You may have heard stories of health supplements or traditional medicine preparations contaminated by pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals like lead, or adulterated with herb substitutes (example – Tribulus leaf is often substituted with the cheaper Chinese Tribulus, which does not have the therapeutic properties of Bulgarian Tribulus) or worse case scenario – mixed with pharmaceutical drugs such as steroids to enhance the effect.
This may explain (though not entirely) why there are huge differences in pricing of different brands. Some supplement suppliers or manufacturers are drugs producers, which increases the risk of drug contamination. Many, if not all, do not have herbal expertise in their technical team. The herbal industry is a big business and many (including drug makers) jump on the bandwagon.
Most health supplements are supposed to be produced in a facility, which is GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified. However, there are 2 types – Food GMP and Pharmaceutical GMP. The latter has very stringent requirements and most health supplement manufacturers are not Pharmaceutical GMP certified. For example, in my clinic, all Mediherb products are produced according to Pharmaceutical GMP certified.
Besides the above criteria, I source from time-tested reliable producers who specializes in the formulation and manufacture of nutraceuticals or herbal products exclusively for healthcare professionals such as medical doctors and naturopaths. This ensures safety and reliability for the public. All my products under SLC brand are produced by such a manufacturer.
In addition, I don’t take any chance for heavy metal contamination. For example, even though my product Phytolec was produced in a reliable facility and tested for contamination, I made it a point to re-run heavy metal tests in Singapore. I am very particular about my own products, partly because I consume them too!
The herbal industry is a complex industry. It is, therefore, useful to understand or appreciate the vast differences in quality.