Plant extracts use plants as their raw material. Utilizing physical and chemical processes of extraction and separation, one or more active ingredients in the plants are obtained and concentrated without altering their original structure. The end product is a range of products with specific desired effects.
There is a wide array of botanical and herbal products available today that have been shown to be effective in promoting health and longevity for those suffering from acute and chronic illnesses.
You may be surprised to know that many modern pharmaceutical drugs originate from plant sources. For example, Salicin comes from willow bark, and morphine is derived from the opium poppy.
Classification of plant extracts
Plants have been employed for medicinal purposes for centuries. In the modern era, plant extracts are used in a variety of different products, from dietary supplements to skincare products. But how are they classified?
According to the content of active ingredients
The active ingredients in a given medication can be classified into three categories: effective monomer extract, standard extract, and ratio extract.
According to the ingredients
According to its ingredients, it can be classified into groups such as glycosides, acids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, terpenes, flavonoids, and alkaloids. According to the product form, it can be divided into vegetable oil, extract, powder, lens, etc.
According to the use
Plant extracts can be classified into four broad categories based on their usage: natural pigment products, traditional Chinese medicine extracts, extracts, and concentrated products.
Natural pigment products utilize plant-based pigments to add coloration to other products. Traditional Chinese medicine extracts are derived from plants that are used in traditional Chinese medicinal practices.
Extracts are made from a variety of plant parts and are used in an assortment of products, such as food and cosmetics. Concentrated products are created by extracting the active ingredients from plants and are used in products such as medicine and cosmetics.
Application of plant extracts
The application range of plant extracts is very wide. As people gradually come to trust and rely more on natural products, an increasing number of plant extracts are being used in health care products and food ingredients, in addition to their traditional use in traditional Chinese medicine products.
Plant extracts have a range of applications in cosmetics and animal feed, making them an important resource.
There are various kinds of plant extracts and their functions are also diverse. An extract often has different effects, but can be roughly divided into four categories: coloring, flavor output, pharmacological effects, and health care functions.
Plant pigments are the main components of plant color. Some plants have abnormally rich pigments and can be used for pigment extraction. There are dozens of plant pigments available in my country, such as curcumin, safflower yellow, radish red, beet red, sorghum red, chili red, etc.
Plant extracts often contain characteristic components that can effectively stimulate the senses, such as sweeteners and volatile substances.
Natural sweeteners are a popular new type of sweetener, which not only have outstanding sweetness, but also are ideal substitutes for sucrose, and have significant health effects. Such as stevioside, mogroside, etc.
Essential oils are concentrated aromatic compounds that are often used in the creation of fragrances. They are also the industry with the lowest application threshold and the least regulatory restrictions in plant extracts.
The use of Chinese herbal medicines has a long and prosperous history in Asia. In recent years, driven by the concept of traditional Chinese medicine, it has become world-renowned.
Health care function
The components in plant extracts include glycosides, acids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, terpenes, flavonoids, alkaloids, etc. These components have been proved to have biological activity in research and have a non-negligible effect on human health. The development of its health care function has become the mainstream application trend of plant extracts.
The benefits of plant extracts
Concepts such as green consumption and returning to nature have become consumer fashions. The natural properties of plant extracts meet the needs of consumers and are conducive to building a sustainable ecological market.
Plant extracts are the middle link of the entire industrial chain. The upstream connects agricultural planting, and the downstream undertakes product development and application. Its product line is highly variable, and its cost and technical input are clearly structured. It is appropriate for organizations at various stages to implement. The added value is also high.
Here are the three main benefits botanical extracts provide:
One of the primary advantages of botanical extracts is that the phytochemicals they contain are potent and easily absorbed. Unlike when we eat plants, which have to be digested before the nutrients and beneficial compounds they contain can be absorbed into the bloodstream, botanical extracts bypass the digestive process and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This makes their effects more immediate.
Plants have always had potent healing advantages, which is why consuming a diet plentiful in a variety of colorful vegetables, fruits, and fresh-cut herbs has profited many people afflicted by chronic illness.
However, sometimes it can be challenging to take in all of the nutrients and useful compounds like antioxidants from food sources, especially if our digestion is weakened or we have pre-existing chronic infections.
This is where botanical extracts come in. They can provide an added layer of healing properties that complement a well-balanced diet and lifestyle.
Another significant advantage of botanical extracts is that they can be formulated into liquid tinctures. They can be taken directly from the container using a dropper and added to nourishment or beverage. It also can combine with other botanical extracts to create therapeutic syrups, teas, ointments, essential oils, and so on.
Botanical extracts are a good choice if you are someone who has difficulty swallowing capsules or tablets. Because it is liquid-based and easy to consume. For tincture bases, there are many choices to fit your needs, such as alcohol, glycerin, water, and even vinegar.
The ability to isolate and combine certain bioactive compounds and herbs provides a highly customizable and targeted approach to health. Too many ingredients can overwhelm the system, and some may not even be necessary.
Botanical extracts provide targeted therapeutic properties for specific health problems, combined with various products for optimal therapeutic effect.
Other benefits of using extracts include extended shelf life because they are less prone to degradation and consistency. They can also selectively supplement the substances that the body lacks, and add more and higher levels of nutrients and plant extracts to the products.
Plant extracts and your health
Extracts from plants are becoming increasingly important as additives in the food industry because of their content of bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols and carotenoids. These compounds have antimicrobial and antioxidant activity, which can help improve the shelf life and color stability of food products.
They also have the potential to replace synthetic compounds, which are generally considered to have toxicological and carcinogenic effects.
The efficient extraction of these compounds from their natural sources and the determination of their activity in commercialized products are great challenges for researchers and food chain contributors to develop products with positive effects on human health. Some plant extracts are thought to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer properties.
While more research is needed to confirm the potential health benefits of plant extracts, there is some evidence that these natural substances may offer a wide range of health benefits. If you are considering taking a plant extract supplement, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider first to discuss whether it is right for you.
Plant Extracts: Conclusion
The versatility of plant extracts allows for it to be used in various fields such as medicine, health food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. With advancing technologies and production processes, new extracts and application scenarios are continuously emerging. This demonstrates the large market space for plant extracts.
Plant extracts are gentle and congruent with the consumer trend of wanting products that are natural and free from pollution. Consequently, there is vast development potential for plant extracts in both the domestic and international markets.
In conclusion, plant extracts are powerful and important for your health. They can be used to treat a variety of conditions, from skin conditions to digestive disorders. If you are interested in plant extracts, contact Focusherb for more information.