Full-Spectrum Extracts. Full-spectrum extracts contain all the active chemical constituents of whole herbs in concentrated form. Full-spectrum extracts most closely mimic the effects of whole herbs because full-spectrum extracts contain the same balance of chemical constituents and the same complex interactions between chemical constituents as whole herbs.
Standardized Extracts. In the US, many herbal extracts on the market are known as standardized extracts. Standardized extracts concentrate a single chemical within the herb to a specified concentration, which is expressed as a percentage (0.01% to 99%). The specified chemical is isolated using chemical solvents like alcohol, acetone, or hexane so that it may be added to botanical materials to reach a specified concentration.
Why Full-Spectrum vs. Standardized? All traditional evidence-based medicine systems are based on whole herbs. Full-spectrum extracts contain the same balance of chemical constituents and the same complex interactions between chemical constituents as whole herbs. However, full-spectrum herbs may suffer from inconsistent potency from batch-to-batch.
Standardized extracts are particularly prevalent in the West, where medical research is often focused on the effects of an isolated chemical. The benefit of standardization is that batch-to-batch concentrations are consistent; however, many other important chemicals may be lost or diluted in the process. As a result, no matter the concentration of the specified chemical, the medicinal value of standardized extracts cannot be not considered comparable to that of whole herbs or of full-spectrum extracts.
TLC chemical signatures for Bu Gu Zhi full-spectrum extracts from Tianjiang (1-8), Bu Gu Zhi raw herb samples (9-10), isolated Psoralen (11), and isolated Isopsoralen (12).
Treasure of the East Full-Spectrum Extracts. Treasure of the East’s herbal extracts are full-spectrum, water-based extracts produced by Tianjiang Pharmaceutical. Tianjiang's two-step extraction process captures water-soluble active components and essential oils using only purified water. Tianjiang's patented dry granulation process minimizes heat and the use of excipients that might otherwise denature and dilute the active chemical constituents of herbs granulated using common wet spray techniques. These processes help ensure that Treasure of the East herbal extracts align as closely as possible to the original whole herb.
Tianjiang overcomes issues with batch-to-batch inconsistency that is prevalent with many full-spectrum herbs by developing characteristic single- and multi-constituent chromatography standards for more than 150 varieties of Chinese herbal extracts. In other words, Treasure of the East herbs are full-spectrum herbal extracts that, in many cases, also have the consistency of standardized extracts.
Example Product Specification for Huang Qi (click image above for full PDF)
Learn more about Tianjiang's chemical constituent standards laboratory testing here.