Within the Troo Health range there are times when we will use a standardised extract and there are others when we may use whole herb powder. Different forms are more suitable than others depending on the intended purpose.
Standardised extracts aim to isolate and extract only active ingredients from herbs. Using standardised extracts, the thought is that the final product will be more consistent and controlled. This practice has developed out of the drug model of herbal medicine, in which modern scientists have attempted to identify the components of a plant that have definite pharmacological activity in the body.
There are a lot of reasons why you would use a standardised extract and we often do use them. A good example is Turmeric where we use a 95% standardised curcumin extract to ensure that the supplement provides a minimum 95% curcumin. This is because the health benefits associated with Turmeric largely come from the curcumin content. Typically pure Turmeric powder would only contain 2-4% curcumin.
The risk with using standardised extracts is that you inadvertently remove or overlook components of a herb that may contribute to the activity of the whole herb. Consequently, standardisation may concentrate one constituent at the expense of other potentially important ones, while changing the natural balance of the herb’s components.
By using whole herb / full spectrum method the idea is to keep a plant as close to its natural makeup as possible. Extracting the whole part of the herb containing the plant's active ingredients maintains the plant's natural integrity, keeping the extract as close to the original plant as possible. Many of the constituents within a herb are commonly as yet unknown, and internal chemical interactions within and among herbs are even more poorly understood. Therefore, there is a risk when using a standardised herbal extract that you will lose the interaction of important components that whole herb full spectrum method would retain.