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Loomis Enzymes and Nexira Adopt Botanicals through ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb Research and Education Program

ISSUE:
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19-21

The American Botanical Council (ABC) welcomes Loomis Enzymes’ adoption of rose hip (Rosa canina, Rosaceae) and Nexira’s adoption of acacia gum through ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb botanical research and education program.

These adoptions support ABC’s extensive HerbMedPro database, ensuring that this unique research and educational resource remains up to date for researchers, health professionals, industry members, students, consumers, and other members of the herbal and dietary supplement and natural medicine communities.

HerbMedPro is a comprehensive, interactive online database that provides access to important scientific and clinical research data on the uses and health effects of more than 265 herbs, spices, medicinal plants, and fungi.

Loomis Enzymes Adopts Rose Hip

“Loomis Enzymes adopts herbs through the American Botanical Council to ensure that the sharing of knowledge creates a base of effective and safe ingredients for generations to come,” said a representative from Loomis Enzymes. “Choosing rose hip is one step to ensure our commitment. The use of natural products grows every year, as individuals look for ways to support their health and well-being. This interest makes it paramount that research … is easily accessible for health care professionals, as well as the public. Expanding documentation will facilitate the safety, legitimacy, and effectiveness of natural ingredients.”

About Rose Hip

Also known as dog rose, dog brier, or brier rose, “rose hip” is the name of both the plant and the fruit. The species is a large shrub or small tree with white or pink flowers and vibrant red pseudofruits that typically appear in September and October. It is distributed widely in Europe and grows wild throughout Central Asia and northern Africa. Rose hip also has been naturalized in the Americas, southern Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa.

The species name is derived from the Latin word canis, meaning “dog.” This name may stem from a misunderstanding or mistranslation of its former name “dag rose,” which comes from the Italian word daga, meaning “dagger” (a reference to its thorns). Others believe that the species name derives from Greek physician Hippocrates (ca. 460–ca. 370 BCE) or Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (ca. 23–79 CE), who both recommended wild rose hip root preparations to treat rabid dog bites.

Rose hip has astringent properties and was used traditionally to treat thirst, colic, cough, and gastrointestinal conditions such as dysentery and diarrhea. English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper (1616–1654) recommended a sweetened rose hip preparation to “gently bind the belly and stay [the flow of bodily fluids] from the head upon the stomach, drying up the moisture thereof, and promoting digestion.”

Modern uses of rose hip include as a treatment for colds, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, fever, gastritis, gout, rheumatism, thirst, and kidney and urinary conditions. The fruit also is used occasionally as a food, including in jams, jellies, teas, and syrups.

Laboratory and animal studies have shown that rose hip has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. These activities may result from the galactolipids, phenolics, vitamin C, and/or carotenoids found in rose hip. Human clinical studies have investigated the use of various rose hip preparations for osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, Crohn’s disease, and chronic musculoskeletal pain, among other conditions. Rose hip also has been shown to reduce levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) in randomized, controlled trials.

“Rose hip has one of the highest levels of vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable,” a company representative noted. “Additionally, rose hip contains antioxidants such as carotenoids and phenolics, while primary and secondary metabolites support efficient metabolism in the body. We harness these desirable nutrients and incorporate rose hip in 15 of our formulas.”

About Loomis Enzymes

Loomis Enzymes specializes in herbal and enzyme-based dietary supplements for health care practitioners and their patients. Founded in 2019, the Madison, Wisconsin-based company was built on more than two decades of clinical and business expertise of Howard F. Loomis Jr., a researcher, clinician, and chiropractor. Loomis’ son and daughter, Howard and Christina, run the daily business operations.

According to the company: “The foundation of Loomis Enzymes products is using whole foods and enzymes to nutritionally support the modern diet of enzyme-deficient, processed food. Enzymes are critical to life; they are responsible for every biochemical reaction in the human body, as well as for digestion. The basis of well-being starts with proper nutrition and supporting the digestive system to break down and absorb vital vitamins and minerals.

“Our success is evident by our long-term partnerships with health care professionals,” a company representative added. “They offer effective guidance with Loomis Enzymes natural supplements to address their patients’ individual health challenges and nutritional needs. We are committed to continue as we have for almost 30 years: provide the highest quality, whole foods, herbs, and enzymes for nutritional support for a lifetime of natural, vibrant health.”

Nexira Adopts Acacia Gum

“Nexira is continuously working to raise awareness around acacia fiber prebiotic health benefits,” said Julie Impérato, Nexira’s marketing manager. “Adopting acacia gum is another way to share scientific studies with our community, to offer a compilation of published studies, and to bring to the table our own numerous studies. Acacia’s importance over the years has increased significantly, and it is now appreciated as a natural ingredient that appeals to health- and wellness-conscious consumers because of its multiple functional and nutritional benefits.”

About Acacia Gum

Acacia gum, also called gum arabic, is an exudate of certain trees in the legume or Fabaceae family. Primary among them are Senegalia senegal and Vachellia seyal, known in the market by their previous names/synonyms, Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal, respectively. Native to Sudan and the sub-Saharan Sahel region (or “gum belt”) of North Africa, extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, acacia gum has been used for millennia for food, medicine, and cosmetics, and it is an important economic crop in its native habitat. The gum is collected by making superficial incisions in the branches and stripping the bark off, followed about five weeks later by harvesting the partially dried “tears” and further processing.

Historically, acacia gum was used as a binder for cosmetics, inks, pigments, and paint adhesives, and in the wrappings that were part of the mummification process. Egyptian Queen Cleopatra (ca. 69–30 BCE) was said to favor lipstick made with the gum. Greek philosopher and botanist Theophrastus (ca. 373–287 BCE) and Pliny the Elder mention the use of acacia gum to make poultices to relieve skin irritations, burns, or ulcers, and to stop profuse nose bleeds. By the first century, it was used in Europe for hemorrhages, healing leech bites, and for reducing bone marrow inflammation.

Commercial uses of acacia gum still include as a binder in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, paint, ink, and art supplies, as well as in the food and beverage industries as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and texturizer. Acacia gum is a good source of soluble dietary fiber and can be helpful for lowering cholesterol, as an adjunct treatment for diabetes, and for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Acacia gum is being researched for its ability to help in the treatment of certain cancers, osteoporosis, hepatic and renal support in people with rheumatoid arthritis, as an adjunct treatment in metabolic syndrome, and as a prebiotic.

The trees from which the gum is derived prevent desert encroachment into their native habitat, serve as fuel and fodder for human and animal inhabitants of the region, and, as many legumes do, contribute to improving soil fertility.

About Nexira

Headquartered in Rouen, France, Nexira is a leading supplier of natural ingredients and botanical extracts and the global leader in acacia gum, according to the company. Since its founding in 1895, Nexira has provided innovative natural ingredients for the food, health, and nutrition industries. The company’s expertise has expanded to encompass a broad range of ingredients derived from natural sources, and its portfolio of products includes high-quality plant extract powders, antioxidants, prebiotic ingredients, and active botanical extracts.

Nexira’s acacia gum is sourced sustainably from the Sahel region of Africa and is guaranteed to contain 90% soluble fiber. In December 2021, due in large part to Nexira’s efforts, the US Food and Drug Administration confirmed acacia as a dietary fiber source.

About Adopt-an-Herb and HerbMedPro

Loomis Enzymes and Nexira are among the 68 US and international companies and organizations that have supported ABC’s educational efforts to collect, organize, and disseminate reliable traditional and science-based information, including clinical studies, on herbs, medicinal plants, and other botanical- and fungal-based ingredients through the Adopt-an-Herb program. This program encourages companies, organizations, and individuals to “adopt” one or more specific herbs for inclusion and ongoing maintenance in the HerbMedPro database. To date, 79 herbs have been adopted.

Each adopted herb is researched continuously for new scientific articles and botanical, chemical, pharmacological, toxicological, and clinical studies, ensuring that its HerbMedPro record stays current and robust. Access to the studies is organized conveniently by publication type, with each study condensed to a one-sentence summary with a link to the study’s official abstract on PubMed (the US National Library of Medicine’s free-access database) or other publicly accessible databases.

HerbMedPro is available to ABC members at the Academic level and higher. Its “sister” site, HerbMed, is available to the public at no cost, with access to 25-30 herb records from the larger HerbMedPro database. In keeping with ABC’s position as an independent research and education organization, herb adopters do not influence the scientific information that is compiled for their respective adopted herbs.