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Liquid herbal extracts for horses: what is the difference from dried herbs?

The HELTIE Horse products are liquid and usually quite light in color. This can be confusing, as many people are used to giving dried herbs which are green or brown. You also often see green leaves in liquid herbal products with other brands. Why do our products look so clear, how are they made and what does that mean for the amount of active ingredients and the absorbability of the herbs?

Extraction of herbs

The HELTIE Horse supplements are almost all made on the basis of herbs. These herbs always undergo processing before they enter our supplements. Most herbs are extracted. This means that with the aid of a liquid, the active ingredients are converted from a solid to a liquid. That sounds complicated, but a simple example of extraction is making coffee from ground coffee beans. Running hot water through it absorbs the flavorings and caffeine from the ground beans into the liquid coffee. The coffee is therefore the extract of the coffee beans. Making tea is also a way to get substances from plants into a liquid.

In a similar way we can obtain extracts from all kinds of different plants. The active ingredients that we get from the herbs are, for example, alkaloids, saponins and mucilages. Because the extracts are filtered, the greenish, brown or even red color often disappears. Sometimes the supplement is still a bit cloudy, such as HELTIE Horse Joints and HELTIE horse Detox, these supplements should be shaken before use.

Not all parts of the plants have the same effect, it is therefore important that the correct parts are used for a certain effect. The part of the plant also determines which color the extraction will be. For example, the well-known herb Echinacea. If you make an extract from the leaves of that plant, it will have a green color. But most of the active ingredients are in the root of the echina plant. If you make an extract from it, it is transparent, but it has a much stronger effect than if you only used the leaves. Echinacea (the root) is for example in HELTIE Horse Respiratory.

Volatile oils from herbs

For some herbs it is more effective to use them as an essential oil. In that case you extract the volatile components from a plant with the aid of steam or by pressing. Clove contains a high proportion of essential oils, namely about 10% essential oils. We use these in HELTIE horse Cannabidol. Other herbs often have a lower percentage of essential oil.

Mixture of essential oil and extracts

When developing a supplement for a specific purpose, we look for herbs that are suitable for this and which active ingredients these herbs contain. Then we determine the processing method for these herbs and choose to make, for example, an extract or an essential oil. Our supplements are usually mixtures of extracts from different herbs, sometimes supplemented with essential oils. The exact composition therefore depends entirely on the purpose of the supplement.

The purpose of a supplement is number 1

Of course we will not just make extracts or essential oils. Which method you use and which part of the plants (root, leaf, flower, seed) you use in a supplement depends on the purpose you have. Which active ingredients do you want in the supplement? We always make a well-considered choice in this. We look for the ideal combination between the different herbs that we use in a supplement. The supplement must do what we indicate it for, so the goal is our number 1 during development.

Less is more: many herbs are not always better

Sometimes in the store you will see products or herb blends that contain many different herbs according to their label. But beware: that says nothing about the amounts of active ingredients or about the effectiveness of such a product. Because each herb already contains different active ingredients, we usually consciously choose only a handful of different herbs per supplement. The mutual interaction and cooperation between the selected herbs is very important. The question “what should the supplement do?” Is always central. In many cases, less is more.

High concentration and good absorbability

We may only use a handful of herbs per product, but we do use large amounts of the herbs we use. Our products are therefore very concentrated. Your horse therefore receives a relatively large number of active ingredients per ml. Liquid herbal extracts are also often more absorbable for the horse than dried herbs and therefore reach the places where they need to be sent more easily.

By using a high concentration of just a few herbs, the supplements are more targeted. For example, if you look at the HELTIE Horse Stress label, you will see that it contains only a few different herbs. But we use those herbs in a very high concentration, which is easily absorbed, making the effect much more effective.

Safe for animals and humans

All herbs used in HELTIE’s products are on the EU list of permitted herbs for animals that may enter the human food chain. The herbs are therefore approved for the human food chain. This provides safety for humans and animals and also means that we can guarantee that our products are doping-free.

Conclusion: the number of different herbs does not say everything

Supplements are not about using as many types of herbs as possible, but about using high-quality herbs in a high concentration and processing them correctly. Only then can you make a product that is suitable for the predetermined purpose. Therefore, be critical with products that contain many different ingredients, because that means that the concentration per herb is low.

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