Herbanext Services: Contract Research & Toll Manufacturing

Ongoing Reaserch Project

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Laboratory Services

Herbanext’s Laboratory Services include research and development, physicochemical property determination, microbial load limit analysis, antimicrobial tests, material preparation and processing, extraction/concentration, distillation/essential oil extraction, thin layer chromatography, qualitative phytochemical screening, tableting/capsulizing procedures, tablet quality determination, and stability testing.

thesis for change

thesis for changeGlobally, there is a now a renaissance in the use of natural products with medicinal herbs playing a very prominent role. The World Bank estimates that by 2050, the market for natural products in the form nutraceuticals and functional foods will exceed US$ 5 trillion. Not surprisingly, many countries in Southeast Asia are investing heavily in the development of herbal products and the farming of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs). In Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, the MAPs industry already generates tens and thousands of jobs and is an important contributor to rural economic development. China alone has around 500,000 farmers of medicinal herbs, while India around 150,000. MAPs farming and its supporting value chain is however a very new industry in the Philippines. There are many gaps in technology that still needs to be addressed before industry can take off. Clearly, natural products researchers play a pivotal in this development.

Farming of medicinal plants for livelihood

Philippine agriculture remains as the backbone of the country’s economy and accounts for 33% of total employment. The cultivation of MAPs offers a very promising area of diversification for Filipino farmers. MAPs are generally cheap to produce, are pest resistant, do not require expensive fertilizers, are simple to process, and are not subject to wide fluctuations in farm gate price. They also offer a large variety of species for cultivation which can suit practically every farming condition and environment. The farming of medicinal herbs not only generates livelihood, but also supports biodiversity conservation, reduce carbon footprint (being living phytochemical factories), and of course provide better healthcare to the population. In the Philippine setting, it is estimated that for every million Filipinos that regularly consume herbal products as a health supplement, as much as 20,000-30,000 jobs can be generated in the countryside. Examples of promising medicinal plants include sambong, pansit-pansitan, tsaang gubat, oregano, bayabas, banaba, luyang dilaw, sinta, and takip kuhol. At present, however, the number of farmers employed by the industry is still very few, most likely no more than 2,000.