The Benefits And Uses of Plant Extracts

Oct 28 2022

Plants have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In fact, the use of plant extracts dates back to ancient times. The medicinal properties of plants have been well documented in traditional medical systems such as Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine.

Today, there is a growing interest in the use of plant extracts for various purposes. Plant extracts are being used in the cosmetics industry, as well as in the food and beverage industry. They are also being used for the treatment of various diseases and disorders.

So, what are plant extracts? How do they work? And what are their benefits and uses? Keep reading to find out!

The Benefits And Uses of Plant Extracts

What are plant extracts?

Plant extracts are a combination of one or more active ingredients that are taken from plants. The original composition of the plant remains unaltered during the extraction process.

In some cases, excipients are used to create a powder or granular products that have desirable qualities like good fluidity and resistance to moisture absorption.

This can be done through various methods, including pressing, fermentation, or solvent extraction. Plant extracts are used in many different industries, including cosmetics, food and beverages, and pharmaceuticals.

Plant extracts are classified in many ways. Plant extracts can be classified into standardized extracts, simple extracts, purified extracts, and quantitative extracts according to the process and intrinsic quality.

According to the product form, it is divided into a liquid extract, solid extract, and soft extract. Also, according to the formula, they are divided into compound traditional Chinese medicine extracts, single-drug extracts, and component extracts.

The benefits of plant extracts

Plant extracts have long been used in traditional medicine for their therapeutic benefits. Today, these extracts are gaining popularity as people look for natural alternatives to conventional medicine.

Phytochemicals are natural compounds found in plants such as herbs, vegetables, and fruits that work with nutrients and fibers to support health-promoting functions and activities in the body.

There are many benefits to using plant extracts. They are often more potent than isolated compounds and can provide a wide range of benefits. Additionally, plant extracts can be easier to absorb and more tolerable than synthetic drugs.

Other benefits of using plant extracts include a long shelf life. Plant extracts are not easily degradable and consistent, and can maintain good quality for a long time. In addition, the extract’s active ingredient percentage is standardized to ensure the same high-quality extract ratio every time.

Recent studies have shown that plant extracts can have a positive effect on various health conditions, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. They can also help to boost cognitive performance, improve skin health, and reduce inflammation.

With all of these potential benefits, it’s no wonder that plant extracts are becoming more popular as a natural remedy. If you’re looking for a safe and effective way to improve your health, you can consider adding some plant extracts to your diet or skincare routine.

Application of plant extracts

There are various kinds of plant extracts and their functions are also diverse. An extract often has different effects, but it can be roughly divided into the following five categories.

1. Colorants

Botanical extracts have been used for centuries as colorants in a variety of applications. Today, plant extracts are still used extensively as colorants in the cosmetics, food, and textile industries. Many plant extracts contain natural pigments that can be used to add color to products.

There are a wide variety of plant extracts that can be used as colorants. Some of the most common include annatto, beets, carrots, hibiscus, mint, and turmeric.

Each of these plants contains unique pigments that can be used to create different colors. For example, annatto extract can be used to create a yellow or orange color, while beets can be used to create a pink or red color.


2. Sweeteners

An increasing number of people are looking for natural alternatives to sugar and other artificial sweeteners. Plant extracts can be a great way to sweeten food and drink without using artificial ingredients. Plant extracts are rich in characteristic components that can effectively stimulate the senses, such as sweeteners and volatile substances.

Natural sweeteners are a popular new type of sweeteners, which not only have outstanding sweetness, but also are ideal substitutes for sucrose, and have significant health effects.

There are many different plant extracts that can be used as sweeteners. Some of the most popular include stevia, monk fruit, and xylitol. Each of these plant extracts has its own unique flavor and sweetness level.


3. Pharmaceutical raw materials

The therapeutic properties of plant extracts have been utilised for centuries in traditional medicines. Nowadays, they are being examined more frequently for their potential as pharmaceutical raw materials.

Plant extracts contain a large spectrum of compounds that can be used to treat numerous diseases and ailments. Some plant extracts, for example, have been demonstrated to display anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-viral properties.

With further research, plant extracts could be developed into treatments for a wide range of diseases and conditions. In the meantime, they continue to be used in traditional medicines to help people achieve better health and well-being.

  • TCM formula granules

Single-flavor TCM decoction pieces are extracted, concentrated, dried, and granulated to create TCM formula granules. After the TCM clinical formula, patients can use the granules to brew their own TCM decoction. TCM formula granules are supplements to traditional TCM decoction pieces.

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine Extracted API

The active ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine Extracted API is isolated through extraction and separation from traditional Chinese medicinal materials or natural plants. It is a drug with clear active pharmaceutical ingredients and a content of more than 90%.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Extracted API has a drug approval number and can be used as a traditional Chinese medicine preparation. Some of the main products that can be used as raw materials for chemical preparations are artichoke, paclitaxel, and camptothecin.

  • Standardized Chinese medicine extract

The term “standardized Chinese medicine extract” encompasses the volatile oil, grease, dip green, liquid extract, dry extract, active ingredients, active parts, and other ingredients.

It typically refers to the traditional Chinese medicine extracts included in the Pharmacopoeia under “vegetable oils and extracts.” The 2015 edition of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia lists 47 different vegetable oils and extracts.

Standardized Chinese medicine extract
Adapt to the disease Main varieties
Cold Echinacea, feverfew, ginger
Nervous system syndrome (depression, nervousness, tank sleep disorder) St. John’s Wing, Buwa pepper, Valerian, Cinchona, Matricaria
Cardiovascular and circulatory system disorders Ginkgo biloba, kudzu root, hawthorn, garlic, hemp, black bilberry
Obesity Accumulation, Centella Asiatica, Cypress berries
Senile disorders (dementia, memory loss, enlarged prostate) Huperzine A, Saw Palmetto, Nettle, Ginkgo
Boost energy Acanthopanax senticosus, ginseng
Female menstrual syndrome Soy Isoflavones, Red Clover, Angelica
Indigestion Aloe Vera, Garlic, Pepper, Mint, Papaya, Fennel

4. Health products

The components in plant extracts include glycosides, acids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, terpenes, flavonoids, alkaloids, etc. These components have been proven to have biological activity in research, and have a non-negligible effect on human health. The development of plant extracts has become the mainstream application trend of plant extracts.

Health products
Function Main functional additives
Weight loss/lowering blood lipids/lowering blood sugar Gymnema sylvestre, Coleus, Fenugreek, Luo Han Guo, Green Tea Extract, Apple Polyphenols, Panama Wood, Bitter Gourd Polypeptides, Guar Gum, Plum Extract, etc.
Brain/Puzzle/Anti-Brain Aging Ginkgo biloba, Morinda officinalis, Rhodiola rosea, ginseng, Madecassoside, shiba, Vinpocetine, Ganoderma lucidum, Grifola frondosa, theanine, Acanthopanax senticosus
Anti-cancer/enhancing immunity Echinacea, Vinblastine series products, European maritime pine bark extract, alfalfa root, lycopene, anthocyanins, green tea, licorice, soybean isoflavones, Ganoderma lucidum spore powder, various fungi (such as lentinan, cloud Zhi polysaccharide, Lingyi polysaccharide, monkey mushroom, Grifola frondosa, mulberry extract, etc.), garlic
Improve eyesight/Yellow shift for the elderly Blueberry (Bilberry), Grape Seed, Chinese Black Bean, Green Tea Extract, Calendula officinalis, and Marigold Extract

5. Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements are a popular choice for those looking to improve their health and well-being. Often made from natural ingredients, these supplements can provide a range of benefits depending on their specific formulation.

Plant extracts are commonly used in dietary supplements due to their high concentration of active compounds. These extracts can provide a wide range of health benefits, from improving cognitive function to supporting immunity. Some of the most popular plant extracts used in dietary supplements include ginseng, green tea, and turmeric.

Dietary Supplements
Adjustment function Main functional additives
Intestinal function Oligosaccharide dietary fiber, lactic acid bacteria
Cholesterol Soy Protein, Phytosterols, and Esters, Phytostanols, and Esters
Triglycerides, body fat Medium chain fatty acids, green tea catechins, EPA, DPA, diglycerides
Blood pressure Peptides, Amino Acids
Blood sugar Dietary fiber, polyphenols, wheat albumin, L-arabinose
Bone health Calcium, Magnesium, Soy Isoflavones, Milk-Based Peptides
Tooth health sugar alcohol

To wrap things up

As society pays more and more attention to food and drug safety, more and more attention is paid to the development and utilization of active ingredients from natural plants. A large number of plant extracts that are safe to eat and have certain nutritional efficacy have been used as raw materials in various ways.

Nutritional functional foods and healthy foods have entered people’s lives and will play an increasingly important role. If you are interested in using plant extracts, contact Focusherb for more information.

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