Active ingredients provide the health benefits in botanicals and each herb has its own particular active ingredients such as gisenosides in ginseng, cascarosides in cascara bark and flavonoids in licorice root, to name just a few. The concentration of active ingredients found in an herb will vary according to growing conditions, soil conditions, how they’ve been harvested and preserved as well as how long they’ve been in storage.
If you grow and harvest fresh herbs yourself to use in salads or teas, you have control over the quality. In the retail store, it’s a much different story. You’re faced with a multitude of choices and not enough information to make an informed decision. All the bottles facing you contain the same her…but herbs without a high level of active ingredients are like yogurt without an active culture. In other words, useless!
Fortunately, recent advances in extraction process, coupled with improved analytical methods, have ensured that companies who use standardized methods of extracting and measuring the active ingredients have the highest level of quality control.
Standardization is the ability to accurately measure the active ingredient in each botanical. For example, in the case of ginseng, the active ingredient ginsenosides would be the compound measured and standardized to a specific concentration, to ensure a quality product.
So no matter what form the herb is or how it’s been processed, standardization guarantees that the active botanical ingredient is at the specified level. In other words, only buy herbs from a company you know and trust.