Milk Thistle by Herb Pharm
Herb Pharm - Milk Thistle 140 mg. - 60 Vegetarian Capsules
Herb Pharm Milk Thistle assayed extract is prepared from pesticide-free, mature, dark seeds of Silybum marianum plants. By extracting with alcohol they avoid the harsh synthetic chemicals commonly used to extract Milk Thistle seeds, and they maintain the bioactivity of the original seeds themselves.
Herb Pharm Milk Thistle Highlights:
- Extracted with Pharmacopeial Alcohol
- Extract Has Less Than 0.5% Alcohol
- Never Extracted With Methanol, Petroleum Ether or Ethyl Acetate
- Never Fumigated or Irradiated
Quality, purity & environmental responsibility are at the heart of their philosophy and work, and their encapsulated herbs are no exception. They use only plants that are either certified organically cultivated, grown without herbicides or pesticides, or sustainably Custom Wildcrafted in their native habitat to ensure conservation of wild plants for future generations.
Custom Extracted Without Synthetic Chemical Solvents
There is no point in producing the purest quality herbs if in the end they pollute their extracts, and the environment, with harmful chemical solvents. Therefore in making our herbal extracts they use only natural pharmaceutical-grade alcohol and distilled water, and never commonly used synthetic chemical solvents like hexane, acetone, methanol, petroleum ether, and ethyl acetate.
Herb Pharm FAQ's
What is a liquid herbal extract?
A liquid herbal extract is a concentrated solution made by extracting (pulling or "washing") the herb's chemical constituents out of the inert herb fiber (cellulose) with a solution of alcohol and water or glycerine and water. A good liquid herbal extract should optimally preserve the aroma, taste and biological activity of the herb from which it is made. Vanilla extract is a commonly known liquid herbal extract.
Are extracts made from fresh herbs better than ones made from dry herbs?
Many people assume that a fresh herb extract is superior to a dry herb extract, but this is not necessarily true; it really depends upon the unique biochemical, biophysical and energetic properties of the specific herb being extracted. While some herbs do indeed make a superior extract when extracted while still fresh and succulent (e.g., Shepherd's Purse, Corn Silk), there are also many herbs which make a superior extract when extracted after the herb is dried (e.g., Hops, Grindelia). Also, some herbs are best extracted when semi-dried (e.g., Saw Palmetto), or fermented (e.g., Wild Cherry, Sweet Clover). Some are overly active when fresh and must be dried and aged one year before use (e.g., Buckthorn, Cascara Sagrada).
For thousands of years people have been using thousands of different herbs. While some of these herbs are used fresh, the vast majority is used in their dry form. Remember that each herb has its own unique properties and therefore must be treated accordingly. There are no universals when it comes to herbal handling and extraction.
What is the purpose of alcohol in liquid herbal extracts?
Grain alcohol is the best food-grade solvent for extracting and preserving many of the naturally occurring herb constituents that are poorly soluble in water.
The food-grade grain alcohol used to prepare liquid extracts serves three specific functions. First, alcohol is the only edible solvent that will extract and preserve many of the naturally occurring herb constituents that are poorly soluble in water, such as essential oils, resins, balsams and many alkaloids. Second, alcohol is an excellent natural preservative, which maximizes the shelf life of the extracts. Third, alcohol is a great carrying agent, which facilitates the absorption of the herb's constituents into the bloodstream.
How much alcohol is in liquid herbal extracts and how much alcohol am I really consuming?
The amount of alcohol in individual liquid extracts can vary from 20% to 90% depending on the herb being extracted and its content of alcohol and water-soluble constituents. For example, to fully extract Cayenne's pungent resins and orange-red pigments require at least 80% alcohol is required. A Cayenne extract made with a lower amount of alcohol will contain smaller amounts of Cayenne's resins and pigments, and therefore will be of lower quality than the higher alcohol extract.
The amount of alcohol you consume in a dose of liquid extract is actually very small. For example, taking 30 drops of Echinacea liquid extract (alcohol content of 45% to 50%) amounts to consuming 1/65th of a can of beer or 1/85th of an 8-ounce glass of wine. Also, if you mix those 30 drops of Echinacea liquid extract into 2 ounces of water, that mixture would contain only 0.59% alcohol.
Can I evaporate away the alcohol in liquid herbal extracts by mixing the extract drops into hot water?
A small amount of the alcohol can be removed this way but most of it will stay intimately mixed with the hot water and will remain so even if the water is boiled. That's because alcohol and water are extremely difficult to separate once they have been mixed. While adding extracts to hot water will not eliminate their alcohol, it can, in some cases, actually damage the extract. Many extracts are heat stable (e.g., Goldenseal) and adding them to hot water does no harm. However, other extracts are damaged by heat (e.g., Valerian) and can be weakened by adding them to hot water. Also, essential oils found in certain extracts (e.g., Lemon Balm, Chamomile) will be at least partially vaporized by hot water. Here you are left with a compromised extract, but the alcohol remains. If an extract is directed to be taken hot to increase its diaphoretic (sweat-inducing) action, it should be added to hot water that is not too hot to drink.
What is the best way to take liquid herbal extracts?
You should always put liquid extracts into water or juice for consumption. Taking them straight from the dropper may cause a burning sensation in the mouth and is discouraged. Mix the prescribed number of extract drops into 1 to 2 ounces of water unless the label directs otherwise. You can also add the drops to warm tea (not piping hot) or juice. Certain herbs, because of their stronger action, require more water. For optimal results, sip the mixed drops so you can savor the extract's flavor and aroma. Although you may not always like the taste, it contributes part of the therapeutic effect of the herb. Always follow label instructions. Some products require more water or have other special instructions for use such as the throat spray or eye drops.
What is the proper dosage of liquid herbal extracts for children?
Unless otherwise noted, all doses are for adults, but Clark's Rule can be used to convert the adult dose to a child's dose. Some extracts are not suitable for children. Consult your doctor for advice.
- Clark's Rule
Divide the child's weight (in pounds) by 150 to get the fraction of the adult dose to give to the child.
- Example: For a 50 pound child give 50/150 (or 1/3) of the adult dose. Therefore, if the adult dose is 30 drops taken 3 times per day, the child's dose will be 10 drops taken 3 times per day (not 30 drops taken 1 time per day). Some extracts are not suitable for children. Consult your doctor for advice.
How many drops are in a one-ounce bottle of liquid herbal extract?
The number of drops in a bottle of liquid extract will vary depending on the viscosity (thickness) of the extract. For example, one ounce of Herb Pharm's Goldenseal liquid extract contains 1,243 drops, Echinacea liquid extract contains 1,184 drops, and Marshmallow liquid extract, which is very viscous, contains only 1,000 drops. In general, most extracts fall within the range of 1,000 to 1,300 drops per ounce. This is equivalent to 25-32 individual doses per bottle.
How can I compare the dosage of herb capsules or tablets to the dosage of liquid herbal extracts?
Liquid herbal extracts are much easier to absorb and assimilate into the body than herb capsules and tablets. Herb capsules and tablets made from crude herb have to be digested (i.e., extracted) by your body before the herb's chemical constituents can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Since many herbs are very woody, digesting and absorbing them can be very difficult, especially for people with digestive problems. Therefore, much of the capsule or tablet remains undigested and never gets absorbed. However, the chemical constituents in a liquid herbal extract have already been "digested" and can therefore be readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Because of these differences, liquid herbal extracts are a much more efficient means of getting the chemical constituents out of the crude herb and into the bloodstream.
Because of the widely varying amount of hard-to-digest woody fiber in various herbs and the efficiency of absorbing and assimilating liquid extracts, it is impossible to directly compare liquid extracts with powders. Powders have the additional disadvantage of quickly losing their potency through oxidation, so more is needed to achieve the same effect. Fresh plant extracts are even more difficult to equate to powders because the fresh, un-dried plant has very different characteristics than the dried plant. They make extracts from fresh herbs for those plants that typically do not dry well either because they degrade or because some constituents volatilize upon drying. Drying and powdering these herbs places them at a still greater disadvantage. Always follow the label's recommendation for dosage.
What is the meaning of "pyrrolizidine alkoloids removed" on your Comfrey liquid extract?
About 3% of flowering plants contain a group of highly variable chemical compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs); Comfrey is in this group of plants. PAs can have a toxic effect on the liver when taken orally in large amounts or for extended periods of time. The amount and type of PAs in plants can vary greatly depending upon the botanical species and variety, growing conditions, plant part, and time of harvest. Occasional, small amounts of PAs are harmless to the body, but they can be cumulative. Children, the elderly and those with liver disease are more easily harmed by PAs and fetuses are particularly vulnerable.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has banned all sales of Comfrey for internal use, but it can still be sold for external use. Herb Pharm's Comfrey extract is now sold for external use only. Because of safety concerns, Canada, Australia, England and several European countries have banned the sale of PA-containing herbs, although Germany and Switzerland do allow the sale of PA-free (‹1 ppm) herbal products. The PAs can be removed by a chemical-free process (ion exchange), which removes nothing from the extract but the PAs and 2 to 3% of its minerals. This process does not compromise the quality of these PA-free extracts and they can be used without concerns about PA toxicity. To assure safety, Herb Pharm's Comfrey contains less than 1 ppm of PAs.
Are your products gluten-free and does grain alcohol contain gluten?
Yes, all of their products are gluten-free. Their grain alcohol is made from corn, which does not contain gluten.
About Herb Pharm
The "Pharm Farm"
The Heart of the Company
Surrounded by the spectacular Siskyou Mountains in southern Oregon, our 85-acre certified organic farm, which we affectionately call the "Pharm Farm", inspires our love for plants and demonstrates our deep reverence for Mother Nature.
The Pharm Farm affirms Herb Pharm's commitment to:
- the sustainable use of medicinal plants
- educating people about the use of herbs
- using only the highest quality herbs in our products
Purchased in 1993, the land we call the Pharm Farm is only two miles from our herbal extract production facility in Williams, Oregon. Bordered by medicinal trees like Ginkgo, Hawthorn, Thuja and Chaste Berry, are multi-hued fields of Echinacea, Chamomile, Calendula and over 100 species of medicinal plants that are being cultivated for use in our extraction laboratory. The Pharm Farm is where half of the tonnage used in our extracts are grown.
Seed to Shelf Quality Assurance
"Having our own farm assures consistency and quality from seed to shelf," states founder, Ed Smith. "This includes procuring organic seed, planting and cultivating in appropriate soil conditions, harvesting at the optimal time of season and day, and then carefully drying and storing for future use, or direct delivery of the fresh herbs to our production facility for immediate extraction."
Through cover cropping and the incorporation of various organic farming principles, we work to continually enrich the soil, thereby growing medicinal herbs rich in active constituents and vitality.
We strive to re-create, as much as possible, the natural habitat best suited to each plant. By doing this we nourish the earth, and cultivate plants containing constituents similar to those found in the wild.
Protecting Endangered Medicinal Plants
Besides meeting Herb Pharm's high standards and ever-increasing demand for organic herbs, the Pharm Farm provides a much needed alternative to the wild-harvesting of herbs which are threatened by loss of habitat or over-harvesting. By learning to cultivate these threatened herbs we can lighten the burden on the wild populations and assure supplies of these valuable medicinal plants for decades to come. The Pharm Farm is now cultivating Goldenseal, Black Cohosh, Bloodroot, Valerian, Skullcap, Collinsonia, Wild Yam and many others. The Pharm Farm is an official United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary.
Besides the cultivation of field crops, our farm staff is responsible for the maintenance of a 1.5 acre Botanical Display and Education Garden. With hundreds of species of medicinal and aromatic plants, gently running waterfall and streams, plant ponds, winding paths, and "class room" pergola, this visual and aromatic splendor is the ideal environment for educational lectures and herb walks which are given regularly to visiting tours of herb enthusiasts.
Where Quality Grows
By growing our own herbs and having such a close liason between our manufacturing department and our farm, we are able to optimize cultivation techniques, time of harvest, and handling of herbs far better than by sourcing these herbs from other growers. It is here on Herb Pharm's certified organic herb farm and plant sanctuary where our quality comes to life and begins to grow.