the day at breakfast time.
19/06/14 . At the latest BHMA meeting, there were very interesting talks on “WORKING WITH GENOTOX DATA in relation to THR renewals (by DICK MIDDLETON PhD, MGPhC), and PHYTOCHEMICAL MARKERS- Indentification and Potential in Regulatory and Clinical contexts ( by TONY BOOKER.PhD,MRSC, FLS). also another talk about CLINICAL MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HERBAL PRACTITIONERS (by DR CHRIS ETHERIDGE. PhD,MCPP, MRSC, CChem, DoIC, ARCS). The information is very interesting for individuals and companies involved in carrying the HERBAL INDUSTRY forwards, using knowledge and expertise.
As of the 30th April 2014, the Human Medicine Regulations for Herbal Medicine supplied by Shops and Outlets changes, will only be selling THR’s and authorised products, which are fully licensed………..So lot of products are going to disappear.
My Comments about proper natural formulating, I consider it comes down to working from a solid foundation , built on knowledge and full understanding of ingredients and interactions, + practical experience……even now, I find it is still possible to have the odd problem, then its back to check the calculations and then do step-trials. And finally, build with passion because it is better and works in practical application.
Clients ask me,” what makes a cream “light” in texture, that is easy to answer, the difference between light and heavier fuller preparations is………… the water or low viscosity synthetic oil content (depending on formulation) has been increased to make it easier to slap on, in this rush – rush world. I have increased the seed oil and wax content to give a fuller texture, that needs less applied in application. Most of our clients now understand why I am doing this………..I AM NOT USING CHEMICALS THAT CAN DAMAGE THE PERSON’S SKIN , they are beneficial, through the ingredients therein. The different oils and waxes have some very interesting applications and uses.
The British Herbal Medicine Association web site (www.bhma.info) is another place where lots of very useful information can be found, and is a really worth while visit to check out their book list – the new volume 1 and 2 British Herbal Compendiums are very up to date and are a pleasure to use, I find them great reading matter.
(UPDATE) The BHMA has produced a publication of ” the first 185 Traditional Herbal Registrations THR’s in the UK”, this booklet is very useful and full of information, and is a size that fits easily fit into ones pocket..
We are getting the same question , “how do you know how much herb you are taking”, and are the capsules made of vegetable material”. We make sure that the capsules are certified vegetable – we supply our clients with EU certified capsules , then check the amount of herbal powder in every tenth capsule made. BUT there are capsules out there that they say are vegetable, but are often contaminated and usually much cheaper to buy. So be careful if you are a vegan . We use EU CERTIFIED & PRODUCED capsules because they set rigorous standards.
Another method is to make teas made from dried herbs, but doing it this way you need hot water and a cup + you need to measure out the right amount to use and this can be very difficult on the move or when you are busy. We recommend that certain herbs should be washed before use, as they could be contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals or bacteria, the herbs processed in the EU comply with very strict standards, so should not require cleaning. SO…… speak to a Qualified Medical Herbalist who prepares or supplies dried herbs.
The main advantage of capsules filled on requirement, is that they contain no fillers or preservatives so that you get what you pay for and nothing else + there should be no risks from bacterial or pesticide contaminations, as long as the herbal powders have been processed to EU standards + they are made for your specific needs.
Another question we get asked a lot, “do herbal tinctures and dried herbs store well”?We prefer glass bottles for the storage of Alcohol tinctures, plastic bottles can have a problem with the release agent used in the process of making+ organic volatile compounds can migrate through plastics. If herbal tinctures are stored in a good container, in sensible conditions – these should store very well – if made properly.
With dried herbs, they are best stored in paper bags with the temperature kept constant, in a dry well aired cupboard.