Eclectic Institute Goldenseal Root - 100 Vegetarian Capsules
Eclectic Institute Goldenseal Root is created using no heat, extraction or solvents. Eclectic Institute Goldenseal Root is created using fresh freeze-drying in order to deliver the complete complex of ingredients found in the fresh, whole rhizome and root; only the water has been removed. In addition to the alkaloids berberine and hydrastine, many other constituents from the fresh rhizome and root remain intact including phytosterols, chlorogenic acid, and the alkaloid canadine.
Intact Vital Herbs through Freeze Drying
One of the unique features the Eclectic brings to the market place is the process of freeze drying their plants. Some plants are best used fresh. The active constituents of the plants are lost through the normal process of air drying. By utilizing the freeze drying process Eclectic is able to provide the next best thing to fresh plant material. The process of freeze drying (lyophilization for the hi-tech crowd) involves harvesting the plants at their peak. They are then washed in fresh spring water and sprayed clean.
The cleaned plants are immediately frozen to provide for the necessary conditions for low temperature drying. The plants are then placed under a vacuum. This enables the frozen water in the herb to vaporize without passing through the liquid stage, a process known as sublimation. Low temperature condenser plates remove the vaporized water from the vacuum chamber by converting it back to a solid. This completes the separation process. After the vacuum has been introduces there is about 4-5% of moisture left in the plant material. To reduce this final moisture content, low temperature heat is applied to the frozen material to accelerate sublimation and pull off the remaining moisture.
Key Benefits of Freeze Drying
- Maintain active constituents for the highest potency and action
- Preserve enzymes, aminoacids, flavonoids, oils, and fatty acids
- Polysaccharides and proteins critical to their effectiveness
- Retain activity, color, aroma and taste of the fresh plant.
- Long term shelf life
Eclectic Institute Questions & Answers
What about herbal quality?
Herb quality cannot be over emphasized. It is critical to effective herbal therapy that the proper plants are picked in the proper season and used fresh. High quality herbs will retain all the characteristics of the whole herb: aroma, color, taste and effect. Whenever possible the plants used should be organically grown or locally abundant herbs can be specifcally wildcrafted to avoid contamination (such as with pesticides).
Many commercially available bulk herbs contain residues from agricultural chemicals, fumigation and irradiation. Organic cultivation allows that manufacturer of herbal extracts to maintain access to high quality botanical ingredients. A recent advance in herb technology and research (fresh freeze-drying) allows maintenance of the natural potency of most herbs by preserving all the biologically active constituents of the fresh plant. In many instances, improved or unique therapeutic action has resulted from the fresh freeze-drying process.
What about Herbal Extracts?
Herbal extracts have been used in many forms and strengths as galenicals, tinctures, fluid extracts, etc.: these are water and alcohol extractions made from fresh or shade-dried plants. Some extracts include the addition of a little vegetable glycerin. A few herbs are also extract in 100% organic olive oil for external use. Herbal extracts offer the advantage of being more readily available to body than powered herbs. These plant extracts are effective preparations which are well tolerated. They may be taken alone or in a little water or juice.
Why use herbal combinations?
An herbal combination is chosen to specifically address the entire complaint of an individual. The herbs that best address their particular symptoms are chosen over similar plants. Several plants or their extracts can work together in a balanced fashion. What one herb lacks another can provide, so that the combined action improves what can be accomplished by a single herb. Some herbs in the combination would help relieve the symptoms while others act to correct the cause of the symptoms. Though sometimes called a "shotgun" approach, combining herbs can be very effective when the goal is to resolve the cause of the problem. Otherwise, there may be no long lasting benefit.
Why is alcohol used in the making of herbal extracts?
Alcohol is second only to water as a solvent (extracting fluid) for making herbal extracts. Herbs are composed of a wide variety of chemical components to which their benefit is attributed. Some of these components are more soluble in water and some are more soluble in alcohol. This explains why the alochol content is different from herb to herb. Resins in Myrrh or Cayenne are best extracted in alcohol and will have a higher alcohol content. Other herbs such as Marshmallows or Slippery Elm are best extracted in water.
Alcohol is not only important for extracting components of herbs, but it has the ability to preserve the extract from spoiling. Even when water is the best solvent, the extract must contain 15-30% alcohol to maintain stability and prevent spoiling. The alcohol content on labels indicates what percent of the liquid is alcohol not how much herb is in the bottle. Each ounce of an herbal extract represents the soluble components of 7.5 to 30 grams of herb no matter if the alcohol content is 25% or 85%. The concentration level is determined by the nature of each herb.
If a label states the concentration as 1:4 then each ounce represents the soluble portion of 7.5 grams of that herb. A label declaring a 1:1 concentration represents 30 grams of the soluble herb. The average daily dose of an herbal extract is 45-90 drops. Overall herbal extracts average 45% alcohol. Therefore, the average total daily consumption of alcohol is a mere 40 drops. We advise other high quality alternatives such as fresh freeze-dried encapsulated herbs when even these small amounts of alcohol are not appropriate.
What advantage in using Organic Alcohol?
Since alcohol is indispensible for making high quality herbal extracts, more emphasis should be placed on the kind of alcohol used to make them. Commercial grain alcohol is made with corn. Most of this country's total annual agricultural chemicals go toward the cultivation of corn. These agricultural chemicals are a serious and peristent threat to the air, soil, and ground water which support all life forms. Do you want the alcohol in your herbal extract to contribute to the further pollution of our planet?
What about "Glycerins" or "Alcohol free" extracts?
Until recently, the production of glycerite (Alcohol free extracts) met with limited success. Several innovations have helped to alleviate these short comings. Glycerites can be extracted directly with glycerin in some instances but traditional knowledge recommends alcohol extraction initially and then removal of the alcohol under vacuum. The Eclectic Medical period (1854-1937) provided clinical successes using this method with equipment developed by John Uri Lloyd. The Lloyd Extractor, a pharmaceutical cold still is described in the Remmington Practice of Pharmacy. In addition, the stability of some glycerite extractions is enhanced by a lower pH and therefore ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) should be added to sensitive botanicals (ie. Echinacea). Flavoring of glycerites is enhanced by the inherent sweetness of glycerin. Natural flavoring of raspberry or orange can augment the compliance and increase the biological effectiveness in people adverse to the taste of alcoholic extracts.
What about alcohol made from corn?
If you have food sensitives or allergies to corn avoid extracts made with grain alcohol. Although grain alcohol is highly refined it still carries the allergen of corn and due to the rapid absorption of alcohol, the allergic symptoms appear in a few minutes. For example, many people use a White Willow extract to relieve a headache. Since the majority of the US population has some allergic reaction to corn, it is possible that alcohol made from grain will increase the likelihood of aggravating the condition. This same caution can be given to the use of extracts for most conditions (ie. corn is known to aggravate arthritic symptoms, bladder, etc.)
The Eclectic Organic Herb Farm
Eclectic owns and operates a 90 acre farm in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains near Mt. Hood, Oregon. Located in Sandy Oregon, 45 min. east of Portland, the farm is in one of the remaining pristine areas of the U.S. There are approximately 40 different plants that are grown Certified Organic by the Oregon Tilith including four species of Echinacea and the largest patch of Goldenseal west of the Mississippi.
About Eclectic Institute
The Eclectic Institute was founded in 1982 by two naturopathic physicians, Dr. Edward Alstat and Dr. Micheal Ancharski. At that time, Dr. Alstat was the pharmacist for the Portland Naturopathic clinic, the teaching clinic of the National College of Naturopathic medicine and Dr. Ancharski was the Clinic Director. Though in the midst of the top botanical literature, research and practitioners, they could not find high quality, botanical preparations to use in their clinic. Most herbs on the commercial market simply were not pure, vital or fresh enough to be very beneficial. They decided to develop and market their own line of botanical products using only organic herbs carefully grown and harvested and processed while fresh. Eclectic is committed to working with nature's healing power, in the preparation of botanical products which nutritionally enhance total health and well-being.