What is a Standardized Extract...?

November 10, 2017

What is a standardized extract... and how is it different from a whole herb?

Before anyone knew how to extract elements from whole herbs, early practitioners used herbs only in their whole form. A whole herb is a dried and powdered form of the herb, minimally processed so that it retains the full spectrum of natural compounds originally found in the plant material.

Some health practitioners prefer whole herbs because they are closer to the natural state of the plant. These are often more gentle on the system than herbal extracts.

A standardized extract is created by "pulling out" (extracting) specific compounds from a plant. Standardized Saw Palmetto Berry Extract, for example, is extracted from the fresh berries of the saw palmetto tree.

In many cases, standardized extracts are used in studies on herbs because the active ingredients can be monitored for consistency, whereas natural herb powders will vary.

When you're comparing labels, be sure the percent of any extract is documented. For example, 85-95% sterols and fatty acids is the industry standard for Saw Palmetto Berry Extract.





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