Why Liquid Extract is Superior to Capsules or Powder?
Q: Why are herbs in liquid herbal extract form preferable over dried herbs found in capsule or tablet form?
A: The success of herbal medicines as healing agents is dependent upon how active their constituents (ingredients) are when you ingest them. For maximum therapeutic benefits it is important to take herbs in the form that best captures and preserves their active constituents. Liquid herbal extracts achieve these goals. This is why they are one of the most therapeutically beneficial form of herbs available on the market today.
The body does not need to break down a liquid extract thus allowing more of the medicinal properties to be absorbed into the system. This makes an extract much more powerful than a capsule or tablet. When using capsules or tablets, the body must first extract or break down the medicinal properties of the herb to be bio-available.
Liquid extracts take 1-4 minutes to assimilate whereas capsules or tablets (pills) can take from 20-30 minutes just to break down, before the body can even start to assimilate them. The body uses a staggering 98% of our liquid extracts versus approximately 39-53% of capsules or tablets. In order for any nutrient to reach the cells of the body, it must first be suspended in a solution. Or in other words it must be liquid. As a rule, the nearer a herbal preparation approaches the liquid form, the quicker and more completely it will assimilate and take effect in your body. The conclusion is liquid extracts are the best choice
The herbs found in tablet or capsule form are ground months prior to appearing on store shelves. These products lose many of their active ingredients both when they are ground and while they are in storage. Herbal tablets also contain fillers, binders, and other materials necessary to compress the ground herbs into tablet form. Tablets must also be dissolved by the body’s digestive system before the herbs can be assimilated. Herbal capsules tend to be better than tablets because they do not contain the extra manufacturing materials and they dissolve easily in the stomach. However, if the person is not digesting and assimilating well, the potential therapeutic benefits of herbs in tablet and capsule form diminishes because it is the digestive system’s role to free the active constituents from the fiber and cellulose. Additionally, the herbs in capsule and tablet form lose potency as they are exposed to oxygen (capsules oxidize more rapidly than tablets).
Herbs in liquid extract form, on the other hand, contain no fillers, binders, or “extra” ingredients so they are immediately assimilated into the body. The plant fibers and cellulose do not have to be broken down or digested in order for the body to absorb them. In liquid form, the herbs are immediately available for assimilation into the bloodstream, glands, and organs. Even a person with poor digestion and assimilation can enjoy the full therapeutic benefits of liquid herbal extracts.
Q: Most herbalists recommend liquid herbal extracts over other forms of herbs. Can you explain why?
A: Most herbalists prefer liquid herbal extracts over other forms of herbs for four main reasons: freshness, potency, absorption and formulation.
Freshness: As detailed in the previous answer, herbs in liquid herbal extract form retain their freshness and potency over a longer period of time than ground herbs in capsule or tablet form. Also, in many instances, using fresh [undried] herbs is a unique way to deliver the specific properties and herbal constituents necessary for healing. Liquid herbal extracts are the only type of products that may start with fresh [undried] herbs that are picked and processed the same day to protect and preserve specific active constituents only found in fresh herbs. On the other hand, herbs found in capsules, tablets, teas, and loose herbs, must first be dried before being used. This process saps them of distinct fresh active constituents necessary for healing. Freshness is also dependent on when and how herbs are ground. Super-cold (cryogenic) grinding, done minutes before extraction of the herbs, is effective in preserving all of the herbs’ active ingredients because it prevents evaporation of essential oils and degradation of other active substances.
Potency: Herbalists have long recognized that potency is not about isolating a single “active constituent”. Potency is the result of the interaction of many constituents within each herb. Herbal products must contain a full spectrum of bioavailable constituents to promote the maintenance of health and support the body’s own healing process. Liquid herbal extracts deliver more bioavailable constituents than any other herbal supplements.
Absorption: Liquid herbal extracts bypass the digestive process and enter the bloodstream rapidly. This makes them the most effective way for the body to absorb the medicinal principles from herbs. Once assimilated, the herbal constituents start working in your body within minutes.
Formulation: Liquid herbal extracts can effectively deliver the healing power of several herbs at once. Years of clinical experience has shown that herbal formulas, comprised of several herbs, produce better results than single herbs. In a formula, each herb is designed to support a specific body system in a manner that complements the action of the other herbs, and the systems they support. Well-designed, time-tested formulations support the body’s healing needs. [Credit Herbs, etc].
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The following is a list of clinical trials, most double-blinded and placebo-controlled, recorded at the National Medical Library, MEDLINE, as abstracted by GreenMedInfo for moringa oleifera:
1. Moringa oleifera and Amaranth possess antioxidant properties and have therapeutic potential for the prevention of complications during postmenopause.
2. Moringa oleifera leaves have high antioxidant properties, probably due to direct free radical trapping and metal chelation.
3. These results support the potential of extracts of M. oleifera leaf in the treatment of human liver and lung cancers.
4. A moringa oleifera extract was shown to be comparable to the standard, 5-Fluorouracil treated animals.
5. An extract of moringa oleifera demonstrated chemopreventive and anti-leukemic activities as much as the standard anti-leukemic drug cyclophosphamide.
6. Curcumin enhanced therapeutic efficacy of M. oleifera root extract and showed better antioxidant potential against beryllium toxicity.
7. Low doses of Moringa revealed excellent antidiabetic activity and almost restored the diabetic rats to the normal healthy state.
8. M. oleifera based food can be used as a significant source of folate.
9. M. oleifera leaves could be used in the treatment and management of erectile dysfunction.
10. Methanolic leaf extract of M. oleifera caused a significant immunostimulatory effect on both the cell-mediated and humoral immune systems in the Wistar albino rats.
11. Moringa leaves play an important role in ameliorating and protecting the bladder from CP [Cyclophosphamide] toxicity.
12. Moringa oleifera are a valuable source of vitamin A.
13. Moringa oleifera exhibits antioxidant, hypolipidemic and antiatherosclerotic activities.
14. Moringa oleifera exhibits liver protective properties in rats receiving antitubercular drugs.
15. Moringa oleifera extracts had analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties.
16. Moringa oleifera has a cholesterol lowering effect in an animal model.
17. Moringa oleifera has a preventive and curative effect on calcium oxalate stone formation (urolithiasis) in rats.
18. Moringa oleifera has an ameliorating effect for glucose tolerance in rats.
19. Moringa oleifera has significant wound healing property.
20. Moringa oleifera inhibits arsenic-induced oxidative stress and may act as an arsenic chelator.
21. Moringa oleifera inhibits skin lesions associated with herpes simplex virus type 1 in mice.
22. Moringa oleifera leaf extract ameliorates alloxan-induced diabetes in rats by regeneration of β cells and reduction of pyruvate carboxylase expression.
23. Moringa oleifera leaf extract prevented testicular injury caused by electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones.
24. Moringa oleifera leaf possesses significant cardioprotective properties.
25. Moringa oleifera leaves have significant anti-diabetic activity in a rat model.
26. Moringa oleifera may be useful in reducing the effects of arsenic-induced toxicity.
27. Moringa oleifera may have therapeutic value in the treatment of hyperthyroidism.
28. Moringa oleifera may prevent hyperlipidemia and tissue changes in liver cells due to iron-deficiency.
29. Moringa oleifera may provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease in a rat model.
30. Moringa oleifera oil is beneficial as an antioxidant in mercury chloride induced oxidative damage.
31. Moringa oleifera prevents acetaminophen induced liver injury through restoration of glutathione level.
32. Moringa oleifera protects against antitubercular drug induced damage in rats.
33. Moringa oleifera protects against ulcer formation by modulating serotonin.
34. Moringa oleifera seed extract can be used as herbal medication against HFD[High Fat Diet] induced ROS [Reactive Oxygen Species] mediated disorders.
35. Moringa oleifera seed extract has anti-arthritic activity in rats.
36. Moringa oleifera seed extract have therapeutic activity in systemic and local anaphylaxis.
37. Moringa oleifera seed extract may have value in the treatment of chemically stimulated immune-mediated asthma.
38. Moringa oleifera seed powder could have beneficial effects in cardiac diseases associated with blood pressure overload.
39. Moringa oleifera seeds hydro-alcoholic extract (MSHE) and its chloroform fraction (MCF) were both effective in treating experimental colitis and this might be attributed to their similar major components, bio-phenols and flavonoids.
40. Oral administration of an aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera activated cellular immunity in HSV-1-infected mice.
41. Supplementation of dried M. oleifera fruit powder to fluorosis affected calves resulted in significant reduction in plasma fluoride level.
42. The addition of M. oleifera to diet afforded significant protection against nickel-induced nephrotoxicity.
43. The antifatigue properties of M. oleifera extract are demonstrated by its ability to improve body energy stores and tissue antioxidant capacity.
44. The results of the present investigation showed the antidepressant activity of ethanolic Moringa oleifera extract in mice.
45. These conclusions suggest that moringa oleifera may be an effective dietary food for the prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
46. These results showed that hypoglycemic effects of methanolic extracts of moringa oleifera might be mediated through the stimulation of insulin release leading to enhanced glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis.
47. This traditional dietary supplement is justified in hypertensive patients according to its composition and its ability to reduce blood pressure has been demonstrated experimentally.
48. Acacia arabica and moringa oleifera could be used as potential wound dressing materials.
49. Extracts of Moringa oleifera inhibit DNA damage and free radical activity.
50. M. oleifera extracts suppressed the expression of inflammatory mediators in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced toxicity-stimulated macrophages.
51. M. oleifera flower extract can be a potent inhibitor of inflammation through NF-κB signaling pathway.
52. M. oleifera has statistically significant cytotoxic effects on HeLa, HepG2, MCF-7, CACO-2 and L929 cells.
53. M. oleifera leaf extract has an effect on lowering the creatinine concentration of serum.
54. M. oleifera leaves are good sources of natural antioxidant with isoquercetin as an active compound.
55. M. oleifera may be a potential source for the treatment of different infections caused by the resistant microbes.
56. Moringa oleifera contains compounds which show promise as anti-cancer agents.
57. Moringa oleifera contains compounds with hypotensive activity.
58. Moringa oleifera extracts act as an anti-cancer agent by decreasing cell motility and colony formation in colorectal and breast cancer cell lines.
59. Moringa oleifera has antifungal activity against various dermatophytes.
60. Moringa oleifera inhibits Epstein-Barr virus activity.
61. Moringa oleifera-mediated silver nanoparticles had anticancer activity in human cervical carcinoma cells by apoptosis induction.
62. Moringa oleifera prevents ulcer formation in gastric tissue.
63. Review: Moringa oleifera has a variety of medicinal uses.
64. This study indicates that extracts from M. oleifera may be developed as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of leishmaniasis.*